Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brewer Pregnancy Diet

I am not talking about losing or controlling weight during pregnancy, but rather a healthy way of eating. The "Brewer Pregnancy Diet" is considered by many physicians and midwives to be the healthiest eating plan to follow during pregnancy.

Above all else, this diet emphasizes the importance of consuming enough protein, which is crucial for growing a healthy baby without compromising the mother's health. This diet is not a low-carb diet, it is high-protein and also emphasizes healthy carbs. It is easy to follow after getting used to the recommended daily and weekly foods.

I have heard some ignorant people say that babies are like leeches and they will get whatever nutrition they need from mom regardless of her diet, but that is simply not true.

Several years ago, a close friend of mine and her baby almost died from HELLP syndrome (a complication or severe form of preeclampsia), which her midwife failed to detect. After an emergency C-section, she ended up in the ICU and had to have several blood transfusions. Countless other times, I have talked to or heard about mothers who had preeclampsia and were either immediately taken in for a C-section or given a couple of days to improve and (after their condition did not change) were enduced, often likewise resulting in a C-section.

Almost 100% of these cases would have been entirely preventable and in many cases even reversible through following the nutritional guidelines of the Brewer Pregnancy Diet. My goal is not to make these moms feel bad, my goal is to educate others so they will not suffer the same problems with their pregnancies. I blame the medical professionals who fail to explain to mothers about healthy nutrition, and who allow malnutrition to develop into a severe problem that has to be "fixed" with drastic and invasive measures rather than corrected through diet.

If you are already pregnant and have been told by your doctor that your blood pressure is high, and/or that you have protein in your urine, and/or you suffer from severe headaches, and/or you have severe swelling of your hands or even mild swelling of the face, please examine your diet. Most likely, you are not getting near enough protein every day, which means 100-120 g of protein or more. Many doctors will not diagnose your condition correctly as preeclampsia until it has become completely out of hand, and an emergency C-section is the only option. The doctor may make a note in your file of some of the symptoms, but usually not tell you about it because the prevailing medical opinion is that preeclampsia is an unexplained fluke, and that there is no cure for it other than delivering the baby when mom's blood pressure gets too high. In an effort not to worry the mother, which could further increase her blood pressure, they rarely inform her, or just play it off as normal.

Unless they make a conscious effort, most women will not eat that much protein in one day. You can reverse your symptoms by following the Brewer Pregnancy Diet. Having a C-section due to preeclampsia may not seem like a big deal, but it is for various reasons:

- Many women are emotionally traumatized by it, especially when it is sudden and unexpected.

- Babies are often delivered prematurely and may have to go to the NICU. On top of this, many babies' condition has already taken a hit from receving not enough oxygen for days or even weeks. This is due to the fact that when mom's blood pressure rises, the body starts depriving the plancenta (and thereby the baby) of oxygen in an attempt to save the mother's life.

- C-section are considered major surgery, and are associated with a host of negative side effects on both mother and baby. They also limit the amount of babies that a mother will be able to have, because many doctors/hospitals/states do not allow VBACs. Therefore, a mother is forced to undergo C-sections even after a healthy pregnancy, and three C-sections is generally considered the safe maximum for a woman. I have heard of some mothers who had as many as eight, but this is neither desirable nor healthy.

Eating right, on the other hand, is very easy. It is more a question of knowing to eat "this" versus "that". A hard-boiled egg on whole wheat toast with butter is a much better choice than a donut and coffee. Not only is the latter fat- and sugar-laden, it also provides next to no protein.

In addition to preventing preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome, the Brewer Pregnancy Diet also prevents other health problems in the baby and helps mom to grow a healthy placenta and umbilical cord, which are crucial for a safe delivery.

If you are hoping to get pregnant, you can start following the daily recommendations now and improve your chances of becoming pregnant, although you will probably find that you cannot eat that much food. If you already are pregnant, you should immediately start following the nutritional guidelines in the Brewer Pregnancy Diet. It is never too late to start.


  1. I have found that french toast is a good way to include eggs in my breakfast when I don't feel like eating eggs. Because of the protein, I don't feel sick and tired afterward like I do with pancakes or donuts.

  2. Hi Zsuzsanna.

    Thank you for this post.

