Chapter 3 A Healthy Pregnancy, by Sally Fallon Morrell and Thomas S. Cowan
Elisabeth Elliot, “Keep a Quiet Heart,” How to Keep Peace
(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)
When we are strong, or deem ourselves strong–we are really weak, since then we trust in ourselves, and do not seek Divine help. But when we are consciously weak, knowing ourselves unequal to our duties and struggles–we are strong, because then we turn to Christ and get His strength.
Too many people think that their weakness is a barrier to their usefulness, or make it an excuse for doing little with their life. Instead of this, however, if we trust Christ, He will transform our weakness into strength. He says His strength is made perfect in weakness; that is, what is lacking in human strength, He fills and makes up with Divine strength.
Paul had learned this when he said he gloried now in his weaknesses, because on account of them the strength of Christ rested upon him–so that when he was weak, then he was strong.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong!” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Ch. 3, “A Healthy Baby,”
The most obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. You can do a pregnancy test to find out for sure. These work by detecting a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) in the blood or urine. The embryo begins to produce HCG on implantation in the uterus: this helps maintain progesterone production, critical for a pregnancy in humans.
You can do an at home pregnancy test that measure HCG in the urine. They are very accurate if used correctly and at the right time-no earlier than one week after a missed period.
Fatigue is a common early sign of pregnancy. Get as much sleep as your body tells you it needs! Don’t be tempted by caffeinated drinks to keep yourself awake. She suggests a glass of raw milk or mug of broth or molasses and coconut oil in hot water. Important to get the sleep you need during the early weeks of pregnancy.
If you have prepared for pregnancy with the diet outline in Ch.1 you won’t need need to make any fundamental changes. However soft unaged cheeses-both raw and pasteurized-can carry Listeria monocytogene which can cause you to miscarry. These should be avoided during pregnancy. Another common source is deli and luncheon meats. For those who have taken care to build up healthy gut flora prior to pregnancy, the risk of serious infection from L. mono is low.
If you have discovered these dietary guideline after becoming pregnant, its important to implement them right away, eliminating refined carbs and processed foods, while incorporating as many nutrient-dense foods into your diet as you can. However foods that may cause allergic or die-off reaction, such as kombucha, should be introduced very slowly if you haven’t consumed them before your pregnancy. If you are new to raw milk, start with one-fourth cup per day, sipped at room temperature, and build up gradually to the recommended one quart per day.
Same with animal fats if you aren’t used to including butter and other healthy fats in your diet. Start slowly and build up gradually.
If you crave fatty and sour foods, be sure to satisfy your cravings with foods of the best quality possible-butter, cream and egg yolks from grass-fed animals and true lacto-fermented condiments.
Morning Sickness-can rob you of an appetite during the critical early weeks of pregnancy. It is a condition that affects more than half of all pregnant women, to a greater or lesser extent. It is usually present in the early morning, but can occur at any time of day, often triggered by sensitivity to odors. The nausea usually tapers off at the end of the first semester. Morning sickness makes it that much more important to prepare for your pregnancy with nutrient dense foods to build up nutritional stores.
Theories that Cause Morning Sickness-
Increased hormone levels-estrogen may increase by up to one hundred fold during pregnancy. Studies find no consistent evidence of difference in estrogen levels between women who experience sickness and those who don’t. However those who experience morning sickness may lack the enzymatic mechanism for clearing the hormone.
Toxin theory-pregnancy sickness causes women to experience nausea when exposed to toxins that may harm the baby
Morning sickness seems to be rare or nonexistent among truly primitive peoples, so we can only assume that morning sickness is not a natural reaction to pregnancy.
My note, mitzi—seems like I have read that being low in magnesium can contribute to morning sickness. Not sure about that though.
She says that one logical explanation for pregnancy nausea is a lack of bile. The body m makes bile, needed to digest fats, from cholesterol as well. If not enough cholesterol is available to handle the excess requirements of pregnancy, them most available cholesterol will be sequestered to the production of estrogen and progesterone, with not enough available for the production of bile. In this situations, ingesting fatty foods could cause nausea.
Pregnant women should NEVER take anti nausea medications such as Zofran or promethazine, which in addition to unknown effects on you developing baby, can have some severe side effects for pregnant moms, including dizziness,p drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and weakness.
