How to prepare your body for an optimal pregnancy:
Do we have any control over genetics or are we the result of a genetic lottery?
Epigenetics is the study of changes in genetic expression (whether a gene is turned “on”or “off” and expressed in the body).
“Epigenetic researchers study how our own genes react to our behavior, they have found that just about everything we eat, think, breathe or do can, directly or indirectly, trickle down to touch the gene and affect its performance in some way. These effects are carried forward into the next generation where they are magnified. In laboratory experiments researchers have shown, simply by feeding mice with different blends of vitamins, they can change the next generation’s adult weight and susceptibility to disease, and these new developments can then be passed on again to grandchildren. Its looking as though we have grossly underestimated the dictum ‘You are what you eat’” Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan MD
You do have a choice and you can use your choice to enhance the genetic expression in not only your children, but also your grandchildren.
Everyone knows the standard advice to avoid the worst problems in pregnancy.Is it possible that nutrition can do more than just prevent these tragedies? If really poor nutrition can cause facial abnormalities with e.g. fetal alcohol syndrome, is it such a stretch to imagine that really excellent nutrition can cause a perfectly proportioned face? Have you ever stopped to think about what a perfectly proportioned face could mean for your children? High cheekbones and wide dental arches=plenty of room for all teeth=everything grows in straight with any crowding=no need for braces! Eyes grow to proper shape because they have plenty of room=this means no near or far sightedness (no need for glasses!). Spacious sinus cavities=plenty of room for drainage down the Eustachian tube=no ear infections, sinus infections, and fewer colds with less congestion!
Nutrition has far reaching implications for fertility, your pregnancy & birth experiences, and your child’s long-term health.
I want a healthy pregnancy and baby – what can I do?:
First you need to DETOX and this should happen at least one year before conception, because it is not ideal to detox while you are pregnant or lactating. It is very important to understand the difference between detoxification and nourishment of the body. A body full of toxins will produce a baby full of toxins, but you should never detox while you are pregnant.
- A. Heal your gut:
- The intestine and the intestinal flora together are the biggest immune organ of the body. (around 80% of the immune system)
- The first inheritance you give your child is gut flora! Good gut flora is starting to become an ‘endangered species’.
- Gut flora = innumerable bacteria adhering to the gut wall. We have on average 1-4kg of gut flora!!
- Gut flora fight off pathogens and prevent allergic, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
- IN FERMENTED FOODS microbes free minerals out of food, preserve food, manufacture vitamins and detox the food.
What changes or damages the gut flora?
1.The contraceptive pill
– Damages the gut flora. Increases Candida & other bad bacteria.
– Negatively affects the gut’s ability to digest food & absorb nutrients.
– It depletes Zinc – the intelligence mineral – thus influencing your babies IQ negatively.
– Pathogenic flora then take hold in the gut and produce toxic substances which are the by-products of their metabolism.
– These toxins leak into the woman’s bloodstream and they have the potential to cross the placenta!
– Therefore, gut dysbiosis exposes the foetus to toxins even if the woman never eats anything but organic foods and lives in an environment with no pollutants whatsoever.
– Indeed, an imbalanced gut has the potential to expose a woman and her baby to just as many or even more toxins than her environment through self poisoning!
2. Antibiotics and other prescription medication.
3.C-section birth: If you were born via c-section you did not swallow the beneficial flora from your mother’s birth canal.
4.Bottle feeding: Breast milk contains flora from the mom fresh with every feed. The healthier the mom’s gut, the healthier the baby’s gut will become.
5.Processed carbohydrates: Processed carbs promotes the growth of bad bacteria and Candida.
6.Radiation and alcoholism.
What are some of the disadvantages of bad gut flora for mom and baby?
- Anaemia: because some of the most common pathogenic strains of bacteria consume iron.
- Less nutrients: Beneficial flora actively synthesize nutrients including vitamin K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, thiamine (B1), cyanocobalamin (B12), amino acids and others.
- Children that inherit this bad gut flora struggles with: Allergies, Asthma, Eczema, ADHD, Autism,
- They have a poor IMMUNE SYSTEM.
- They have frequent ear infections and other infections.
How can I heal my gut?
v Start at least 6 months before conception.
v Stop the contraceptive pill, antibiotics and other gut harming drugs.
v Eat food high in probiotics daily e.g. Kefir, Kombucha, cultured veggies, soaked grains etc.
v See a restorative medicine doctor to evaluate your gut health & prescribe specific Candida killing medicine & a potent probiotic like Theralac.
v Follow the GAPS diet.
