The best nutritional program available to you during pregnancy today was developed by Dr. Tom Brewer who was an Obstetrician (OB) wanting to know how to best feed the pregnant female. He did his research and put together a nutritional program that many care givers and mothers refer to simply as “the Brewer Diet”. Unfortunately, most OBs either don’t know about this nutritional program or don’t agree with it. Learning about this nutritional program, gives you the opportunity to avoid pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), pre-eclampsia (PE), eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR), placenta abruption, premature contractions, dysfunctional birth process, low birth weight, postpartum hemorrhage, and most milk supply issues that impact breastfeeding. These are all conditions that might be avoided by eating a well-balanced diet made up of whole food sources from as early in your pregnancy as possible.
This nutritional program was based on at least 60 years of research and scientific evidence that was available when Dr. Brewer was in medical school in the 1940’s as he learned about this perspective of prenatal nutrition in his classes and textbooks. Since the 1940s, there is more scientific evidence to back up this program. The secret combination of the Brewer Diet are: Protein (no less than 80 grams), Salt, and calories (nothing less than 2300….the more you eat the better off you and your baby will be). These three – protein, salt and calories – MUST be in the right proportion for YOUR body or you will begin to see and experience “pregnancy induced” illnesses, such as pre-eclampsia and hypertension. Protein, salt and calories are required for proper blood volume expansion which must occur over the course of your pregnancy. If this blood volume expansion does not occur, both you and your baby are at risk.
Pregnancy is not the time to be “watching” what you eat. Counting calories is never a good idea and Dr Brewer didn’t like putting a caloric number to this nutritional plan because he knew that it might lead to some women restricting their calories in order to stay “on target” thereby placing both themselves and their babies at risk. No pregnant women – even women who start their pregnancy “overweight” – should restrict their calories in any way. If you are not eating 2300 calories than you must find a way to get there. Many women will feel their best consuming more than 2300 calories and this is what you want to use as a gauge – how well do you feel? If you’re feeling tired than something is off. You’re either not eating enough protein, calories or your not taking in enough salt.
The calories for The Brewer Diet are made up of the following:
- Milk, Milk products, and Milk substitutes: 4 servings daily.
- If using a milk substitute: calcium replacement 2 servings per serving of milk substitute
- Eggs: two daily
- Meats, Seafood, Meat substitutes: 6 to 8 1-ounce servings daily (animal or vegetable – you decide)
- Fresh Dark Green Vegetables: 2 servings
- Vitamin C Foods: 2 servings
- WHOLE Grains, starchy vegetables and fruits: 5 servings (think rice, oatmeal, etc – NOT bread, crackers, etc)
- Fats & Oils: 3 – 5 servings daily (include Omega-3)
- Vitamin A Source: yellow or orange fruits and vegetables: 1 serving
- Liver: 1 serving weekly (Not a fan of liver? Eat more protein than originally stated to make up for the lack of liver.)
- Drink water to thirst – do not force fluids
- Salt food to taste – unlimited (plays a role in the necessary blood volume expansion) (See below for more information on how to use salt properly.)
- Snacks and additional menu choices – unlimited
- Optional Supplements – only as needed
- Milk, Milk products, and Milk substitutes: 4 servings daily.
You might like to have a way to track how you’re doing everyday. We don’t normally recommend tracking what one is eating but when it comes to growing a baby, placenta and uterus, doing so can be beneficial. Click HERE to download the form we use with our clients.
Salt is an important part of The Brewer Diet. Proper intake of salt aids with the necessary 60% increase in blood volume that must occur in order for both mom and baby to experience a safe pregnancy and birth. This isn’t just about salting your food to taste. This is about fully understanding what salt does for the body and which salt to use.
The Brewer Diet does not indicate what type of salt to use. In recent years we’ve learned a lot about salt and which salt is good for the body and which salt isn’t. Sea salt is the best source of minerals. In fact, it contains over 80 minerals in the exact ratio needed by the human body. Because of this balanced ratio of every single mineral needed by your body, sea salt balances the body so there’s no need to be concerned about salt increasing your blood pressure. A good book to read to learn more about how the body uses sea salt is Salt Your Way to Health by Dr. Mark Brownstein. You can go here to watch a webinar to learn more about how to properly use salt. You can learn more about salt and pregnancy here.