Thalidominde tragedy-now discredited drug, in which thousands of babies were born with gross deformities of the arms and legs, originated in West Germany, where the drug was very developed and prescribed. It was withdrawn in 1961.
The days when physicians cautioned women to avoid all drugs during pregnancy have passed, but it is still the only safe policy for pregnant women to follow. That means avoiding all antibiotics, and all over the counter drugs like aspiring and Advil as well.
Important way to avoid morning sickness is to avoid low blood sugar by consuming plenty of fats and eating frequently enough to avoid having an empty stomach. If fats are causing nausea, take Swedish bitters (one half teaspoon in water) or an ox bile tablet with each meal. Be sure to eat fatty foods with sour lactofermented foods, which help digest the foods. If the lactofermented foods cause nausea, try squeezing fresh lemon juice on you food to provide a sour taste.
The most common alternative treatment for morning sickness are ginger, acupuncture, and supplements of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 tends to be marginal or low in women suffering severe morning sickness. Pyridoxal 5 phosphate (a form of vitamin B6) in sublinqual tablets may help, but you should first try obtaining the vitamin from food.
Two good sources of vitamin B6 are liver and bananas-banana might be more palatable than liver in cases of severe morning sickness, but a nicely seasoned liver pate consumed in the evening could be just the ticked for avoiding nausea in the morning.
Raw milk provides complete nourishment, including very usable vitamin B6, along with unadulterated fats that can stabilize blood sugar. For increased effectiveness, add some powered ginger and a little molasses to the milk, set the glass in simmering water and heat gently.
Also bone broth with added coconut milk or cream can be sipped to avoid nausea. Fresh ginger can be added or simply use in hot water, making a ginger tea.
Some women have reported relief with magnesium salt baths. Magnesium rich foods include nuts and legumes.
If you have been vomiting or unable to eat, it is critical to avoid dehydration. Sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon juice plus a generous pinch of salt is our best bet for quenching thirst and lemon juice and salt may help cut down on the nausea. Bone broth also works as a good hydrators.
Weight Gain: As a general rule, you should gain about five pounds during your first three months of pregnancy and one pound per week during the remainder. But if you gain more, and feel well, don’t worry. It’s better for your baby for you to gain a little too much weight than not enough. If you feel you are gaining more than a little too much, cut back on carbohydrate foods like potatoes and bread, but not on nutritious animal foods like raw milk, butter, seafood and meat.
Exercise During Pregnancy: It’s very important, but don’t over do-marathon running, contact sports, and extreme workouts are not a good idea, neither is diving to tag someone out on the softball field, like I did when I was pregnant with my son! (mitzi’s note)
I enjoyed watching a group of young Mom’s exercise in the park when I was in Panama City recently. These young Mom’s had their small children with them in strollers, and they walked briskly through the park, and then stopped and did stretching and strengthening exercises while their young children played.
Exercises that strengthen the abdomen and lower back will prepare you for the extra weight of the third trimester and make delivery easier. Be careful, with exercises that put stress and strain on the joints, such as excessive stretching and hanging. During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which is designed to loosen the joints and make delivery easier.
Swimming is a great activity during pregnancy if you have access to warm sea water, clean fresh water or a salt water-treated swimming pool. Another ideal activity during pregnancy is gardening because it involves squatting. Gardening strengthens all the muscles in a natural and relaxed way. Don’t forget sexual intercourse which stimulates labor and studies show decreases your chances of preeclampsia due to the immune factors in the father’s semen.
Treating Anemia in Pregnancy-Anemia in pregnancy not only makes the mother tired, but it can have adverse effects on the mental development of the child.
Eat grass fed liver often, sauteed, pate, or liverwurst
Make sure you are taking cod liver oil. Vitamin A is needed to absorb iron.
Avoid refined carbs and sugars
Take B12 Sublingual methylcobalamin tabs from Jarrow Formulas one daily
Floradix Iron Plus Herbs-digestive aid
Blackstrap Molasses is a good source of iron and makes a great afternoon pick me up-2 tablespoons in a mug with hot water. You can add a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a half tsp of ginger.
Check for Candida that can cause anemia, need to do that before pregnancy, and eat plenty of lacto fermented foods such as sauerkraut…check with a holistic doctor or integrative doctor or others to check or Candida and treat on that. It is of UTMOST importance to make sure your gut is healthy so you can absorb the full amount of nutrients and your baby can absorb the nutrients it needs.
