The Optimal Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Breastfeeding in a field of grass

Not all breast milk is created equal

Due to the fact that we’ve so often heard that “breast milk is best”, some are actually surprised to learn that the quality of a mother’s breast milk can vary depending on her diet. A mother’s diet determines the amount and kinds of fat in her milk. Babies need fat. It is essential for growth, especially for the development of the nervous system and of the brain, which is 60% fat.  As Kerstin Peterson explains in her article Top-quality breast milk: “A 1999 study in the scientific journal Lipids showed that breast milk could have a very wide range of fat content. Depending on their mothers’ diet, some babies get 2% milk, and others get up to 9%, the equivalent of table cream. Which babies are getting better nutrition? Lactating women on high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets have been found to experience a decrease in their milk fat levels, which is associated with infant neurological problems and failure to thrive.”

Recommended Diet

Here is the diet the Weston A. Price Foundation recommends for pregnant and nursing mothers. For further reading, we highly recommend the books Nourishing Traditions and Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, available via our Amazon affiliation.

  • Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day.  Read about why Nourishing Our Children recommends fermented cod liver oil.
  • 1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows. Learn more about raw milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows. See our complete list of recommended traditional fats
  • 2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens [and preferably soy free]
  • Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.
  • 3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week. If you have been told to avoid liver for fear of getting “too much Vitamin A,” be sure to read Vitamin A Saga.
  • Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs
  • Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat – preferably 100% grass-fed
  • Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin.  For oily fish, we recommend Vital Choice’s canned sardines and mackerel via our affiliate program, and love this recipe.  Nourished Kitchen teaches how to render lard.
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc. We recommend organic cold-pressed coconut oils such as Artisana, Garden of Life and Barlean’s.
  • Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages – such as sauerkraut and beet kvass
  • Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces
  • Soaked whole grains
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits – preferably organic

Avoid

  • Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils) – these are in many of the industrially processed foods found in packages, cans and boxes, even if labeled 0% because of labeling laws*.  As such, it is recommended that you stick with foods that have a single ingredient such as: apple.  Trans fats can be cleared from a mother’s system in about two weeks if she avoids eating them and consumes traditional fats instead.
  • Junk foods – perhaps the term is an oxymoron. “There is no junk food.  There is junk and there is food.”
  • Commercial fried foods
  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Soft drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs (even prescription drugs)

Nourishing Our Children adds:

Important Warning

The Weston A. Price Foundation publishes this warning with their recommendations, “Cod liver oil contains substantial levels of omega-3 EPA, which can cause numerous health problems, such as hemorrhaging during the birth process, if not balanced by arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in liver, egg yolks and meat fats. Please do not add cod liver oil to a diet that is deficient in these important animal foods. It is important to follow our diet for pregnant mothers in its entirety, not just selected parts of it.”

Have you followed these dietary recommendations while pregnant and/or breastfeeding? How have they served you?

 

*The FDA’s guidelines for trans fat labeling allows companies to list zero trans fats when there is actually as much as 500mg trans per serving. That could be a lot of trans fat to unwittingly eat, especially if that food is a frequent choice.
Sources
 I  believe these are the 2 studies referenced in this article that I link to above:  1. http://www.bancodelecheantigua.com/docs/lipidos%20en%20leche%20humana.pdf
2. http://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-997-0137-6
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93 Comments

Filed under Babies, Nourishing Our Children, Nutrient Dense Foods, Raw Milk, Recipes

93 responses to “The Optimal Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

  1. Fantastic information. Thank You!!

  2. Angie

    I wish I had known about Weston A. Price when I had my baby. He’s 10 1/2, but if/when I get the opportunity to have more children, you can bet they’ll be well-fed. :)

  3. Leslie

    While I would LOVE to drink a quart of Raw milk a day my baby seems to think otherwise… her little tummy is ALWAYS upset when I have even a mere 4oz… any recommendations??

  4. I agree with the diet and do my best but I am not perfect. I will always breastfeed my babies regardless of my diet and whether or not I have the financial means to eat the recommended diet. There is NO substitute for breastmilk. NONE. A baby may grow on a raw milk formula but it isn’t and never will be the same as breastmilk. Breastmilk is not best, it is normal. We need to get rid of that mantra of thought.
    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/watch-your-language.html

    There is no way that any formula will ever match the nutrient profile in breastmilk.
    http://bcbabyfriendly.ca/whatsinbreastmilkposter.pdf

    (Disclaimer: Yes, I am fully aware that not everyone can breastfeed, private breastmilk donation should be the first choice and then raw milk formula. Both kinds of milk should be from someone the mother trusts)

    Just a little more info for World Breastfeeding Week :)

    • Hi Megan,

      I personally prefer to stay clear of terms such as “normal”. In this discussion, I wouldn’t want a woman who can’t breastfeed to be characterized as “abnormal”. This is a post about the optimal diet for pregnant and nursing mothers, as proposed by the Weston A. Price Foundation. I have purposefully stayed clear of any discussion about the homemade milk/liver formulas in this post being that those formulas and any debate about their value is all well covered in other posts. Clearly, not everyone is in a position to integrate these dietary recommendations for a variety of reasons however, I wanted them documented in our blog archives nonetheless.

