Tips for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms

My 3 monkeys at a cenote in Akumal

As the mother of 3 healthy kidlets – combined with all my gut knowledge – I often get friends or family members who have become pregnant emailing me to ask for any advice or tips I might have. For myself, my pregnancies were the strictest diet/health times of my life. I was always aware that every single bite was going straight to my baby’s body.

So aside from avoiding food toxins (like chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, genetically-modified foods, etc.), it is also important to eat enough of those super-nourishing foods that pregnant women have consumed for centuries. Or, if you can’t bring yourself to eat raw, fermented foods, organ meats, fish eggs, etc. then you need to take supplements that will help provide a lot of these key nutrients for you.

Essential Supplements For Pregnancy or Breastfeeding Moms

Note: I am going to give links to each product in my LTYG Shoppe, so you can see which brand I recommend and why – but if you don’t like to buy online, just get your local store to order them in for you.

Here are the supplements I believe every mother should take during pregnancy (and ideally for three months prior to conception), for the duration of breastfeeding, and then for at least three months following weaning (to replenish your own body stores and health):

Nature’s Way Prenatal Multivitamin – this one has everything you need in easily tolerated forms.
Udo’s Oil (or flax oil) – 1 – 2 tbsp. per day. This will not only nourish baby, but prevent your hair from falling out or thinning after you birth.
Cod Liver Oil – 6 capsules or 2 tsp per day. Crucial for brain development and must be from an animal source (like fish), not a vegetable source.
Bone Support – 2 tbsp per day. These are the minerals that are needed for bones and teeth. If you are not getting enough of these minerals, your body will pull them from your own bones and teeth to give them to baby and you will experience a whack of tooth decay! You can mix these in water or juice (they’re tasteless), or just take them straight.
Minerals Of Life Trace Minerals – 1 tbsp per day. These are all the minerals that used to be in our soil before Agribusiness trashed  things. Mix with water or juice (almost tasteless)
Absorb Plus or protein shake – as needed – if underweight, or no time to eat properly.
Natren probiotics in powder form (Megadophilus, Bifido Factor, Life Start, Digesta-Lac) or capsules (Healthy Trinity – if you prefer and have no diarrhea or heartburn). If you have heartburn during pregnancy, take the probiotics in powder form, and if your heartburn is severe then see a Craniosacral Therapist to release your diaphragm and esophageal valve. Go to upledger.com and find a therapist in your area that is certified LEVEL II or higher. Sucking on DGL licorice lozenges is also a quick remedy for heartburn.
• Follow the Healing Diet in Listen To Your Gut that suits your symptoms, or at least follow the Maintenance Diet (see below) strictly.

Other supplements that are also be beneficial:

Coenzyme Q10
Pycnogenol or Grape Seed Extract
Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form – or take in it ascorbic acid form if you tend towards constipation.
Angstrom/Nanoparticle-sized Iron if you need additional iron supplementation – when taken with lots of water, this form will not constipate you, nor will it aggravate or trigger intestinal bleeding.

An easy way to simplify your supplement regime each day is to take them in a protein shake. Here’s an easy recipe and then you can modify or vary it as you wish (for capsules, just open them up and pour in the contents):

Healthy Baby Shake

  • 1 cup water, or coconut water, or almond milk, or raw milk, or yoghurt
  • 2 scoops whey protein isolate or veggie protein powder
  • 1 banana or 1 cup of fruit (instead of fruit, you can use 1 tsp. of sprouted chia powder, if you wish)
  • 1 tsp. of your favorite Greens powder (leave this out if you’re very picky about taste)
  • 1 tbsp. Udo’s oil
  • 2 tbsp. Bone Support
  • 1 tbsp. Minerals of Life Trace Minerals
  • 1 capsule CoQ10
  • 1 capsule Pycnogenol
  • 1000 mg vitamin C powder

Blend together until smooth. If you tend towards constipation, also add 250 mg magnesium citrate to this shake. If you’re nauseous, add some ginger powder or fresh ginger (to taste).

Morning Sickness

If your morning sickness is mild, then adding the ginger to your shake, or drinking ginger tea may be sufficient to provide relief. The daily probiotics will also help a lot with morning sickness.

