I had a C-Section with my second child. After that, I discovered Dr. Christopher and Vickie Sorensen, who taught me tons about what constitutes true pregnancy nutrition for mothers and babies.
I became determined to get the best nutrition possible and decrease my chances of problems. I am convinced that diet and nutrition before and during pregnancy is a key factor in mother and baby’s health and well-being.
My fifth baby was born (at home) 3 weeks early, weighed 5 lbs, 14 oz and was absolutely strong and healthy. I attributed that to my diet as much or more than genes.
Now that I’m pregnant at age 40 with our seventh child, it’s on my mind once again. We’ve all heard how depleted our soils are, and even though I grow and buy about half our food as organic, I still believe smart supplementing is vital.
Greens are crucial. The cheapest, healthiest way to get enough greens is to grow them yourself and eat them daily. I try to have one green salad or smoothie everyday. Blending up chard, spinach or kale with fruit, juice, yogurt or ice and a shake of stevia is the easiest way to consume sufficient amounts of greens.
These greens are the best kind because they are alive. Living cells from living plants enter our bodies and give us extra energy and vitality. This is especially important during pregnancy when fatigue is more problematic.
When I don’t have fresh greens I use green powder.
Christopher’s Jurassic Green is pure, dried wheat, barley and alfalfa grass juices. It has a naturally sweet taste, so I can hide it easily in fruit drinks. I even add a shake of stevia to the powder and spoon it into my mouth to drink down with apple juice. I love it!
Vickie’s Emerald Essence and Christopher’s Vitalerbs have some of these greens, along with other powdered superfoods. Christopher’s comes in powder and capsule. I recommend the capsule because his contains a little cayenne and doesn’t taste so good. Vickie’s Emerald Essence comes in a powder and contains stevia leaf, so it tastes fine in juice.
The last green supplement I use is liquid chlorophyll. The dose is 1-3 TB a day. It is like plant blood and is the fastest way to build the blood, especially after childbirth. I usually go through a couple bottles within a few days after I have a baby. If I experienced a high amount of blood loss during the delivery, I would drink a whole bottle in a day.
I believe it’s hard to have too much “green” in your diet (the stuff in the toilet will turn dark green). I always have a few bottles of this on my shelf. I buy apple juice for our fruit drinks, but my kids end up drinking some as well. I always add 1-2 TB of liquid chlorophyll to each bottle of apple juice I open.
The next most important thing is good oil, the omega oils that we hear about so much. Excellent sources of this oil are found in fish and seeds, such as flax, pumpkin, evening primrose, wheat germ and others. This oil is like glue for building a strong placenta and baby. The optimal amount to take during pregnancy is 2-3 TB a day, and only 1 TB a day the last month. We want to cut down on the oil at the end so the placenta doesn’t have too strong a hold and will come out when it’s time.
I recommend taking the wheat germ oil in capsule because it doesn’t taste so good. Flax oil and flax oil blends are much more palatable. For my family, I squirt them in fruit drinks and on our cooled dinner foods, like rice, potatoes, etc. In addition, I take a high quality omega oil supplement. It’s more expensive than the others ($30 a mo/it’s cheaper on autoship), but it’s worth it because it contains essential oils as well, which I highly value for digestion and added nutrition.
Red raspberry leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease the pain of childbirth, nourish the body and strengthen the uterus. It’s one of the several beneficial ingredients in Vickie’s Mother’s Tonic, but I also take red raspberry leaf in capsule to make sure I’m getting enough.
When I’m taking Vickie’s Tonic I take 2-4 capsules of raspberry leaf per day. If I wasn’t taking the tonic I’d take 4-6 capsules a day. The cheapest way to reap the power of this valuable herb is to drink a quart of the tea each day. It tastes fine when mixed with peppermint or lemon and a shake of stevia.
Prenatal vitamins come in a whole spectrum of being nutritious to being toxic. Many of the ones at the grocery store or doctor’s office contain synthetic copies of actual plant vitamins. Even though these compounds are similar chemically, they are not natural, which is why they are toxic in large doses.
Plant based vitamins such as Vickie’s products, contain natural compounds from real plants, not chemical copies. These natural compounds are much easier for our bodies to absorb and assimilate. For instance, Vickie’s Prenatal contains more iron than an over-the-counter product, which could make your doctor have a conniption fit. But because hers is from a plant, it poses no danger and the body can use it appropriately.
Speaking on the topic of iron, a natural iron product for anemia or post-birth use is Floradix Iron & Herbs. It is made from herbs and plants high in iron. This is so much better for the body than synthetic iron products, which are labeled to be toxic in high doses. There’s a better way!
Minerals are also easier to absorb when they are from a plant source versus a rock or shell source. Have you ever had one of those excruciating leg or foot cramps in the middle of the night? I have. They are a sign that the body is short of calcium or magnesium. This product is derived from whole foods.
The label actually lists under ingredients, whole brown rice complex, figs, dates, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli and spinach. You can be sure what you’re getting here is from a plant source.
I take herbs to prepare for childbirth. There are specific herbs that help rev up the uterus and get things ready to happen correctly. Christopher’s Birth Prep (capsules) and Vickie’s 5 Week formula (liquid) contain these herbs. The dose is small to start and increases over the last few weeks. I also insert (vaginally) a soft gel capsule of evening primrose oil every night for the last 2 weeks. This helps soften up my cervix so the baby comes out easier.
Avoiding drugs, alcohol, junk food and eating as many whole foods as possible is a solid foundation on which to build a healthy baby. The baby will take everything it can from the mother’s body, even to the point of depleting the mother’s body. Getting enough nutrition (and don’t forget exercise) for ourselves and our baby helps us achieve healthier bodies for both, an easier labor and delivery, easy recovery and energy to care for our newborn.
Can you put a price on that?
Here’s the nutrition in a nutshell:
Green drinks and lots of whole and raw foods
Green powder or chlorophyll
Good omega oils
Red raspberry leaf
Plant based vitamins and minerals
5 or 6 week herbal formulas
You don’t need to use everything in this article in order to have a healthy pregnancy. These are general suggestions about the things I’ve done that I feel are the best. Every woman needs to educate herself and go by her own feelings as to what and how much.