    • luckylass319

      Anecdotal tale – my mom tried so hard to breastfeed, but her babies would lose weight and wither away despite her very healthy diet. She tried every natural means possible, but nothing helped. She switched to the raw milk formula (after attempts with goat milk and other substitutes) and her babies THRIVED. They are huge, fat, healthy and have perfect teeth. She has given the recipe to several other women with similar issues and the results were fabulous. Even her skeptical doctor called her for the recipe! I’m sorry, but today’s women often have faulty digestion and hormone issues. I would NOT trust pasteurized donor milk. My first option would be a healthy friend whose diet I knew and trusted. After that, I’d do the raw milk formula from healthy grass fed cows or goats. Just as cow milk from industrial cows can be detrimental to your health, I would say that pasteurized milk from an unhealthy mother can pass on transfats, and toxins from bad gut pathogens among other things not to mention that any pasteurized milk is very hard to digest.

      • I personally agree with who wholeheartedly! If I were in a position whereby I couldn’t breastfed successfully, I would definitely favor the homemade raw milk/liver formulas to donor milk from a mother whose diet may contain trans fat or may have other issues of concern. Despite my best attempts to stay clear of that topic, the mere mention of breast milk and the debate is raised!

  5. Ana

    I was following this diet exclusively for months up to conceiving, but as soon as 5 1/2 weeks came along I could eat nothing but fruit and bland sprouted wheat products. At 15 1/2 weeks now I’ve managed to add in raw milk in the company of cereal, egg yolks in milk/kefir smoothies, cold chicken, and salads but other meat, clo, eggs, cooked veggies and straight milk still make me gag and get sick. I keep hoping I’ll feel better and be able to eat all I should soon, but it hasn’t happened and I feel so bad knowing that my baby is missing a lot of important things. Maybe my previous perfect nutrition will hold out for a while? Any advice?

    • Quick note — we don’t recommend extruded breakfast cereals: http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Cereal.html, in case that is what you are consuming. Here is a homemade cereal you may enjoy in it’s place: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=434499140171&set=a.16569206517

      Sally Fallon Morell, in her PowerPoint on Healthy Pregnancy, which I saw her present at the last Weston A. Price Foundation conference and which you can download here: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/healthy-pregnancy-presentation-by-sally-fallon-morell, theorizes that “morning sickness” during pregnancy is caused by increased hormone production which uses up cholesterol so that the body is unable to produce sufficient bile.

      Her solution is to eat more cholesterol-rich foods and/or to take ox bile or Swedish bitters with meals. I would increase your egg intake in the smoothies since you can tolerate that in order to see if her suggestion to eat more cholesterol-rich foods works – and also try the ox bile or Swedish bitters!

      • My midwife taught me that morning sickness and taste sensitivity/gagging in pregnancy is also often a zinc and B-6 deficiency. Supplementing with the right foods or vitamins can make a very big difference.

        • Turns out I have KPU or pyroluria, which is a blood disorder characterized by the inability to properly assimilate zinc and B-6, often with very grave consequences. It is not well known outside of the autism/Lyme/GAPS communities, where as many as 90% experience the condition.

          KPU is estimated to go undiagnosed in about 10% of the general population, and can contribute greatly to hyperemesis gravidarum. If you have severe morning sickness or severe taste aversions during pregnancy that are affecting your nutrition, it might be worth looking into getting a test for KPU/pyroluria. There are online questionnaires that will tell you if you should get further blood testing.

          http://www.naturopathyonline.com/PatientRoles/pyroluria_quiz.htm

          • Lucy W

            Hi, I have pyroluria and am looking for wisdom regarding breastfeeding. I have a 7mo. old and was just told by her pediatrician that my b6 intake was too high. What are recommended amounts of b6 and zinc for pyroluria and breastfeeding? Thank you!
            Lucy

        • Joli

          I have always eaten tons of fermented (B rich) foods and raw milk and had 0% morning sickness. Well, almost, on vacation i didn’t get enough of either and was a bit nauseous. Proper nutrition makes all the difference in the world.