If you have severe morning sickness that lasts all day and you are unable to eat much of anything, then you would really benefit from my elemental liquid diet shake, Absorb Plus. I once heard from a customer using it who had end-stage AIDS (the docs had told her to get her will in order) and was basically dying of malnutrition. Because everything she ate, she would vomit up 30 – 60 minutes later. Well she started on Absorb Plus and quickly began gaining weight. This is because Absorb Plus is in your bloodstream within 20 minutes – the absorption of high quality nutrients is that fast. So even if you vomit later, it doesn’t matter, your body has already received all the nutrition. Needless to say, this will benefit both you and baby tremendously.

Before you get pregnant again (and when you’re finished with breastfeeding) be sure and do a thorough detox. A naturopathic doctor I know told me he feels that morning sickness occurs when the body has too many toxins to process and the liver can’t handle it. Building a baby requires your body to do a lot of processing through your liver, so if your existing toxin levels (chemicals, heavy metals, pesticide accumulation, synthetic hormones, etc.) are moderate to high already, then pregnancy pushes you over the edge. He told me stories of countless clients who’d already had 1 or 2 children and suffered severe morning sickness with all of them. Then they did a thorough detox and their next pregnancy was nausea-free.

Maintenance Diet for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There have been many long-term studies done showing that the health of your baby in-utero will pre-determine your child’s health until the late teenage years. So please don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can eat whatever you want while pregnant! Pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding) should be the most disciplined, healthy diet and lifestyle time of your life. It is absolutely crucial that you strictly follow the guidelines in this Maintenance Diet and take the supplements recommended above to give your baby the best chance at good health, optimal brain functioning, and avoiding allergies and obesity.

• No processed, packaged foods – cook and eat FRESH.

• No foods containing preservatives, nitrates and nitrites (these have actually been banned by the FDA, they are so carcinogenic to the gut, but the meat industry refused to comply and so they are still in all your commercial hot dogs and deli meats), monosodium glutamate (MSG – it interferes with neural functioning), or anything else that sounds like a manufactured chemical compound.

• No margarine or butter substitutes – often treated with chemical solvents and bleaches, resulting in deformed, highly toxic, trans-fatty acids. Even the cold-pressed margarines are not good as your body doesn’t need so much of those oils, and they prevent you from using butter – which your body needs a lot of. Use real butter (preferably made from raw, organic milk), cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, or unrefined (raw) coconut oil instead. Do not use regular mayonnaise either – only mayonnaise made from cold-pressed oils.

• No artificial sweeteners of any kind (like aspartame, nutrasweet, saccharine, splenda, sucralose, acesulfame-K, etc.) – toxic and proven to cause memory loss, can also be highly addictive and contribute to hyperactivity and seizures in some people. Good sweeteners to use include stevia, honey, molasses, maple syrup, xylitol (too much can cause loose stools though) and rapadura sugar.

• No artificial colors or flavors – especially since the introduction of neural flavor blockers and enhancers.

• No pasteurized milk products; milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc. Raw milk products are okay and actually promote health. But pasteurized or ultrapasteurized (UHT) dairy products must be strictly avoided. For more info on the health benefits of raw milk, see www.realmilk.com

First-Time Moms Or Colicky Babies

You may also want to get my DVD for babies with colic – Baby Fart Aerobics – it was recommended by the top parenting magazine in the U.S. (Parents, March 2006) and even midwives and mothers with 4 kids  have written in to say they wish they’d had this DVD when their children were young.

I don’t just address colic in this DVD, but also burping techniques (so baby doesn’t spit up a lot of milk when burping), projectile vomiting treatment, and how to position a baby who’s fallen asleep on the breast so that you don’t have to burp her/him (and risk baby waking up), but just lay baby down to continue sleeping. Also, how to take a 2-day-old baby into the bath with you, the best way to clean their bum so they never get diaper rash, and so on.

There is a LOT of great how-to demos and info in the video – and I demo everything on my daughter Zara (when she was 8 weeks old) so I show you exactly how to handle a newborn.

If possible, you should get this DVD before you give birth, as it will make life a lot easier for you!

Birthing

As someone who has birthed both at home and at a hospital, the bottom line is you need to birth where YOU feel most safe and comfortable. A smooth birth is all about safety, relaxation and the lowest stress possible.

Something I wish I’d known of at the time, is that birth can also be about… orgasm! Yes, orgasmic birthing is gaining popularity and definitely looks worth trying.