Nutrition during pregnancy is only part of the bigger picture, which is why we can’t just focus on the Brewer Diet. Proper hydration, restful sleep, and positive attitude also play a role in a strong and healthy pregnancy. In the paragraphs to follow, we’ll explain what proper hydration looks like, how balanced nutrition and proper hydration lead to restful sleep as well as the importance of having a positive attitude.
Proper hydration isn’t just about drinking more water. If we don’t do it right, that water will just go through the body without being properly used. You see our water purification methods all remove important minerals from the water. These minerals provide the body with vital nutrients required for optimal health. Proper hydration includes putting minerals back into your routine and this is easily done by using sea salt.
A great way for you to get the amount of salt your body needs for blood volume expansion AND the water it needs for proper hydration is to dissolve an 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt on your tongue before drinking 16 ounces or 10% of your body weight in ounces of water, whichever is greater. During pregnancy, Dr Brewer was concerned about women using water as a way of restricting calories. For this reason, he placed “drink water to thirst” as part of the Brewer Diet and preferred for pregnant women to take in other fluids instead of water. This was to help ensure that pregnant women received the necessary calories, protein AND salt their body would need for proper blood volume expansion. The problem with his thinking is that water is also required for the necessary cell formation that makes the required blood volume expansion happen.
Proper hydration is important during pregnancy because dehydration can lead to pre-term labor just as salt lack can lead to pre-term labor. Combining the two allows you to “kill two birds with one stone” and will help to keep you properly hydrated. Because you’ve gone through most of the night without food or drink, it may be a good idea to start your day by dissolving an 1/8 teaspoon sea salt on your tongue and then drinking 16 ounces or 10% of your body weight in ounces of water, whichever is greater before enjoying a good protein rich breakfast. Each time you want a drink of water or any other type of fluid, dissolve an 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt on your tongue first.
Despite what you might have been told, it is not okay to use water as a way to control your hunger. As a matter of fact, that’s not how the body works. If you’re truly hungry, drinking water isn’t going to change that. With that said, food is the fuel your body uses to run all of its processes and to give you the energy you need to enjoy the day from start to finish. You are expanding your blood volume, which takes calories, salt, protein AND water. If you are having a hard time being okay with the amount of food that you are to eat daily, connect with Angie. Calorie restriction is bad for the body when you’re not pregnant and it’s even worse for the body when you are pregnant.
The glorious thing about good nutrition and proper hydration is that they lead you directly into restful sleep. When your body has the minerals it needs to function properly it easily enters a restful sleep. Night time leg cramps become a thing of the past and you experience restful sleep that leads you to feeling fully awake and ready for the day ahead. I won’t tell you that you’ll never again experience a restless night as this just might be part of the natural process as the body prepares for the schedule of a new little one but it certainly is nice to experience more restful nights than you may be experiencing now.
If you’re currently using a magnesium supplement to help you relax and get to sleep, you’re providing your body with only one mineral that it needs. Using sea salt will provide your body with the 80+ minerals it needs for optimal health. Dissolving the sea salt on your tongue before drinking any type of fluid will also help with any headaches that you may experience during your pregnancy and these headaches can be from your body struggling to increase your blood volume due to a lack in salt, protein and calories. Dissolving the sea salt on your tongue puts these vital minerals directly into your bloodstream. So don’t think you can cheat by adding sea salt to your fluids first. This will only prolong the length of time it takes for those minerals to enter your bloodstream.
Now let’s talk about the way you speak to yourself and what you believe about yourself and how it can impact your pregnancy, birth and, in fact, your entire life. What you say to yourself matters. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard this. Your subconscious mind is always on and listening to everything you say and everything that other people say to you that you believe. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies and the more you think about something the more your subconscious will create that reality in your life.
This means that if you believe that your pregnancy will end with an induction that leads to cesarean surgery, then you’re absolutely correct. The same is true if you believe that your pregnancy will end in a beautiful home birth filled with peace and joy. We create the reality we live by the thoughts we think. It takes work to change our thought patterns and it’s well worth our time to expend that energy and create a better reality for ourselves.