      • Wow! In midst of my horrible morning sickness weeks the one thing that made me feel better was scrambled eggs! I ate them pretty much every day until I felt better at 17 weeks, but now at 28 weeks still eat them a few times/week.

  6. India

    I love having a site, another voice, and more information to add to my core beliefs- my deep desire to hope others are out there helping spread the word. Sandrine, blessings and gratitude ..
    I have followed as closely as I can to the diet – while pregnant and now as I breast feed, my daughter doesn’t eat a lot of solids yet but her first food was pastured egg yolk. She was amazingly alert and healthy when she came into the world, and now at 10 months she is strong, vibrant and growing beautifly ~ I am so very grateful to have been exposed to all this before we got pregnant. And we will continue to carry the message, and with a wide vibrant smile, we won’t have to say much :)

    • India,

      It is so lovely to read your words of appreciation and to read about your daughter’s evolution! May you all continue to nourish a wide smile as she grows day by day!

  7. I’m not doing all that well on the top portion as I don’t like fish at all, am not that big of a meat eater, have never liked whole milk (though I need to try raw milk!), and we’re fairly broke. But I’ve been following the avoid list for almost 2 years now (other than a cup of coffee a few times a week and an occasional alcoholic beverage on special occasions now that my son is here!)

    But I’ve been working on consuming the good fats, staying clear of fat free and other fad “foods”. I still enjoy my treats, but have been enjoying natural ice cream and real chocolate and fats, not candy and processed sugars and flours.

    • Hi Unorthodox Momma,

      I recommend fermented cod liver oil in capsule form for those who are adverse to fish flavors — I did read that your self description of being “fairly broke” – so I highly recommend that you see if a group is ordering. You can save considerably with group orders. If you are not drawn to meat, I recommend pastured eggs and raw cheeses, if available. I definitely recommend raw milk and depending on where you live, you might find it fairly affordable. All of these recommendations I just made may be explored via your local chapter, free to join!

      http://www.westonaprice.org/local-chapters/find-local-chapter

      If there was one super food I would recommend, which is generally very inexpensive compared to many of our other recommendations it is liver. If you think there is no way you would ever enjoy pate … consider this: One of our passionate supporters, Sherry Rothwell of Domestic Diva took me up on a challenge last year on my birthday to expand beyond our comfort zone and try something new. She choose to make pate – see the results: http://www.domesticdiva.ca/blog/best-beef-liver-pate/ — she didn’t anticipate that they would actually love it!

  8. Thanks for the article, Sandrine! As you know from my previous posts and articles, I and my family try our best to follow the WAPF diet. However, after years of struggling with a multitude of auto-immune symptoms, I was finally diagnosed with gluten intolerance as well as a secondary (or cross-reactive) intolerance to egg, oat, dairy, and tapioca. I also just found out I am pregnant. I ended up in the hospital with severe dehydration and weight loss from a pregnancy-related condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which I also suffered from with my first daughter. It usually lasts until week 15-17 of the pregnancy. In the meantime, I am finding VERY few things I can eat due to the nausea and food restrictions. I am barely maintaining my weight, but have not regained any of the weight I lost. I am 11 weeks. I have tried nearly every remedy for the nausea, including ginger, B6, magnesium, etc, but it is just too powerful. Nothing touches it. So I have had to resort to pharmaceutical intervention, which of course I am loathe to do. Any suggestions? I have managed to get down at least 6 capsules of Radiant Life’s dessicated liver each day, for the folic acid.

    • Hi Angie,

      I am so saddened to read about what you are experiencing. Your question is beyond my own scope of knowledge. If I were in your position, I would consult with a nutritionist who specializes in traditional foods.

      Monica Corrado http://simplybeingwell.com/Home.html
      Annika Rockwell http://foodforkidshealth.com
      Julie Matthews http://www.healthfullivingsf.com/julie/

      are all passionately involved with Nourishing Our Children and the Weston A. Price Foundation, are all very well established nutritionist and do phone/Skype consultations.

      I also recommend you consider consulting with Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD – http://fourfoldhealing.com

      I wish you ease in your pregnancy, dear one! Please keep me posted!

    • Marie Goodwin

      I just wanted to add a note of support here. I had hyperemesis with my 2nd, threw up every.single.day for 36 weeks (!), lost 40 lbs (i.e. I was 40 lbs lighter 9 months pregnant than I was at conception), and I gave birth to a 9lb 6 oz baby girl at 42 weeks. Mind you, the only foods I could eat were steak, vegetables, nuts, & heavy cream … all grains and legumes made me barf, even if I simply smelled them. (After this pregnancy I was diagnosed with celiac!) Listen to your aversions, carefully.

