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A pregnant woman has special nutritional needs, as she is growing a baby inside her. It is very important, regardless of her Metabolic Type, that she eats protein at each meal. Group I types (Slow Oxidizers and Sympathetics) in particular may need to increase their protein intake and, with it, their intake of beneficial fats. Naturally occurring fats are very important to developing infants (including saturated fats and cholesterol, which are high in breast milk because they are needed to build up the nervous system). The very worst thing you could do is to go on a very low-fat diet when pregnant. Eat naturally fattier foods, like fish (though minimize tuna, mackerel and swordfish because of mercury contamination), fish eggs (roe), shellfish, meats (organic and/or free range, when possible), good quality dairy products (preferably organic or raw), and butter. Traditional cultures have always have always gone to great lengths to feed fat-rich foods like these to pregnant and lactating women whenever they were available.

 However, avoid trans fatty acids like the plague they are; they are found in all fast foods (including French fries), most processed foods and commercial baked goods, most margarine, movie popcorn, vegetable shortening, and anywhere you see the term "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil". Trans fats are extremely dangerous, both to mother and child (they have been outlawed in some European countries!), and are the true villains of the fat wars, not naturally occurring saturated fats or cholesterol (to which they are often, wrongly, compared).

The omega-3 fatty acid DHA (not be confused with the hormone DHEA) is the most important fatty acid for developing infants (it directly feeds the brain and nervous system, and is associated with the development of intelligence); the easiest way to get it is from fish and/or fish oil. I would recommend taking a good quality fish oil supplement, such as Arctic Omega from Nordic Naturals (at least 3,000 mg/day), or a couple of teaspoons daily of Carlson's Cod Liver Oil (there is no fishy taste; it tastes of lemon). Avoid cheap, "bargain basement" fish oil products, which are often rancid or contaminated with heavy metals. Another way to get DHA is from a special type of egg that you should be able to find in natural food stores, known variously as omega-3 or DHA eggs. All eggs have some omega-3 fatty acids in them but, in these eggs, the chickens have been fed flax seeds which they rapidly convert into DHA (typically about 225 mg per egg). A couple of these a day would be excellent (eggs also contain every other known nutrient except vitamin C, and are especially rich in folic acid, the other B-vitamins, and the brain food lecithin; they are arguably the perfect food).

For a salad/culinary oil, use extra virgin olive oil, preferably cold pressed and organic. It may also be used for low-heat cooking (as may butter), but it's better still to use coconut oil (such as Omega Nutrition's, available from our office), the only oil (other than animal fat) that is not easily damaged by heat. Some people are leery of coconut oil because it is almost 100% saturated, but it is a very healthy oil. Almost 50% is a special saturated fatty acid called lauric acid (which is also found in high quantities in human breast milk), a powerful anti-microbial, immune-enhancing substance. Most of the remaining saturates in coconut oil are in the short- and medium-chain form, which are used for energy, not stored as body fat.

Also, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables, especially the dark leafy greens (preferably organically grown to reduce the baby's exposure to pesticides and other agricultural chemicals) for their nutritional and fiber content. You may want to add into the diet some "superfoods" like algae, barley powder, whey powder, nutritional yeast and bee pollen, all of which provide concentrated nutrients.

Some women find that regular chiropractic adjustments help make the delivery process easier. An herb called helonius root (by Herb Pharm) may be taken on the day of delivery to help with dilation. Don't use other herbs therapeutically without consulting a practitioner (except for the usual herb teas or culinary herbs), as some herbs can induce miscarriage or have other unwanted effects during pregnancy.

Vaccinations for infants are becoming very controversial. Hospitals will often given multiple vaccinations at one time, a highly dangerous practice that can lead to serious developmental and health problems. If you do decide to have your baby vaccinated, have them give the vaccines separately, at least a month apart. Also do not let the hospital staff give your baby the hepatitis B vaccine (which is routinely given to newborn babies); it is linked by strong circumstantial evidence to autism (despite denials from the medical community) and is very dangerous. It is also meaningless to give it to an infant in the first place, unless the mother actively has the disease, as hepatitis B is usually only contracted through sexual activity or intravenous drug use, and the vaccine wears off long before the child reaches an age where he or she may engage in these activities. An excellent and balanced book on this topic is Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent's Guide by Aviva Jill Romm.

Try to minimize exposure to airborne chemicals, like solvents, fresh paint and gasoline fumes (stand away from the nozzle when pumping gas), and keep your home well ventilated (there are usually more airborne pollutants in an unventilated home than in the air outdoors). Also, try to avoid exposure to strong electromagnetic fields (e.g. avoid transformers; stand at least six feet away from a microwave oven when it is in use; keep cell phone conversations as brief as possible, especially in cars which boost the cell phone signal, and use a hands’ free headset; and avoid medical or dental X-rays unless absolutely essential).

Pregnant women need a minimum of 800 mcg of folic acid daily (it is safe, even at much higher doses), and it should preferably be started before conception, as its protective properties are most needed in the very earliest stages of pregnancy. However, no more than 10,000 i.u. of supplemental vitamin A is recommended daily (though beta-carotene or mixed carotenes are fine) because of a somewhat theoretical concern over vitamin A toxicity (though, in practice, this is probably only a concern with synthetic retinol, which is toxic in high doses). A good quality, balanced multi-vitamin (like Formula III) is recommended, with additional folic acid to bring up the daily supplemental dose to 800 mcg. A good probiotic formula (like Culturelle) is also advised, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy and during lactation, as it helps to reduce the incidence of colic and ear infections in the infant after birth.

 

 

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