- B. DETOX from heavy metals
- Mercury is found in dental fillings, contact lens solutions and vaccines.
- Mercury is highly neurotoxic.
Mercury from amalgam can cause reproductive harm – dental mercury even crosses the placenta and accumulates in unborn babies. Babies are actually born at considerable risk nowadays due to the toxic load of their mothers.
One study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, and Teflon chemicals.
Of the 287 chemicals EWG detected in umbilical cord blood, it’s known that:
- 180 cause cancer in humans or animals
- 217 are toxic to your brain and nervous system
- 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests
How do I get rid of heavy metals?
- Find a biological dentist to remove mercury fillings
- Find a restorative medicine doctor to detox heavy metals correctly.
- Limit fish in your diet.
- Eat a high fat diet, especially animal fat. It helps with the excretion of heavy metals through bile.
- Supplement with Lyposomal Vitamin C & Glutathione, chlorella & spirulina.
- Drink only filtered water.
- Avoid insecticides.
- Check your cosmetics- remember your skin absorbs just like your intestines.
- Reconsider vaccination.
- Reconsider where you live.
- Use only lead free paint.
- C. DETOX from xenoestrogens
What is xenoestrogens? Xenoestrogen is a man-made chemical compounds which mimics the effect of estrogen in the human body. This means that it is similar in chemical structure to natural estrogen, but different enough to be harmful to your health.
- It can disrupt the hormonal system in both men and women
- Cause birth defects in newborn babies.
What is alarming about this chemical compound is its ubiquitous presence in your environment, so you may be exposed to it almost every day.
What can YOU do?
ü Do not heat food in plastic containers.
ü Drink water from glass or stainless steel containers.
ü Stop using insecticides, pesticides and chemical lawn-care products. You can find natural, non-xenoestrogenic replacements for these products. Most insecticides and pesticides have xenoestrogenic effects.
ü Stop eating any product that contains BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole). This is a common food preservative found in process foods, and it is a xenoestrogen.
ü Consider switching to organic meats. Many of the hormones used to help turkeys, pigs, chickens and cows grow bigger and faster (and produce more meat) include xenoestrogens.
ü Do not eat soya – full of phyto estrogens.
ü Avoid PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in paints and oils.
ü Avoid sunscreen that contains 4-MBC, a xenoestrogen.
ü Remove paraben-containing lotion from your routine.
What can a Dotor do for YOU?
See a restorative medicine doctor to help you detox the Xenoestrogens with natural medicine like:
v Calcium d glucarate
v Natural progesterone cream
After the DETOX phase, it is time to NOURISH your body:
Start at least 6 months before conception and STOP any fasting or detoxification and only focus on NOURISHING your body.
The NOURISHMENT stage is extremely important BEFORE & during pregnancy and also during the lactation period.
How do you nourish your body? With REAL FOOD:
The four pillars of world cuisine:
- Eat meat off the bone and bone broths (rich in gelatin.)
- Eat organs.
- Eat fermented and sprouted food.
- Eat raw food: raw pigmented super food & raw milk & milk products like kefir.
Here is a list of super foods :
- Grass fed meat e.g Liver and grass-fed beef
- Eggs: pregnant and lactating women should consume at least 2 per day.
- Raw milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir:
- Coconut oil
- All bone broths
- Soaked Nuts (all types)
- Beans (all varieties)
- Carrots/sweet potato
- Oats (soaked)
- Blueberries (and other berries)
- Sprouted grains
- Food should taste good – the more taste, the more nutrition.
Your diet determines your health your children’s health.
Important vitamins for pregnant women are:
- B vitamins found in sprouted grains, grass-fed beef and kombucha.
- Vitamin A found in eggs, milk, and liver.
- Vitamin D from Sun exposure and also found in Salmon and liver are the two best food sources and in cod liver oil.
- Vitamin K2 found in deep yellow butter from grass-fed cows, organ meats, or other fat from animals raised on grass. Leafy greens are a minor source.
- Pregnant women need a lot of protein. Your babies’ bodies are built largely of protein, so moms need to consume more or less 80 – 120 grams per day.