  9. Kandyce

    While nursing I pretty much followed this diet minus the cod liver oil, raw milk (although I drank enough in whole milk ) and the fermented foods (I wasn’t introduced to those until recently) but my milk fat was practically non existent. What would you suggest? We’re trying for #2 and I would like to be better prepared this time.

  10. Christina

    Would dessicated liver capsules be a good replacement for eating fresh liver? I cannot handle the taste of liver. If so, what brand would you recommend? Thank you!

    • Radiant Life has an excellent dessicated liver capsule. It is quite reasonably priced, and it is from grass-fed cows and tested to be free from arsenic. Other brands such as Solgar have been found to contain arsenic from contamination of the groundwater where the cattle are raised. 6 capsules of the Radiant Life liver are equal to 1 oz of fresh raw liver. http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com I used to use the Solgar but now use this brand. I have struggled with extreme nausea with my pregnancy, but I still manage to get the liver down because of the importance of folic acid.

      • Christina

        Thanks Angie :) Is this the only brand that is from grass-fed cows and tested to be free from arsenic? I’m not pregnant, but I am still nursing.

        • I don’t know if it is the only brand, but I trust Radiant Life, as they work closely with the WAPF and try to carry products that are endorsed by the WAPF. They carry all the ingredients for the homemade baby formula and all their products are of the utmost quality.

    • I would definitely try to have real liver “hidden” before you use those capsules. I have been advised by those who are more well versed than I am that they are definitely a compromise, and that real food would be preferrable. There are many ideas here in this article for hiding organ meats – scroll down for recipes and resources: https://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/if-we-eat-animal-brains-will-we-be-smart/

      • Sally Fallon Morell has written the following to me: ” I consider the desiccated liver a stopgap measure, better to use fresh liver if you can. Best, Sally”

      • NOW Foods has a liver powder that is from Argentinian grass-fed cows. I bought it so I could add it to ground beef, etc. to “bump up” the nutrition profile a bit, even though my family won’t eat liver.

  11. Melissa

    I have followed a WAP diet for the last 10 years and GAPS for the past 10 months. I totally agree with you….but :). As a naturopath I was horrified to discover that despite doing everything ‘right’, morning sickness ruined everything for me and I just had to eat what I could keep down. All of my standby faves such as eggs (and I mean lots), cream, sauerkraut, meat, broths/stocks, yogurts…..everything gone! I just can’t stomach them. So now I’m eating sourdough rye/chia bread, apples, raw salmon, sushi and salads……nowhere near enough nutrition and it’s really disheartening.

  12. Melissa

    I think we need to take into account that if your body/baby is rejecting something at this time, then maybe you should wait a few weeks and try again. I was huge into meat in the beginning and now the taste of a nice organic steak makes me feel sick. I am sure that in a few weeks it will be different again.
    I think sometimes we get too wrapped up in trying to follow something to the tee – like there is some sort of “one size fits all” and this is so far from the case. This can be very stressful in and of itself which is not good for baby either. I say, eat the best that you can, but if your body/baby is rejecting something at the moment, it doesn’t mean you failed, it doesn’t mean that you are not nourishing your child, and it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. We need to stop berating ourselves for not adhering perfectly to a set of principles ladies!

  13. Melissa, I concur – this published diet is not intended to be a source of guilt or shame or to encourage women to use formula, which has also been proposed. I think it is of value to have principles to guide us, when pregnant, while nursing and otherwise but, clearly there are circumstances that arise for all of us in all stages of life whereby we don’t follow the “optimal” recommendations. That does not mean, from my perspective, that optimal recommendations are of no value. They are here to refer to as a point of reference.

  14. Thank you for this. I looked into Weston Price’s ideas when my daughter had tooth decay…I like the principles. I am 31 weeks pregnant now, and trying to eat as above. I will sustain during breastfeeding years, and feel even more justified to do so now! x http://heartmama.net

  15. Sandrine: I posted this link on a breastfeeding page on facebook and the admin says she will remove my link unless I provide evidence in support of this blog post. Can you please help me? Also, it would be awesome if you could provide references in your posts since a lot of people won’t take unconventional information seriously without credible references. Thanks.

  16. Bethany

    We eat liver at least 2 times a week, eat pastured eggs and beef daily and my son STILL gets bloody noses from cod liver oil and I my skin tends to bleed easily too, even more so when I eat liver. I was figuring it was the vitamin A. I am pregnant and scared to continue with the cod liver oil, even though I eat the other things recommended to balance it out.

