Birth, Nutrition, Parenting, Pregnancy

Nutrition During Pregnancy

So, exactly what is a pregnant woman supposed to eat during her pregnancy in order to gain the weight her baby needs her to gain without putting on the extra pounds she doesn’t want to battle the rest of her life?

Dr. Tom Brewer had the same question and wasn’t happy with the answer he was getting so he decided to figure it out for himself. Because of his research, we now have the Brewer Pregnancy Diet, which, when followed exactly as outlined, brings a woman’s risk of toxemia to zero! This is the nutritional program taught to pregnant women who take a childbirth class in the Bradley Method®. Unfortunately the program is not being taught to ALL pregnant moms.

Here is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) diet next to the Brewer Pregnancy Diet. Read them for yourself – Which diet looks to you like it could cause low blood volume and related complications?

The Brewer Pregnancy Diet

The ACOG Diet

Milk products & substitutes – 4 servings 

1 serving = 8 grams protein

Total = 32 grams protein

Milk, yogurt and cheese – 3 servings 

1 serving = 8 grams protein

Total = 24 grams protein

Calcium replacements – 2 per soy (above) Calcium – mentioned in milk products
Eggs – 2 servings 

1 serving = 6 grams protein

Total = 12 grams protein

Eggs – combined with all proteins 

Zero additional servings

Zero additional protein

Other proteins – 6 to 8 servings 

1 serving = 1 ounce = 7 grams

Total = 6 to 8 ounces

(approx. 42 – 56 grams)

Total Proteins = 86 to 100 grams

Other proteins – 5 to 5 ½ servings 

1 serving = 1 ounce = 7 grams

Total = 5 to 5 ½ ounces

(approx. 35 – 39 grams)

Total Proteins = 59 to 63 grams

Green Vegetables – 2 servings Green Vegetables – Combined (see below)
Vitamin A foods – 1 serving Vegetables (green & yellow) – 2 to 3 servings
Whole Grains – 5 servings Grains – 6 servings
Vitamin C foods – 2 servings Fruits – 1 ½ to 2 servings
Fats & oils – 3 to 5 servings Fats & oils – use sparingly
Salt – unlimited Salt – not mentioned
Total Calories = 2600 to 3000 Total Calories = 1900 to 2500
Recommended weight gain – unlimited (average 35 to 45 pounds) Recommended weight gain – restricted (25 to 35 pounds advised)
Average size baby = 7 lbs 2 oz to 8 lbs 8 oz Average size baby = 7 lbs 8 oz

Dr. Brewer’s Pregnancy Diet (

You must have, every day, at least the amounts of food and types of food on the following diet lists (minimum daily food intake). These foods are the best sources of key nutrients essential to healthy pregnancy. It is not healthful for you to go more than twelve hours without good food. Eat a complete breakfast every morning and snack mid-morning, mid-afternoon, before bed, and at least once during the night to maintain a steady supply of nutrition to your developing baby. Consult your doctor, midwife, or nutritionist immediately if you start to fall behind on your diet for any reason. Inability to follow the diet is a medical emergency requiring prompt attention.

It is important to use the Brewer Diet’s recommendations for salt, calories, and protein all together. If you try to use lower amounts of salt or calories than is recommended by the Brewer Diet, and focus primarily on the protein, it is likely that the Brewer Diet will not be as effective for you as it could be. (Add 30 grams protein and 500 calories for each additional baby – triplets, quadruplets, etc)

The following has been adapted from Eating for Two, by Gail Brewer and Isaac Cronin, from Right from the Start, by Gail Brewer and Janice Presser Greene, from The Pregnancy After 30 Workbook, edited by Gail Brewer, and from The Brewer Medical Diet for Normal and High-Risk Pregnancy, by Gail Brewer and Tom Brewer, MD.

