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)
• Protein shake or if you have digestive difficulties, then Absorb Plus – as needed – if underweight, or no time to eat properly, or as a super easy vehicle to carry all your supplements!
• 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.
• Raspberry leaf tea – Traditional Medicinals has a good one. Known by herbalists to strengthen the uterus.
• 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).
Watch Out For WiFi Radiation
This is a newer health threat and it is particularly damaging to fertility. I have many blog posts providing the original research and data on this radiation (type “wifi radiation” into my blog SEARCH box and it will pull them all up for you) and why it’s harmful. So here I’m just going to give you the to-do list! If you’re really serious about eliminating infertility or miscarriage, then also:
- Get rid of the WiFi in your house – this means switching from wireless computers to cable or fibre optic hardwired computers; switching from cordless phones to old-fashioned plug-in landline phones and turning off your cell phones (or putting them in Airplane mode) when you’re in the house.
- Do not carry your cell phone or wireless device on your body and especially not near your genitals or uterus when it is turned on (or turn off WiFi and put it in Airplane mode). It was a fertility clinic in Buenos Aires who first figured this one out – when they went looking for WHY all the men coming in had really low sperm count and motility.
- When you do use your cell phone, hold it away from your body on speakerphone. When you’re done, pop it back into Airplane mode. If you do need to carry it around turned on, then put it in a bag or satchel that you carry away from your body.
If you cannot make any changes at this time, then at least make sure all wifi devices are turned completely off (with modems you actually have to unplug them from the wall) at night while you sleep. Sleep is the body’s time to heal and regenerate, but if your cell walls are hardened in protection, then how is your body supposed to flush toxins and regenerate?
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!
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…