My last 2 babies were born at home in a birth pool and I tell you, when you hit that hot water, the pain drops by half. Makes sense though, the uterus is a muscle and think how relaxing a hot bath is when your muscles are sore or sprained. It is also very calming for the babies to be born underwater and then to avoid all the shocking things they do to them in the hospital (cold, hard weighing scale, needles, eyedrops, etc.). Many hospitals also now have birth pools or baths available, so wherever you are you can give it a try.

Getting Baby and Toddlers To Sleep

One more resource I have for you is Sleeptime Stories (CDs or MP3s) that soothe children and help them drift easily off to sleep with happy, peaceful thoughts and energy. These can be used with you snuggled up with your child, or to help them go to sleep on their own.

Each story is followed by 30 minutes of calming, beautiful music set to ocean waves – and you know how soothing and hypnotic ocean waves are! These are the stories I told to my kids (and they still listen to them). People have written in to say they use them on car journeys, to settle the kids before dinner and even during dental visits! Go have a listen and see what you think…

13 Comments

13 thoughts on “Tips for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms

  1. Hi, I cant seem to find the answer to this one, it’s really tricky. I have the book LTYG, its my bible;) but I need some more help it seems.

    I am pregnant, I have Crohns. During pregnancy I have been unusually well and I am on no medication. Eating probiotics, multivitamins and Omega3. However I have fistulas. At the moment they are not bothering me. My doctor recomends cesarean birth due to these fistulas since the eventuality of ruptures when giving birth could cause long term complications for me (for exampel fistulas from the bowel to the vagina). I have been reading and reading to make a wise choise here!

    Cesarean birht affects the childs gut flora and increases the risk of autoimmune diseases, science tells me. That’s exactly what I do not want my child to suffer from. Would it help to give the newborn baby Natren Life Start right away?

    I have earlier tried to treat fislulas with Wild Oregano Oil but I am not sure if its safe to use during pregnancy.

    Right now I am very confused. What is the best choice for me and my unborn baby? I know only I can answer this question but any help, ideas, experiences or guidence would be highly appreciated!



  2. Hi Milla, As a fellow mom, who’s vaginally birthed 3 babies, I can offer my opinion if it were me…

    It’s really hard to know what to do without knowing exactly where and in what state your fistulas are in… however, any investigation to determine this would likely make them worse, so that’s not really a solution, is it?

    I had scar tissue in my rectum and my first 2 kids were no problem. But my third child’s head was humongous and greatly aggravated this problem and I also wound up with some outpouching (rectocele) as a result of his birth. So… again, who knows how you will fare?

    You absolutely can give your baby Life Start immediately. And also you should take high doses of all 3 species (or Healthy Trinity capsules) as baby will recieve good probiotics through the breastmilk. Then and continue this throughout breastfeeding, non-stop.

    Then when you start giving baby foods, add the adult probiotics in daily doses and continue for at least 3 years. This is what I did with all 3 of my kids, even though they were vaginally born.

    Today, they are 6, 10, 12 and have no bowel issues at all. They continue to receive probiotics (we mix it in yoghurt whenever they have it) and they drink raw milk.

    If I were you, I would meditate and connect with my gut (intuition) and ask myself, will a vaginal birth be helpful or okay with my fistulas, or cause them to worsen?

    And also examine whether experiencing a vaginal birth is something that’s important to you.

    Although, if you are planning to birth in a hospital, your chances of having a vaginal birth (your history will make the attending doc very nervous) are probably not high anyway.

    Also ask your doc – if a fistula did rupture, would you sew it up right away? And then, ask yourself, what would be my plan to keep from tearing the stitches, preventing scar tissue etc.?

    Don’t know if that’s helped you, but at least you have more factors to consider now. And some more questions to help you clarify. Big hugs and best wishes.



  3. Hello Jini,

    I’ve been healing my gut for just over 2 years now. When I began I did not know of the many steps involved. First I got rid of SIBO (happily to say with your Absorb Plus, THANKS!). After this I began working with a functional doctor. Through his testing, I learned that I had a fungus overgrowth in my guts, messed up neurotransmitters (several), was not absorbing my food, had gluten sensitivity, and an autoimmune thyroid. I have since gotten rid of the fungus overgrowth. I am on a highly restricted diet with probiotics and specific meal times. I have just begun Amour Thyroid since I was not healing through diet alone. This was made with the decision to wean off of it when my gut (leaky gut) was healed.