  17. Bonny

    Hi Sandrine!
    The cod liver oil warning at the bottom of your post is the first time I’ve seen that. We try to eat a very traditional diet in our home, but I honestly don’t eat a ton of fish and we don’t eat liver on a regular basis. We do use a lot of grass-fed meats, soy-free pastured eggs, bone broth, full fat cheese and yogurt and raw milk. After 3 full-term healthy pregnancies (all eating SAD, before I learned about traditional diets), we have had a miscarriage and had trouble conceiving a 4th time. I’m wondering, is there any chance the fermented CLO is hurting more than helping? Just trying to identify what might have changed to make it suddenly harder to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy than it was eating SAD.

    • Hi Bonny,

      My understanding is that there are a number of reasons why one may miscarry. I personally don’t believe that fermented cod liver oil could be the cause and if it was me, I would continue to take it without hestitation. The Weston A. Price Foundation wrote the warning above, I believe, for those who only consume cod liver oil during pregnancy, such as vegetarians or vegans – without the corresponding animal foods.

      It is very possible that your body is depleted after 3 pregnancies on a SAD diet, and you need to replenish your nutritional reserves. How much space is there between the children? Did you breastfed while you were pregnant?

      http://nourishedkitchen.com/foods-for-fertility/ – I like this list of foods for fertility a lot. I would recommend that you add liver, fish roe, and fatty fish to your diet.

      http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/nutrient-dense-fish-roe/

      http://nourishingourselves.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/sardine-or-mackerel-salad/

      http://www.domesticdiva.ca/blog/best-beef-liver-pate/

      I also recommend you join us for our current book club discussions. We are reading the book Deep Nutrition. https://www.facebook.com/nutritionalwisdombookclub

      I sense this book may be of value to you!

    • I wanted to point out some content from p. 72 in the book Deep Nutrition: “you’ll get the most bang for your buck, and the fastest return on your investment, if you learn to enjoy something that many kids in many countries aside from this one will fight each other for – the organ meats. These were the original vitamin supplements, and they comprise key components of almost all truly traditional heritage dishes. They are the missing ingredients whose disappearance from our dinner tables explains many of our health problems, and whose replenishment would go a long way towards improving those dismal nutritional statistics.”

      Do you eat offal?!

      Last year, for my birthday – I put out a call for folks to extend beyond their current culinary comfort zone. Sherry Rothwell – one of our book club members – took me up on it: http://www.domesticdiva.ca/blog/best-beef-liver-pate/ and was surprised by the results!

      Here is an article I wrote: If we eat animal brains, will we be smart?
      https://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/if-we-eat-animal-brains-will-we-be-smart/

      • Bonny

        Thanks so much for all the info, Sandrine! I will look into that book. Yes, perhaps it is an issue of depletion after years of a SAD diet and 3 prior pregnancies. The gap between my first 2 children is 2 years and 5 months, and the gap between my younger two is 2 years and 10 months. I nursed for 17 months, 19 months, and 23 months, so was only nursing while pregnant during the pregnancy I miscarried. Thanks for your advice, and I will continue to research, take my FCLO, and consider expanding my diet even further to include more nutrient-dense foods. :)

        • This post may be of interest, Bonny:

          http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/double-duty-breastfeeding-while-pregnant/

          “Yesterday, in a discussion I initiated here on Facebook on the topic of breastfeeding while pregnant, Tiffany of The Coconut Mama expressed this concern: “I (personally) would worry about not giving my nursing child and unborn child enough nutrients, leaving them undernourished.” I found the concern to be quite valid and consulted with Sally Fallon Morell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, who wrote in response “Yes, I would have the same concerns. Moms need to finish nursing before they give birth, even before they get pregnant. That means spacing your children. Sally” She followed up and wrote, “It really isn’t fair to the unborn or new child for mom to be putting so much of her nutrition into breast milk. Sally”

          • Bonny

            Thanks so much! I also wondered if it was just too much for my body to handle–the pregnancy, nursing, and other stressors like a move that were going on at that time. In the past, I have not started to ovulate until after my kids stopped nursing, but this last time I DID start to ovulate while still nursing (perhaps my better diet was responsible, or perhaps it was because my son was sleeping well through the night at that point). So the pregnancy came as a little bit of a surprise, since previously I had not been able to get pregnant til I had stopped nursing. Immediately after the miscarriage, I stopped nursing in order to give my body a chance to rest an prepare for any future pregnancies. I know this is a hot topic in the real food community (tandem nursing), but for my body, it seems that perhaps the extra burden was too great.

  18. I have 3 children and am pregnant with my 4th and found out about WAPF after my first child was 1. We adjusted to it immediately and have been drinking raw milk, eating good fats, fermenting foods, etc. since then. I’ve gotten better at incorporating this diet with each pregnancy, but was disappointed to find out that during my last two pregnancies, my faithful swallowing of 2 CLO capsules (as recommended on Blue Ice’s label) was no where near enough (I don’t think the WAPF website specified the dosage of CLO until recently) and now both my 2 WAPF children have more narrow palettes than my non WAPF baby. (Fortunately I’ve been taking about 10 capsules a day for this 4th pregnancy, so we’ll see…)

    I also breastfed all of them exclusively for almost 1 year and then after adding nutrient-dense solids continued to breast feed them all until at least after 2 years old. And as soon as they were all old enough to swallow CLO they have been taking it quite regularly – but again, not at the dosage that has now been recommended.

    I am and have been a firm believer in WAPF diet and nutrition for almost 8 years (as well as Cure Tooth Decay and Orthotropics), but am convinced that there are more variables than just nutrition involved. I have been taking an informal poll of adults with beautiful teeth and wide faces for a number of years now and it’s hit or miss whether they and/or their mom ate nutrient dense foods.

    I don’t want to discount the value of what you are saying, and I continue to do what I know is good and right for them, but to relieve my guilt a bit, I have to recognize that their are other variables and we may not have perfectly-toothed children. I am thankful for the health that I do see: that they have no cavities (except one just starting in my 5 year old), have never had antibiotics, no learning or behavioral issues, and when they rarely get, they are over it within 24 hours with no medication.

    Also, my other question about a possible omission in the WAPF diet is the value of herbs. I have a WAPF-friendly herbalist friend who highly recommends red raspberry leaf for uterine toning and I have taken a product called 5-W or Polly Jean’s antenatal formula 5 weeks before delivery and hardly bled after 2 births where I bled too much.

    I’m curious why beneficial herbs are not included in much of WAPF literature.

    Thanks again for what you do. We’ve presented your NOC movie 3 times in the last year here in Santa Barbara and once when I was the chapter leader in DC. Good stuff – spreading the word.

  19. Forgot to sign my name,
    melanie sunukjian =)

  20. I just read this http://www.westonaprice.org/caustic-commentary/caustic-commentary-summer-2001:

    Two new studies point out the dangers of a meatless diet. In one, women who were infertile or had a history of miscarriages were treated with vitamin B12, a nutrient found only in animal products. Afterwards, many of the women conceived and carried their babies to term. One woman had suffered seven miscarriages before doctors discovered that she was deficient in vitamin B12. She went on to have three children after supplementation began (Journal of Reproductive Medicine 2001 46:209-212). B12 deficiency also leads to neurological problems in the elderly. Dr. George Newman, a renowned stroke expert at the medical center in Stoney Brook, Long Island, warns that “health conscious” individuals who have cut back on red meat because of American Heart Association recommendations are at risk for a “spinal cord syndrome that causes damage to the middle of the cord and usually is first noticed by difficulty walking; peripheral neuropathy, which causes numbness and tingling in the feet, and also makes walking difficult.” Another side effect of B12 deficiency is dementia. What’s truly demented is the whole concept of lowfat and vegetarian diets as healthy when in fact such diets cause suffering in all age groups.

  21. Tricia

    Disclaimer: I didn’t take the time to read all of the other comments. Sorry if someone asked this already. I’m 4.5 months postpartum and doing the best I can with the diet listed above. However, I’m also trying to work out and lose some of this extra weight. Nothing is coming off. Am I supposed to just stay fat until my kiddo is a certain age? Am I supposed to be less vain? I workout like a crazy woman and I feel like I have nothing to show for it at all.

  22. ‘cholesterol control centre’ and it manages cholesterol from the diet and also sends/receives it to/from the body.if we are living a healthy lifestyle, then we ca say the liver is quite capable of looking after itself.Cholesterol freedom reduces one’s cholesterol levels via things like reducing absorption from diet. Liver rescue stimulates healthy liver function and bile secretion

  23. Posted here: https://www.facebook.com/nourishingourchildren/posts/399415870117599

    Our focus is on how to truly nourish children, not merely fed them. Why? Because the whole child – physically, emotionally, and intellectually is impacted by the nutrition they receive, or don’t receive — and the quality of their lives, and our lives will be shaped as a result. Those of us involved in this cause care deeply about our collective radiant health and wholeness.

    We assert that a child is nourished well before conception, so at the heart of our cause are dietary principles for pre-conception, while baby is in the womb, while baby is on the breast and far beyond.

