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Help with pre-e !

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:16 AM
  • 3 Replies

This has been very helpful:

The Brewer Pregnancy Diet

Dr. Tom Brewer was a pioneer in women's health. At a time when doctors were trying to treat symptoms of Preeclampsia, Dr. Brewer attacked the problem at its cause: poor nutrition. He learned very quickly that when a woman is given the tools to make good nutritional decisions, she will eat healthy.

Dr. Brewer first recommended his pregnancy diet to women in his practice in the 1960's. He served women from a very poor community whose families had passed on seriously flawed cooking and eating habits. When he implemented his program, the health of the women and babies was better than that of their well educated neighbors. During his 12 years in practice over 25,000 women experienced healthy pregnancies with his diet. Dr. Brewer's research demonstrates that good nutrition can help prevent still birth, premature birth, preeclampsia, anemia, placental abruption, infection and miscarriage.

The Brewer diet is built around ensuring you adequate amounts of protein every day. Proteins are broken down into amino acids by your body and used to repair and build body tissues and organs. Your baby will be built from these amino acids. It is the minimum recommended food you should eat every day, if you need more food eat more.

Unlike carbohydrates which can be stored as fat, your body has no mechanism to store extra protein. The unused proteins are broken down until they can be made into fate and the unique protein part is excreted from the body. If you do not eat enough protein to repair your body and build your baby, your body will begin to break down its own tissues to get building blocks for your baby and neither you nor your baby will have what you need to keep your bodies healthy. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot build a baby from the extra stores of fat on your hips.

Every day you need just about .4 grams of protein for each pound of body weight (0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight). So a 140 pound woman should eat about 56 grams of protein a day when she is not pregnant. When you are pregnant, your protein needs increase. Dr. Brewer recommended aiming for 80 to 100 grams of protein every day while pregnant.

Eggs and Milk

To eat this much protein, Dr. Brewer recommended building your daily menu around 2 eggs and 4 cups of milk. Milk and eggs are inexpensive, readily available, provide high quality protein and can be prepared in a variety of ways. In addition to the protein, eggs and milk provide a variety of vitamins and minerals and are a good nutritional value for the number of calories they contain. By starting with 2 eggs and 4 servings of milk, you will already have 32 grams of protein every day.

Beans and Meat

In addition to the eggs and milk, you should eat 2 additional servings of high protein foods each day. Choose the protein foods you prefer to eat. Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, pork, lamb, beef or fish are all acceptable. Depending on the type of meat or fish you choose, you will have around 25 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. Vegetable proteins are also acceptable when they are properly combined, however they do not provide the same volume of protein per serving so you may need to eat more food to reach the recommended 80-100 grams of protein per day.


Dr. Brewer also recommended you eat one or two servings of fresh green leafy vegetables every day. Green vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals and provide folate. This includes the leafy greens such as mustard, collard and kale, dark lettuces, cabbage and broccoli. A serving of leafy vegetables is 1 cup.

In addition to the green vegetables, you should eat a yellow or orange vegetable 5 times a week. This can be squash, carrots, sweet potato, rutabaga or any other yellow or orange vegetable. You should also have two sources of vitamin C every day, such as a whole potato, large green pepper, grapefruit, orange, strawberries, papaya or tomato. A serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked. The serving size of fruit is 1 medium piece or 1/2 cup of canned or chopped fruit. This will average out to about 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Whole Grains

The Brewer diet also includes 5 servings of whole grains or whole grain products every day. These include oatmeal, barley, brown rice, whole grain cereals, whole grain breads and other less common grains. A serving of a grain is 1/2 cup of the grain, 1/2 cup of pasta or rice, 1 slice of bread, 1 tortilla (or 1/2 if they are large), or 1 oz of a ready to eat cereal.

Dr. Brewer believed this was the minimum amount of food needed to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you are hungry for more, eat more but do not try to consume less in an effort to control your weight gain. The amount of weight you gain is not an indicator of the nutritive value of your diet. Concentrate on choosing good healthy foods and eating enough to satisfy your body's needs.

Many women read the Brewer pregnancy diet and become concerned it recommends too much food to eat in one day. However, when compared to the food guide pyramid (the recommended eating plan from the United States Government), it only requires an extra milk and protein each day.

Remember, the serving size is not the same as what you may be used to considering a helping. One slice of bread is one serving of a grain, so when you use two slices for a sandwich you are having at least two servings (and more with many of the larger bread products available).

Dr. Brewer concluded his diet by recommending you salt your food to taste and drink water enough to quench your thirst. Your body needs both salt and water to function properly.

  • We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong.                                                                      ~Harm
  • Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.                                                                       ~Einstein
  • To know the way ahead, ask those coming back.  ~Chinese proverb

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:16 AM
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by on Dec. 24, 2009 at 1:12 PM

One great reason I am so drawn to midwifery care is because of how they take so much time to inform & educate their clients (and I love that they don't say "patients," too!!).

A woman can become educated how to prevent illnesses and complications along the way.  Learning how to eat healthily is a big part.



by on Dec. 24, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I wholly agree. If obs would take the time to teach mothers how to eat to avoid certain pregnancy problems, there would be a lot less women with pre-e/toxemia, etc.

It doesn't stop it in every case, but can in most cases.


by on Dec. 29, 2009 at 9:03 PM

thanks for the response, christy!

Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.

~Barbara Katz Rothma

When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change. -Mongan

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