Travel During Pregnancy- travel by airplane should be minimized, especially during the
first and third trimesters. Airplane cabin air, pulled from the engines, is poorly filters and may contain some nasty chemicals; on some international flights, passengers are sprayed with pesticides. Exposure to radiation while flying might have adverse effects, and cabin pressure changes trigger early labor, much like women who go into labor during hurricanes.
Visits to Practitioner:
Unfortunately, the condition of pregnancy provides fertile ground for interventions of every description-blood tests, physical exams, vaccinations, pharmaceutical drugs and high teach screening. The vast majority o these interventions are not only unnecessary, but they also carry some risk.
Pregnant women have lots of choices and in most cases the best choice is to just say no. There is no reason to rush into your first prenatal exam…most conventional doctors wait until at least two months for the first visit.
When making the kinds of decisions facing pregnant women, the Internet is your best friend. NEVER, NEVER submit to a medical procedure without researching the benefits and side effects, ESPECIALLY when you are pregnant.
See Autism Birth Induction Article:
Interesting Read about the Autism Birth Induction Connection from Thinking Mom’s Revolution-link to vaccines MUCH stronger connection to Autism, all can contribute to Autism.
Flu Shots for Pregnant Women:
Be ready to say “no” to that one. The flu is rarely a threat to a normal pregnancy and there is no convincing evidence that flu vaccines are effective during pregnancy anyway. Many flu vaccines contain the mercury based preservative thimerosal, which can cause birth defects, even those which don’t claim to have any have trace amounts. Toxic aluminum often replaces mercury as a preservative in vaccines.
he risks to anyone taking the vaccine:
fever, fatigue, painful joints and headache
most serious reaction is Guillain-Barre syndrome which most often occurs within two to four weeks of vaccine Guillaume Barre is an immune mediated nerve disorder characterized by muscle weakness, unsteady gain, numbness, tingling, pain and sometimes paralysis o one or more limbs or the face. Recovery can take several months and include residual weakness- Not something you want to risk while you are pregnant! All this for a shot that may not even tailored to the current year’s flu virus. According to one study, the shot covers only about 10 percent of they types of flu going around.
The flu during pregnancy is to be taken seriously. It depletes vitamin A, particularly if you have the flu with a high fever. If you get the flu, increase your dose of cod liver oil until all the symptoms are passed, stay in bed and take plenty of liquids, especially nourishing bone broths.
Ways below to build up your system to protect against the flu BEFORE pregnancy: My note: Be sure and check on oregano, essential oils, herbal teas. Some of these can be harmful during pregnancy. DO NOT DETOX YOUR LIVER or anything else during pregnancy!! Detoxing during pregnancy can definitely harm your baby!
These often lead to agonizing decisions based on incomplete knowledge. The book says that much of this testing is completely pointless unless the parents would choose to terminate the pregnancy. Our class and our beliefs as CHRISTians is that terminating the pregnancy is murder of a child created by GOD. HE is the one creating that child fearfully and wonderfully in it’s mothers womb, and any “defect,” HE allows can and will be used for your good, your baby’s good and HIS glory. Romans 8:28, and Psalm 139.
Ultrasound or Sonography is generally described as a “safe test.” because it doesn’t
use mutagenic ionizing radiation, which can pose hazards such as chromosome breakage and cancer development.
HOWEVER, in 2008, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine published a report which stated that ultrasound indeed poses some potential risks. Frequent exposure to ultrasound is associated with:
a decrease in newborn body weight
an increase in the frequency of non genetic left handedness
delayed speech and potential speech impediments from damage to the inner ear.
When pregnant mice were exposed to ultrasound, they manifested significant alterations in behavior, also negative effects on embryonic development, including impairment off adult brain function.
A study from Australia found that actively dividing cells of the embryonic and fetal central nervous system are most readily disturbed by prolonged ultrasound.
Another study found brain hemorrhages in mouse pups exposed to ultrasound at doses similar to those used on human babies.
Also study showed ultrasound causing a 22 percent reduction in rate of cell division and doubling of the rate of apoptosis of cells in the small intestine.
Other research has found ultrasound induces bleeding in the lungs among other mammals, including newborns.