    I published optimal dietary recommendations yesterday and some responded that such a list will scare mothers who aren’t in a position to follow them. Some envisioned that those mothers will in turn choose to use formula, commercial or homemade, both of which didn’t sit well with those who took issue with the publication of the list.

    I want to clarify that we will continue to focus on optimal nutrition for all of us at every phase of development. Clearly not everyone is in a position to follow our recommendations for a wide variety of reasons but, we still see value in that focus for those who are and for those who aspire to be. While not everyone may be in position to implement the dietary recommendations that were published, I don’t see that as a reason to discontinue to teach them.

    If you don’t resonate with the dietary principles, or our focus on optimal nutrition, or our desire to teach mothers about how to nourish rather than merely fed themselves and their families – then we simply aren’t the cause for you because that is at the very heart of our mission and vision:

    http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/About.html http://www.nourishingourchildren.org/Vision.html

    We will not abandon our focus, which we have followed since 2005, because of the consistent feedback we receive that what we do in terms of our educational outreach and initiative, voluntarily I may add, is of value to so many. We are here to serve those who have a desire to learn about the traditional diets that consistently produced healthy children and healthy families.

    In fact, our most popular post has been on how facial structure is impacted by nutrition. http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/how-the-teeth-tell-the-tale/

    I am completely at peace with the notion that we will not please everyone. A note about tone – I express this with sincerity and not a hint of combativeness: if you aren’t drawn to our cause for whatever reason, I sincerely invite you to create one of your own rather than to continue to ask us to abandon the heart of our mission, or to revise our focus so that it will match your perspective. We are open to differences of opinion yet, it is very, very unlikely that we will fundamentally shift our focus at this point. For example, we will not un-publish the post published yesterday: http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/the-optimal-diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers/, nor will we ever recommend a plant based diet as the path to nourish ourselves or our children because we understand that nutrient density is found in animal foods.

    I express this most sincerely: may the wind be with you, whatever path you take.

  24. valerie

    I am currently breastfeeding. I hate the taste of fish, but could choke down fish roe for my childs sake. How much should i consume? Also i am taking fclo, how much is a good dose?

  25. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this web page is really fastidious and the viewers are actually sharing good thoughts.

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  27. Saeriu

    I currently nursing our 18 month old. Trying really hard to cut out all the avoid list, and have been doing pretty good. And getting better every day. I’ve been feeling a ton better with getting more of the foods from the good list, but could stand to get more in. We live in Iowa where raw milk is illegal. We do live just 16 miles south of the Minnesota border where raw milk sales have restrictions but are possible. I’ve tried contacting the WAPF chapter leader in Albert Lea, Minnesota where we are closest to several times but the person never contacts me back. Is it because I live in Iowa where it’s illegal? I’m willing to cross state lines to give my family better health opportunities. I’m trying to find a local raw milk farmer but not having any luck. Any suggestions?

  28. Leslie

    I loosely followed this with my fourth baby. She is now 2 months old. I say loosely because I didn’t eat all of what was recommended; like the liver and seafood. What I did eat was TONS of raw milk, lots of butter, fresh fruit, lots of eggs, yogurt, sourdough/sprouted breads, beef, chicken, cod-liver oil, and vegetables. My baby weighed 8lbs 12oz and measured 21 1/4in. She already weighs over 13lbs. I’m still eating the same. And she is thriving! In the beginning of my pregnancy I was taking a liquid whole food multivitamin but started to doubt it’s quality and never ended up finding the time to find something else. So for most of the pregnancy I was not taking vitamins. It seems to me that the diet help plenty of nutrients to keep us both healthy. I was better about making sure I ate enough when I was pregnant. Now I am not doing as good of a job. I still feel okay but being tired and having three other children to care for is making it a little bit harder. As long as I eat enough of the good foods I feel great though. As the baby gets older it will become easier, too. Someday are just plain hard though. I’m hoping to get a good meal planning/making schedule going … hopefully. :D

  29. Kesley

    HI, I need help PLEASE!!! I have Leaky Gut, H. Pylori, and major hormone immbalance issues (only 4 cycles in the last 6 years). I am currently breastfeeding and want to heal without harming baby. What would you suggest? Also, do you know anything about the RepairVite program? Is it safe while breastfeeding? Thanks!

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  34. I think it’s dangerous to say “Avoid… Drugs (even prescription drugs)”
    Most prescription drugs are to manage diseases that without such drugs could prove fatal or very detrimental to the mother and/or baby. I am type I diabetic (insulin dependent). I MUST take my insulin or I will die. I also have hypothyroidism. My ability to breastfeed depends on my thyroid being corrected with levothyroxine. So, I think that should be amended to say “Drugs (if possible, even prescription drugs. Consult your medical professional for alternatives if possible)” or something like that. Otherwise, a very useful article.