- Protein also helps the cellular development of the baby, and creates red blood cells (needed for both mom and baby, as mom’s blood volume increases by about 50%).
- Protein can help to ward off morning sickness, and possibly headaches/dizziness in the second trimester (due to the rapid blood volume increase).
- There are a lot of different kinds of fats that are necessary in pregnancy.
- Many are used for baby’s brain development, including saturated fat, cholesterol, DHA, ARA, and other fatty acids.
- They are also necessary during breastfeeding to help continue to develop baby’s brain (which is largely made of fat) and to allow adequate milk production.
- Butter, coconut oil (medium chain fatty acids, like lauric acid, are necessary), cod liver oil, fats from pastured animals are good sources.
It is very important to eat fat!
Especially: Cod liver oil, eggs, butter & coconut oil.
- Good quality fat is essential and fundamental to eye and brain health.
- There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart, health and eyes.
Fat you should avoid is Trans Fat !!
Trans fat is found in many processed foods and baked goods, including margarine, shortening, fried foods like french fries, fried chicken and doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.
“When you see the Golden Arches you are probably on the road to the Pearly Gates” William Castelli MD –director, Framingham Heart Study
Try not to eat anything that doesn’t nourish your body, or worse, actually depletes your body like: Sugar & vegetable oils.
- Leave all industrial foods…
- Leave all empty-calories-food…
- This includes vegetable oils, white flour, white sugar, or anything that constitutes obvious “junk food” (cookies, cakes, chips, donuts, etc.)
- Leave all fast foods.
‘The latest generation of children has accumulated the epigenetic damage of at least the three previous generations due to lack of adequate nutrition along with the over-consumption of sugar and new artificial fats found in vegetable oils.’Catherine Shanahan MD author of Deep Nutrition
The FREE Super food for babies-breast milk!
- The baby’s gut is ‘open’ at birth up to at least 18 weeks. This means that anything the baby consumes can go right through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream, which can cause allergies.
- Gut health is a huge and underestimated issue in our current time. It is linked to ADHD, autism, allergies and a poor immune system. Breast milk is the only substance that fully promotes optimal gut health for your baby. It contains IgA (Immunoglobulin A) that bathes & coats the gut. Ideally a baby should have nothing but breast milk for at least 18 weeks. No supplemental formula, no vitamin supplements, and no food. You, as mom can take supplements like cod liver oil, which goes through your milk to the baby.
Breast milk is so uniquely created – it cannot be replicated in a lab and unfortunately commercial formulas are not good nutrition at all. Breast milk contains white blood cells, growth factors, glyconutients and even stem cells! If baby is exposed to a germ but mom isn’t, baby will pass the germ to the mom via saliva absorbed into her skin while nursing. The mom’s body will then produce antibodies against that illness, which will get to the baby during subsequent feedings, protecting the baby from the illness or reducing its severity and duration.
The composition of breast milk gives us a clue as to what a baby’s first food should be.
- Breast milk = 50-60% Fat – mostly saturated fat.
- It is high in lauric acid – great for immune system.
- It is high in cholesterol. +-5mg/30ml Cholesterol is in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. As Ron Rosedale, MD, who is widely considered to be the leading anti-aging doctor in the United States, says: “First and foremost cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol. That will automatically tell you that, in of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact it is one of our best friends. “
- Saturated fat and cholesterol help develop the brain and nervous system, and also regulate hormones
- Breast milk = 30-40% Lactose – with enzyme lactase & lactobacilicus (found in Breast Milk & a healthy gut )
- It is high in protein ESPECIALLY in the beginning and especially when the baby is born prematurely.
What is wrong if an exclusively breastfed baby has allergies?
Allergies in a breastfed baby generally mean that mom has gut damage. That is, she’s missing the appropriate bacteria in her gut, and partially digested food is leaking through her gut walls and into her bloodstream, which is then getting into her milk. These partially digested food particles are getting to the baby and into the baby’s bloodstream through his immature gut, and causing sensitivities and allergies.
Breast milk is probably the most incredible food on this planet. It not only nourishes, it protects, it carries all the necessary vitamins and minerals if the mom is nourished and it is free! Beat that! It also prepares you babies taste preferences, as the taste of breast milk varies as your food intake varies, thus laying a great foundation for first foods. If you cannot breast feed (this will only be a very small percentage of women), you can make a homemade formula. See this link for the recipe. http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula