by Nina Planck, published 2016
This was one of the first books I read on fertility/pregnancy because we already had it in our library (see The Lion’s review of it). Planck’s book dispelled some commonly held beliefs on what pregnant can/cannot consume and further confirmed that the way I eat currently is optimal to maintaining good health. Some interesting/important points I found throughout her book:
- Exercising during pregnancy is good for mother and baby. Walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, rowing, hiking–but never to the point of fatigue. Listen to your body and rest as needed.
- In the second trimester, the growing baby needs protein and calcium to build bone and muscle, so take cod liver oil, eat protein and saturated fats, and drink milk and eat sour cream and cheeses. Raw is better than pasteurized, and supplements are not as effective. Drink the best milk you can afford.
- Swelling in the hands and feet is a sign of protein deficiency, so try to eat 100g daily of meat/poultry (skin + bones), fish, eggs, and milk.
- Salt your food freely (with unrefined sea salt) because blood and amniotic fluid are briny! And eat plenty of fresh produce for potassium
- Keep up the calcium intake even though the baby’s skeleton has formed by six months because the bones are still bulking up. Eat oysters and beef for zinc, and eat protein (meat, dairy, eggs) to prevent swelling and prematurity. Obviously, drink lots of water and eat tons of fish to aid in baby’s brain development!
- “Don’t avoid fish, just methylmercury.” No shark, swordfish, King mackerel, or tilefish. Two to three times per week, consume anchovy, common mackerel, salmon, catfish, trout, tilapia (wild caught and fresh) and be generous with the butter and cream (creamy clam chowder for days, yum…).
- On Birth Day: the atmosphere should be dark, private, and quiet. After birth, hold the baby naked against your skin and ask to delay bathing and weighing. Let the baby look at you, smell you. Newborns aren’t dirty, but if bathing is necessary, do so gently without removing the white stuff (vernix). Try not to cut the cord until the placenta is delivered.
- The mama’s hormones are working on realigning after birth, so emotions may still be up and down. Continue the diet of red meat, fish, and liver to prevent worsening the baby blues.
- Get lots of help on practical matters so you can gently surrender to your baby’s needs, unpredictable as they are.
- Breastfeed [exclusively] if possible (and for as long as possible! At least for 6-12 mos) because breastmilk contains probiotics, antibodies, amylase, and boosts immunity for the newborn. Keep eating well.
- From four to ten months (once they can sit up), babies can try real food, as long as theres not vomiting or diarrhea. At seven months, the baby can eat seafood, pork and dairy. At one year, time for the baby to start his/her cod liver oil supplements!
- Let the baby choose what he/she wants to eat, don’t micromanage/point/stare/direct. Do less, RELAX.
- Surrender your old life temporarily to be the mother that nature intended. Ask for help (cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping), and nurse on cue (aka when the baby asks).
- Watch the baby, not the clock! There is no schedule for breastfeeding.
- Bread and chocolate (grains and sugar) are inevitable, so try to find ones with good, clean ingredients. Let your child know over time why you favor certain foods over others. Try not to let the child fill up on bread before fats and protein.
TL;DR Avoid trans fats and pesticides. Buy organics and avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, and cheap fried foods.
TL;DR2 Breast feed your baby. Nurse after the baby starts eating. Delay or skip vaccinations. Spend time on farms and outside in the dirt. Touch animals. Drink raw milk.