Milk and milk products – 4 choices (8 choices for twins)

For Example:

1 cup milk: whole, skim,1%, buttermilk
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk: whole or skim
1/3 cup powdered milk:whole or skim
1 cup yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cottage cheese: creamed, uncreamed, pot style
1 large slice cheese (1 1/4 oz): cheddar, Swiss, other hard cheese
1 cup ice milk
1 piece tofu, 3″x3″x 1/2″ (4 oz)

Calcium replacements – as needed

For Example

36 almonds
1/3 cup bok choy, cooked
12 Brazil nuts
1 cup broccoli, cooked
1/3 cup collard greens
1/2 cup kale
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
4 oz black olives
1 oz sardines

Eggs – 2 any style

Protein Combinations – 6 to 8 choices (12 choices for twins)**
For Example

1 oz lean beef, lamb, pork, liver, or kidney
1 oz chicken or turkey
1 oz fish or shell fish***
1/4 cup canned salmon or tuna
3 sardines
3 1/2 oz tofu
1/4 cup peanuts or peanut butter****
1/8 cup beans + 1/4 cup rice or wheat (measured before cooking)
beans: peas, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzos
rice: preferably brown
wheat: preferably Bulgar
1/8 cup brewer’s yeast + 1/4 cup rice
1/8 cup sesame or sunflower seeds + 1/2 cup cup rice
1/4 cup rice + 1/3 cup milk
1/2 oz cheese + 2 slices whole wheat bread or 1/3 cup macaroni (dry) or noodles or 1/8 cup beans
1/8 cup beans + 1/2 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup beans + 1/6 cup seeds (sesame, sunflower)
1/2 large potato + 1/4 cups milk or 1/4 oz cheese
1 oz cheese: cheddar, Swiss, other hard cheese
1/4 cup cottage cheese: creamed, uncreamed, pot style

***Due to mercury content, do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish

  • You may eat up to 12 oz a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury: shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish

  • Albacore (“white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, so you may eat up to 6 oz of albacore tuna per week.

****Some sources suggest that one possible source of peanut allergies in children may be an excess consumption of peanuts by their mothers during their pregnancy. If you know of any documentation about this, please let me know.

Fresh, dark green vegetables – 2 choices
For Example

1 cup broccoli
1 cup Brussels sprouts
2/3 cup spinach
2/3 cup greens
collard, turnip, beet, mustard, dandelion, kale
1/2 cup lettuce (preferable romaine)
1/2 cup endive
1/2 cup asparagus
1/2 cup sprouts: bean, alfalfa

Whole grains – 5 choices
For Example

1 waffle or pancake made from whole grain
1 slice bread whole wheat, rye, bran, other whole grain
1/2 roll, muffin, or bagel made from whole grain
1 corn tortilla
1/2 cup oatmeal or Wheatena
1/2 cup brown rice or bulgar wheat
1 shredded wheat biscuit
1/2 cup bran flakes or granola
1/4 cup wheat germ

Potato – 1 choice
Whole potato, any style, but preferably baked or boiled with skin

Vitamin C foods – 2 choices (3 choices for twins)
For Example

1/2 grapefruit
2/3 cup grapefruit juice
1 orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large tomato
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cantaloupe
1 lemon or lime
1/2 cup papaya
1/2 cup strawberries
1 large green pepper
1 large potato, any style

Fats and oils – 3 to 5 choices (5 choices for twins)
For Example

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 avocado
1 tablespoon peanut butter++

++Some sources suggest that one possible source of peanut allergies in children may be an excess consumption of peanuts by their mothers during their pregnancy. If you know of any documentation about this, please let me know.

Vitamin A foods – 1 choice
For Example

3 apricots
1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 cup carrots (1 large)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup winter squash
1 sweet potato

Liver – at least once a week (optional)
4 oz liver beef, calf, chicken, pork, turkey, liver

Salt and other sodium sources – unlimited

table salt, iodized–to taste
sea salt–to taste
kelp powder–to taste
soy sauce–to taste

Water – unlimited – avoid waters with magnesium oxide added.

Drink to quench thirst, but do not force fluids
Real juice or milk might make better use of limited stomach space.

Avoid pregnancy teas and juices which include nettle, dandelion, alfalfa, bilberry, or celery (they have diuretic properties, which may increase dehydration).