You see the more you think about what you don’t want or about past situations that have left you feeling traumatized and weak, the stronger the neural pathway becomes that holds that information. The secret is to stop those thoughts the moment we realize they are playing out in our mind. This can be done simply by saying, “STOP! Cancel that! I choose to think….” and then think what you want to think about, like a beautiful and empowering home birth where you are fully in charge and those around you are fully supportive of you and your choices. It honestly is that simple. Reach out to Angie if you’d like her to guide you through this process.
Angie is also certified as an Aroma Freedom Technique Practitioner and Instructor. Here’s her first AFT Session:
To learn more about the Aroma Freedom Technique and to schedule a session with Angie, GO HERE.
It is a well known fact that vitamin supplements are in routine use in prenatal care but they do not take the place of a sound, balanced diet of nutritious foods. My personal recommendation is for everyone is to start by feeding the body the vital nutrients as they are found in whole food sources because these sources contain ALL the vital nutrients in precise amounts and work synergistically together. Synthetic replicas have never been proven to be 100% beneficial nor without risk. For this reason, we only recommend using Comprehensive Nutrition Formula™ when supplementation is needed.
Comprehensive Nutrition Formula™ is the most powerful product ever developed to address health at the cellular level. It is better defined as cell ready super nutrition. Comprehensive Nutrition Formula™ combines 310 all-natural liquid ingredients including Organic Vitamins, Ionic Minerals, Amino Acids, Phytonutrients, Whole Foods and Antioxidants…with a harmonically balanced herbal and botanical blend and all of this is delivered directly to the cell via the awesome power of fulvic and humic acids. It is important to remember that the nutrients in Comprehensive Nutrition Formula™ are better absorbed and much more highly utilized than typical multi-vitamin supplements because they are powered by the components that deliver them right to the cell. If you are not a client and would like to get your hands on this highly sought after liquid supplement, you may order it HERE.
Supporting Overall Wellness
Your kidneys, liver and adrenal glands are placed under a lot of stress during pregnancy. Supporting them before pregnancy is important and, all too often, misunderstood. We take our body for granted and don’t fully understand exactly how much it does for us. The way we eat, what we drink, the things we use in our homes and on our skin all impact the overall wellness of the body.
During pregnancy, if your blood volume does not expand as much as it should, your body will not be able to support the two lives depending upon it. The body will have no choice but to evict your baby early. This is why you MUST do everything in your power to make sure that the 60% blood volume expansion happens. If you find yourself wondering how in the world you will be able to consume “all that food”, take the time to schedule a 30-minute Prenatal Nutrition Coaching session with Angie. You’ll meet via video conference. In this 30-minute coaching session, Angie will help you create a sample menu so you can see how simple it is to fit “all that food” into your day.
To support your kidneys, use K & B tincture made by Young Living. This tincture is formulated to nutritionally support normal kidney and bladder health. It contains extracts of juniper berries, which enhance the body’s efforts to maintain proper fluid balance; parsley, which supports kidney and bladder function and aids overall urinary health; and urva ursi, which supports both urinary and digestive system health. K & B is enhanced with therapeutic-grade essential oils. Contact me for a bottle and use it as directed.
Your liver completes over 600 processes for you every single day. Taking care of it is important to your overall wellness. If you fail to consume enough calories, water, salt and protein to create the necessary 60% blood volume expansion, your liver (and kidneys and adrenal glands) will pay the price. This is why it’s not just important to eat right and hydrate well; it’s also important to:
- avoid unnecessary prescription and over-the-counter drugs
- eat meat, nuts and eggs, which all contain selenium. Selenium is what helps proteins make important antioxidant enzymes that prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
- eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, which help to cleanse the liver
- avoid exposure to industrial chemicals
We believe that essential oils are, in many cases, the perfect solution for the discomforts of pregnancy. Click HERE for a document about using essential oils during pregnancy, childbirth and with small children. We do not recommend the use of essential oils during the birthing process nor immediately following birth because they interfere with the olfactory system of both mother and baby. Both mother and baby use their olfactory system after birth to reconnect with each other. Having other aromas around confuses this system and may interfere with this necessary reconnection process.
We also do not recommend using any brand other than Young Living essential oils. Young Living is serious about the products they release to the world. They are serious about giving back and being sustainable. Their essential oils are backed by a variety of scientific studies and they care from the moment the seed enters the ground right through to when the bottle is sealed and ready for purchase. To learn more, click here.
Schedule a prenatal nutrition coaching session with Angie.