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  38. Chris

    Hi. I am 5 months pregnant with my third child and follow a traditional foods diet. At two months I found myself lactose intolerant – gas, bloating, headaches, diarrhea after consuming diary (even raw milk). I have never had a known problem to dairy. I have struggled to get the nutrition I need – though I found I can have hard cheese so am getting by- even 24 hr fermented raw yogurt causes me problems. What happened?! Will this go away after childbirth? Will my child have gut problems? I am frustrated and confused. Any ideas?

    • I would recommend that you consult with a nutritionist to guide you on this issue to explore what may be at the heart of this change for you. You may write to info@nourishingourchildren.org for our referral list! All do Skype and phone consultations.

      • Chris

        Update: I did not consult a nutritionist when you suggested! I now, 14months later, have figured out I developed IBS from a course of antibiotics I took a few months before getting pregnant. My poor baby (now 10 months) got my bad gut flora, has bad eczema and food allergies. BUT…We are both on the GAPS diet now and seeing a lot of healing. I am sure we will be fine in the end but it is SO hard and I constantly think of all those mainstream moms and babies out there with the same problems who don’t have the same hope. I now am consulting with a nutritionist but our lives would be so different if I had done so before giving birth. I would have been on GAPS before childbirth and would have followed the recommendation of swabbing my vagina with beneficial bacteria from yogurt- this recommendation was in one of the baby books your site recommended. I thought it was too weird to do but could have been the final step in giving my child good gut flora and saving him from so many problems.

  39. Hello!!! I have a couple questions! 1) is it TOTALLY safe to take dessicated liver (radiant life) while pregnant and breastfeeding??! The nutrients seem amazing and exactly what I am needing. 2) I live in Hawaii and at this time it is practically impossible to get quality raw milk. You can get raw milk but its shady!!! Ha! What do you recommend? I would order it from Maine if I could!! Suggestions?? Thank you!

  40. keeshadoss

    I was diagnosed w/ an “auto-immune disease” (generalized term for we don’t know what’s wrong w/ you) by seceral “Drs”. Finally found a helpful chiropractor that ran an iGg test on me. Severely allergic to everything w/ a HINT of yeast. Including all ferments. I break out in horrible itchy water blisters, get cold chills and very high fever (even w/ FCLO). My son is almost 3. Currently weaning cuz found out I’m prego. I can’t do a LOT of the foods on WAP recommendations. I’m allergic to a lot of them. Do I just need to consult w/ one of the aforementioned Nutritionists? Or have you heard of a violent Bakers Yeast and Brewers Yeast allergy before? Also pretty allergic to beef!!! :-/ Sry to be difficult. Lol. I want to eat right but I’d be in the hospital if I tried to eat half this stuff!!! :-/ I’m a fervent believer in WAP and highly recommend this website and WAP to friends who will listen. :) I just need to figure out how to get off my “allergy island” onto the mainland of nutritiin!!! :) Thank you in advance! Also follow you on Facebook. You, as a person, are so patient and wonderful! Thank you for all your hard work!! :-)

  41. Shana Nelson

    How about Joli Mere prenatal vitamins? Aside from the obvious benefit that they prevent stretch marks, they also have the highest quality ingredients that are the safest and most beneficial for a mother and her growing baby.

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  44. Amie LoGrasso

    My 1 year old is still mostly breast fed and eating very little solids. She’s allergic to eggs, mammal milk and wheat and many other grains, even GF ones. As a result I’ve elliminated all her allergens from my diet including all grains, nuts, some berries. As a result, I fear the nutrition of my milk is lacking for her. I will try eating more liver/organ meats since I only do that about once a month. I’ll look into the fish eggs too and getting some fermented cod liver oil. I currently give her a DHA supplement but it’s not the kind you recommend. Thanks.

  45. Teresa

    I’m curious about the WAPF recommendations for a pregnancy diet. Just counting the milk, butter, eggs and coconut oil it is already over 2,000 calories. That’s not even counting a leafy green salad, beef, seafood, liver and everything else that is recommended. I know that a calorie is not just a calorie, fat is good, etc etc (I get it) but it seems to me that you would gain quite a bit of weight eating this diet throughout your pregnancy. Even if the weight gain is from nutrient dense foods isn’t it still not a great idea to gain TOO much weight during pregnancy? I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere and I’m curious on people’s opinion.

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