Snacks and additional menu choices – 2 or more (4 or more for twins)
For Example:

Dried Fruits:
Raisins, apples (1/2 cup)
Dates, prunes (5)
Figs, pear halves (3)
Apricot halves (12)

Pure Juices (100% with no sweeteners):
Apple, grapefruit (1 cup)
Apricot, orange, peach, pear (1/4 c.)
Grape, cranberry (2/3 cup)

Pistachio nuts (35)
Peanuts (20)
Peanut butter (1 Tbsp)
Almonds (18)
Pecans (12)
Cashews, walnut halves (10)
Macadamia, chestnuts (6)
Brazil (4)
Pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds (2 Tbsp)

Black olives (14)
Avocado (1/3)
Malted milk powder (1 Tbsp)
Brewer’s yeast (4 Tbsp)
can be added to granola, muffins,
or bread dough
Carrot Sticks
More foods from other groups

Optional supplements – as needed
“NOTE: Vitamin supplements are in routine use in prenatal care; they do not take the place of a sound, balanced diet of nutritious foods.” (The Pregnancy After 30 Workbook, ed. Gail Brewer, 1978)

Vitamin pills, powders, herbs, yeast, oils, molasses, wheat germ, etc. It may be a good idea to avoid supplements which contain nettle, dandelion, alfalfa, bilberry, or celery (they have diuretic properties, which may cause dehydration) but always consult an expert such your primary health care provider, herbalist, chiropractor, aromatherapist, massage therapist, natureopathic physician, homeopath, etc….

Search for supplements that are considered to be Whole Food supplements. These supplements undergo a special process which leaves behind the phyto-nutrients of the plants. These phyto-nutrients provide whole food nutrition to every cell of the body just as if one had eaten the actual food item. There are two brands that stand out among the competition. They are JuicePlus+ and Nuriche. Neither will be found in the local natural health store but both are worth purchasing from a distributor. To locate a JuicePlus+ distributor go to To locate a Nuriche distributor go to or visit ask Angie how to purchase Nuriche directly from her or through her website which is located at

Other supplements that are highly recommended by natural health experts and midwives alike are:

Omega 3 Oil – will provide your body much needed benefits contained in fish without the level of heavy metal poisons that may be found in the actual fish. Look for brands that can certify they are organic or that the oil is coming from farm raised fish so they control the contaminates in the water as well as the food. You may also want to search for a product whose gel capsule has been designed to stay in tact until it reaches the intestine. This is will reduce the very undesirable fishy burps that cause so many people to stop taking this wonderful supplement. I do highly recommend the Omega Blue brand made by Young Living Essential Oils – this can be purchased by going to or to to locate a distributor.

Vitamin C – around 3000mg daily will help increase the skins elasticity to reduce stretch marks as well as to reduce tearing the perineum during second stage. Vitamin C may also reduce blood pressure as well.

Vitamin D3 – pregnant women should take 5000mg daily and increase to 6400mg daily during lactation.

Dr. Christopher’s Female Reproductive Formula – take 2 capsules twice daily to help tone all the organs of the female reproductive system. Starting prior to conception can help improve the chances of conception. This formula will also help to prepare the uterus for labor and has been reported to bring about an easier labor with less bleeding and reduced risk of hemorrhage.

Dr. Christopher’s Birth Preparation Formula should be started at 34 weeks gestation and will also help to tone and prepare the uterus for labor and birth. It will help to ease labor, reduce bleeding and the risk of hemorrhage.

Dr. Christopher products can be purchased at Nature’s Finest Health Foods which is located at 1925 E Brown Rd, Suite 8, Mesa or 16838 E Parkview Ave, Fountain Hills.

Polly Jean’s Antepartum 5-week Formula – purchase and take as directed starting at 35-weeks gestation. This formula is very similar to Dr. Christopher’s Female Reproductive Formula but must be purchased online by going to

Probiotics – taken daily may help to reduce the likelihood of testing positive for group B Strep. Probiotics are found in yogurt with organic varieties being the best for you. Probiotics are also found in whole food supplements like JuicePlus+ and Nuriche and can be purchased by themselves at health food stores with the best form being kept in a refrigerated section – any brand will increase the population of good bacteria found in your gut and throughout your entire body.

Each food you eat may be counted for one group only (in other words, count 1/4 cup cottage cheese as either 1 milk choice or 1 protein combination choice, not both).

If you’d like to eat according to your blood type, ask me for a list of food items specific to your blood type. I’d also recommend reading Eat Right 4 Your Baby written by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.


Websites –

Books –

School of Natural Healing (Centennial Edition), page xviii, 538, 541

14th edition December 2009

Christopher Publications, Inc., Springville UT

Eat Right 4 Your Baby

Dr. Peter J D’Adamo

The Body Ecology Diet

Donna Gates


Dr. Roy Vartabedien

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