Our book says the truth is that the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all advise against the routine or unnecessary use of ultrasound Therein lies the dilemma: is it really necessary to determine your baby’s sex, position, size and growth rate using ultrasound?
With the exception of sex determination, all this can be done by an experience physician using hands-on skills and a fetoscope ( a stethoscope designed to listen to the baby’s heartbeat). And sex determination can now be very accurately accomplished at seven weeks with an over the counter blood test.
When ultrasound reveals a potential problem in the fetus, parents find themselves on an emotional roller coaster. Ultrasound technicians are wrong as often as they are right, and when a family is told that their unborn baby has some kind of defect, they will spend the rest of the pregnancy worrying, crying and in some cases may abort the baby because they are told it has an abnormality. Remember, having an ultrasound does not reduce the risk of birth defects-only sound nutrition and avoidance of environmental toxins can do that.
The bottom line is these tests are not risk free, not completely accurate and definitely not something that makes life easier for prospective parents. They may be justified under certain conditions but their use in normal pregnancies is questionable.
Thoughtful parents can exert a lot of control over both diet and environment, and the more diligently they prepare for conception and pay attention to the diet during gestation, the better their chances for a normal and optimally healthy child.
Staying Cool During Pregnancy
Raised body temperature poses a threat to the developing fetus, this is one of the dangers of ultrasound, what about things like hot tubs, steam rooms, sauna and hot baths? In a report on the effects of heat on fetuses, researchers warned that “hyperthermia during pregnancy can cause embryonic death, abortion, growth retardation and developmental defects. A study published by in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who used hot tubs or sauna during early pregnancy face up to triple the risk of bearing babies with spina bifida or brain defects.
Hot tubs and prolonged hot baths present greater dangers than other heat therapies such a sauna and steam rooms, because the immersion in water foils the body’s attempt to cool off via perspiration. This doesn’t mean you can’t take regular baths and showers while pregnant; just don’t linger or make them too hot.
While fever plays an important role in childhood, it’s not a good idea during pregnancy. She mentions using a “Lemon Sock” to help reduce fever. To make a lemon sock, squeeze one lemon into a bowl of tepid water. Dip a large cotton cloth in the water and squeeze it out so it is just damp. Wrap one foot with the cloth, starting from the toes and going to mid calf, then cover with a large sock. Repeat for the other foot and get into bed. Leave the socks on until the damp cloth has dried completely. This should help the body assimilate the fever in a healthy way.
Homeopathic medicine for bringing down fever is Apis Belladonna from Weleda or Uriel Pharmacy. The dose is five pills sublingually every hour or two until the fever subsides.
Finally an herbal tea of elder flower, lime flower, ginger and yarrow encourages sweating and can help lower a fever quickly.
Fetal Heart Monitor
The device contains a probe to detect high frequency sound waves produced by your baby’s heart. To amplify the sound, a gel, oil or water solution is spread onto your belly. It is then moved around until the heartbeat is detected. There is sufficient evidence that multiple pulse ultrasound scans, or any ultrasound scan by an unskilled operator may cause harm. Why subject your unborn baby to anything that may cause damage when a fetoscope works just as well?
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (diabetes) that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Mothers with gestational diabetes have an increased risk for high blood pressure during pregnancy. In severe cases, symptoms may include blurred vision, fatigue, frequent infections (especially of the bladder, vagina and skin), increased thirst, increased urination, nausea, vomiting and weight loss. Often, the blood sugar (glucose) level returns to normal after delivery.
These Mothers tend to have larger babies at birth-a baby over 10 pd always raises the suspicion of gestational diabetes. Having a larger baby can increase the chance of birth trauma because of baby’s large size; having a large baby increases the chance of delivery by C section.
This is puzzling…babies born to mothers following her nutrient dense diet tend to be smaller than average with denser bones. (My note, I thought she said earlier, they were bigger, like 8 pds?). Often when baby is weighted, she turns out to be two or more pds heavier than she looks.
Best protection against gestational diabetes is a diet low in refined carbohydrates, containing adequated animal protein and rich in healthy fats, along with moderate exercise, all of which act together to keep the blood sugar stable. The diet should also include the fat soluble vitamins, which our organs need to work properly. In particular, vitamin D is needed for insulin production. The requirements are increased in pregnancy, as vitamin D plays an important role in building of the baby. If your intake is inadequate, pancreatic function may be sacrificed to the needs of growing baby.