    I have just found out that I am pregnant. This was not planned. I was actually surprised that I was able to get pregnant in my condition. My husband and I have deep concerns! I do not want to bring a child into this world that will be sick from the start of life. And I have read and am afraid that the child will have a high risk for autism.

    I have been so sick for over two years, left without much energy at the end of my work day and extreme bloating and abdominal pain with just about each meal. Although, I have shown some improvements: no more SIBO, no more fungus, neurotransmitter improved but still not perfect.

    I am afraid that with leaky gut, a developing fetus will not get what is needed for a healthy life since I, myself, am not absorbing well. I fear that I will not be able to properly care for a baby when I am sick and exhausted daily. I do not sleep well at night, which make it all worse. I don’t know if my exhausted body can handle a pregnancy. I am also 39 so am already considered a high risk pregnancy. I’m guessing that it is not possible to heal your gut during pregnancy since your body is busy with other priorities.

    Can you provide me with any information that could help me and my husband make a decision? I’m not sure where to find the information that I need. I will have an appointment shortly with a high risk OB GYN specialist. Since this is conventional medicine, I’m afraid that they will not know all of the answers.

    Any help or direction you could provide would be more that appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Renee



  4. RENEE – It seems to me your answer lies in the emotional/spiritual realm, rather than in the physical.

    It’s impossible to predict what your body will physically be like during pregnancy. For many people, their IBD clears right up and it is the healthiest time of their life. For others it intensifies their symptoms.

    I think you will have the clarity and commitment to deal with whatever arises on the physical plane if you have a deep, soul-level awareness that this baby is the right thing for you and part of your destiny.

    A friend of mine who is a hypnotherapist had a client come in who really felt in her soul that she did not want her pregnancy. During the session, the client connected with the baby’s soul, shared love and explained why she couldn’t deal with a child at this time and she asked it compassionately to leave. She had a miscarriage soon afterwards.

    On the flip side, if you come to a soul-level awareness that this baby is part of your destiny and has a clear purpose in your life, then the way you approach and experience everything will change.

    Please read this post for more ideas:

    http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/why-am-i-not-seeing-results/



  5. I have a question about breastfeeding and being on the elemental diet. I tried the abosrbplus shakes and supplements combined with some unprocessed food and my crohn’s still flared horribly (although not as badly as my first when I didn’t have as much information). I have now been doing just the shakes, broths (mushroom, chicken and veggie), for 4 days with the supplements. I am very, very hungry, cranky and worried that babe isn’t getting enough nutrition in the milk. I’m putting lots of flax oil in the shakes, but have you had any Mom’s do the IBD remission diet while breastfeeding? How harmful is it to the diet if I put some avocado in the shakes or have some eggs in it?

    Also, for Milla, I have fistulas as well and was advised to do a c-section (actually more like ordered to, not advised). I worked eventually with an excellent obgyn who helped me plan a controlled delivery (no forceps, no vacuum, 30 minutes of pushing max). I went to a chiropractor and massage therapist nearly everyday two weeks before my due date and also did mainly the absorbplus shakes (with veggies in them too though) and had no issues. I did a lot of emotional work leading up to it dealing with the fear of tearing, etc., but baby came out totally fine after 11 minutes pushing and no issues at all with the fistula. I hope you have peace whatever you decide to do, but it is possible to deliver vaginally with fistulas and not come out wearing diapers! :)



  6. Hi Natasha,

    Thanks so much for posting your info about birthing with fistulas – that is awesome!

    Now, re. the IBD Remission Diet. You don’t need to add eggs, because you are already getting the max amount of protein your body can process at one time in the AP shakes. The avocado might very well work.

    Also, you could add extra coconut oil. Did you try adding (or drinking separately) any green veggie juices? That’s what the lady did in Ch.9 of LTYG when she was pregnant.