Gestational diabetes is becoming a growing problem so much that doctors routinely recommend an oral glucose tolerance test between twenty four and twenty eight weeks of pregnancy, and this test is much more risky than the casual plasma glucose test or Alc test. Don’t get the dangerous oral glucose test that can cause a sudden and sharp plummet in the pregnant mom’s glucose.
Sally Fallon says, don’t be afraid of putting loads of butter on everything you eat including vegetables, meat and seafood.
She said above all, it is important to ensure adequate intake of vitamin D, as vitamin D is critical to the production of insulin. That means consuming cod liver oil, grassfed butter and egg yolks, grassed lard and seafood like shrim and fish eggs.
Natural Treatments for Improving Glucose Tolerance:
Cinnamon- put on porridge or toast
Gymnema-Mediherb makes a tablet that can be taken one tablet two or three times per day to improve carbohydrate metabolism
Rosemary-herb taken internally or rosemary oil baths
Rubella and other Viruses
Most children and adults fully recover from rubella with few complications. However, rubella infection in a pregnant woman during the first three months of pregnancy can result in miscarriage, fetal death or a baby with a birth defect, such as deafness, eye, hear, liver or skin problems, or mental retardation-a complex of abnormalities referred to as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
Conventional medicine treats the rubella problem with vaccines and if a pregnant women is determined to have no immunity, she is advised to avoid people who have rubella and get a shot after delivery. If it is offered during pregnancy in today’s vaccine-happy atmosphere, as with all medications during pregnancy, the safest response is still, “no.” The triple MMR vaccine-it is impossible to get a vaccine for rubella alone- has a long list of adverse side effects.
Taking COD Liver Oil with Vitamins A and D and other vitamin A rich foods is a better strategy then vaccines for preventing birth defects induced by the many known viruses.
Conventional advice on swelling includes the suggestion to reduce salt consumption, but you need salt for digestion, and baby needs salt for neurological development. Avoiding all processed foods, which contain not only salt but refined carbs, the wrong fats and plenty of additives is the first step for avoiding or reducing swelling. Raw milk sipped through the day is an excellent treatment for edema. However, if you are allergic to the milk, or can’t digest the protein, it’s not good. ( my notes). Foods rich in potassium, such as bananas or potassium broth can be helpful.
Preclampsia, Toxemia, and Eclampsia
Preeclampsia, characterized by sudden swelling in the hands and face, is caused by high blood pressure during pregnancy, often with accompanying toxemia-a decline in liver and kidney function. Usually edema of pregnancy happens gradually, but in preclampsia, abnormally high blood pressure causes noticeable facial and hand swelling; if you experience sudden swelling, contact your doctor. He or she will monitor blood pressure and test for protein in the urine.
Mild cases are ot dangerous but occasionally preclampsia develops into full blown eclampsia, characterized by what is referred to as the HELLP syndrome-hemolysis (breaking of the red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. In addition to swelling, other symptoms can include headache, nausea and vomiting, upper abdominal pain and vision problems. This condition can have serious consequences, including permanent liver and kidney dame in the mother and death in the infant.
Most cases the preeclampsia is mild often manifesting simply as elevated blood pressure without any other symptoms. In these situations bed rest is advised until the baby reaches term. Treatment with Epsom salt baths may help bring the blood pressure down. Epsom salts contain magnesium which helps to bring down BP, among causing over 300 enzymes to activate in our bodies.
In a hospital setting, you may be treated with blood pressure lowering medication, and steroids to hasten development of the baby’s lungs. Doctors also may suggest treatment with IV mag sulfate to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of seizures and delay birth until the baby comes to term
As with all other problems in pregnancy, best defense is a good diet, devoid of junk food and rich in protein and saturated fats-saturated fats are highly protective of the liver. Preeclampsia is associated with low levels of selenium, vitamin D and protein.
Too much stress during pregnancy can use up vital nutritional stores, especially Vit. A. Worry and stress can be especially hard on the adrenal glands, leading to adrenal fatigue in both mother and baby….so set boundaries, and try to get extra rest. Pregnancy is not the time to take on new projects, launch a business venture, organize a conference, etc.