    I think the ideas in this other post should really help you – or at least give you some ideas to try (scroll past top part):

    http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/how-do-i-heal-myself-when-im-broke/



  7. Thanks for the reply. I just went for a colonoscopy today (and started bleeding severely from my bowel for the first time in over a year after doing the prep) and it revealed that my entire large bowel is involved, although interestingly enough, the part that is least damaged is the descending colon, which was previously the worst and I have been doing the probiotic retention enemas so am thinking maybe I am not massaging them around enough. I will do the mucosa healing enema tomorrow (bought it while I was pregnant, but no bleeding until now). I am following your post-colonoscopy protocol as well. My surgery consultation is booked for May 6, but I was in hospital while pregnant for the surgery, decided to order the shakes and ended up having a full-term, healthy baby so I’m not giving up just yet! I am thinking this flare is hormone related and also just added in the yam cream? I apologize for the rant. I am a bit drugged up still, but am so frustrated with feeling so powerless and sick. I ended up not being able to continue the elemental diet beyond six days as my daughter was losing weight and my 3 year old was bored of tv watching, but tomorrow I will get more broth supplies, yogurt and my favourite black bananas, green juice veggies and give it another go. Thank you so much for encouraging those of us who have tried so many things and are so sick that sometimes hope is difficult to hang onto. One doctor told me years ago when they wanted to do the surgery that “hope is certainly not floating your boat now is it?” and I look forward to the day (soon) when I can tell them how much power there is in hope and not giving up. THANK YOU!!!



  8. Natasha, you go girl!! You are working so hard and with young kids, please know this is the most difficult time of your entire life! I remember my mum telling me that when mine were little and it helped me know I was not crazy – that it really IS this hard. But also, that you will get through it and it will never be this hard again. My eldest is 13 now and my youngest 6 and I have to say, it looks like my Mum was right – not that I ever doubted her!

    I also STRONGLY encourage you to look at the emotional trauma stored in your gut. If you don’t have a good mind/body therapist (just talk therapy is no good – it must integrate with the physical body), here are two:

    http://www.HealingWithGratitude.com

    http://www.AileenNobles.com

    I will hold space for your healing. Big hugs.



  9. I’m 19 weeks pregnant and have tried so many diets without prevail. I’m currently on a diet of mainly fats, meats and only cooked veggies (I need to have at least 6 tbs of coconut oil a day). It’s been a very difficult diet to follow and I still have constant diarrhea which is preventing me from gaining weight during this pregnancy (number 3) My friend sent me your book and I’m reading it but my question is…is it wise to start the shakes at this stage in my pregnancy or can it create a worse flare since I haven’t had any fruit, starch or sugar for at least 9 months now? Will the shakes really stop my diarrhea or will it take longer than the amount of time I have left in this pregnancy?
    Thanks in advance!



  10. I’m sorry- I failed to mention that I’ve had crohn’s for at least 15 years- two resections. I’ve tried SCD, GAPS…you name it and the diarrhea has yet to subside! I did really well on SCD when I first tried it years ago but know- it doesn’t matter how strict I am- still DIARRHEA! I’ve looked at the elemental diet and being underweight and 20 weeks pregnant means I would need to take at least 9 shakes a day- that’s $60 plus a day and I can’t afford that…I feel like crying! I saw some of your alternative shakes to make but will they give me the nutrience I need for a growing baby? or should I do one of your shakes plus 8 more homemade shakes and the vitamins you recommend for pregnancy? Thanks for your direction!



  11. Thank you for the information! I failed to mention that I have crohn’s and have had it for over 15 years (2 re-sections). I’d like to do the elemental diet but I read that you need at least 9 shakes a day during pregnancy and underweight. That’s about one bin of shake powder a day which I can’t afford. My question- after reading your alternative ways to make a shake…will that be enough calories/protein for the baby? if I substitute maybe 7-8 shakes with it and use your stuff two times a day? or do the black banana and yogurt shakes not substitute Absorb Plus because it’s not predigested (other than the black banana?) All this while taking the supplements you’ve suggested for pregnancy of course.

    Thanks again in advance- eagerly waiting to start feeling better!



  12. Hi Elena,

    If you cannot afford Absorb Plus, the plan that you have outlined with Absorb Plus alongside the homemade shakes should help. If in doubt about the calories/protein being sufficient, it’s always best to check with your doctor.

    It sounds like you have seen it but here’s a link to a recent blog post Jini did, just in case, that might help as well:

    http://blog.listentoyourgut.com/use-common-foods-to-heal-inflammatory-bowel-disease/

    Kind regards,
    Justin
    Customer Care



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

css.php