    With baby number two my sugar level was a little bit too high. Just by increasing my protein/carb ratio slightly my blood sugar went back to normal in a week. My energy was higher, my legs stopped swelling in the evening, and my weight gain was extremely controlled.
    With my first baby I had a C-section, and a 'regular' birth with my second, and I can confirm from personal experience that recovery from a C-section is much slower and much more painful, not to mention the fact that after a C-section you can't drive, can't lift any weight and are basically disabled for weeks, which is not so terrible if it's your first child and you have a lot of help at home, but when you have other children to take care of at home it is really a problem.
    I read about women choosing elective C-sections and I can't help thinking they are crazy (and they have really bad doctors advising them!)

  3. Hi, Just wanted to let you know I opened up my blog again! :) Come visit sometime :)

  4. thanks for shairng this. I noticed that my midwife's big concern was protein intake, and I thought that was funny compared to regular ob-gyn's who generally seem concerned with weight gain ( not too much, not too little) and enough fiber to keep you from having digestive issues...anyhow, I know from teh one anatomy scan that I have had this pregnany that this protein fed baby is definitely bigger than my first two in this baby actually measures to dates, where my others were always somewhat small ( though healthy). AND I haven't had the marginally high blood pressure that I had in the early part of my first two pregnancies. In my last pregnanyc, the ob did a lot of testing and decided that I must have marginal kidney failure, instead of I know that I just need more preotein in my diet :)
    One of the best foods on my midwives list is cottage cheese- very high protein count. She told me that she even found out from one of her patients that in her homeland of Russian, cottage cheese is considered a traditional pregnancy food :o)

  5. That is so not true that babies are leeches and will get what they need regardless!

    With my 1st child I learned a huge lesson. I wasn't taking in enough calcium and my son took it from ME the amount I would need to retain good health. Unforatunately I wasn't taken in enough for his well being as well. It was actually painful as I couldn't figure out why I had such terrible tooth pains throughout the pregnancy.

    When I started to go to a holistic doctor I told her the story and she explained that you have to be sure to take more or it will take it from your own stores that you need. So with my second pregnancy she gave me what I would need and it was PERFECT! I was healthy and the baby got everything he needed.

    It is so important to not only feed your body during pregnancy but you much give the vitamins and such they they need as well.

  6. Thank you so much for this! I am 21 weeks pregnant and have definitely made major changes to my diet since I found out that I was pregnant. I didn't know how important protein was!! My midwife advised me to keep a food journal for several weeks and that has really helped. I pay far more attention to what I eat and make sure I get protein at each meal and with my snacks. I feel great and it's been a great help. Thanks for all your information on pregnancy and childbirth and childrearing. I will admit to coming to your site for insight in preparing for the birth of my son, since he's my first. Thanks!

  7. hi Zsuzsanna. I was wondering what your thoughts on infertility in general are. I know you are vocal about your opposition to IVF. What are your thoughts about IUI, Clomid, etc.? What about adoption? I am not being facetious, I am genuinely curious.

  8. But donuts and coffee are so much better tasting than a hard boiled egg!!! :) I am 32 weeks preggers and have been trying to be "healthy" in my eating habits this 3rd time around, more so than the other two I think. But I'm still gaining weight like crazy. Sadness. I'm anxious to read more about the Brewer Diet. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  9. Hi Zsuzsanna!
    Thank you for helping to spread the word about the Brewer Diet!
    I noticed today that the links to the Blue Ribbon Baby website are not working, probably because that website unfortunately has been offline for awhile.
    If you would like to link to another Brewer Diet website as well, here is the new website address for my Brewer Diet website...

    Best wishes,

  10. Thank you for sharing your pregnancy advice. I just found out this week that I'm 5 weeks pregnant and am really happy. I've thankfully always eaten healthy, but was unaware of the amount of protein needed for the baby. Now I've got to eat more protein!

    I believe it's really important to eat healthy when pregnant. It's no wonder so many children are born full of irritability and learning disabilities. A lot of it has to do with how they were fed in the womb.

    I also would like to recommend a doctor named Dr. Mercola. He's got a lot of great nutritional advice for pregnant women. As we aren't supposed to eat fish because of the high mercury count, etc., he recommends taking Krill Oil, which is used to prevent our babies from having brain problems.

    I've been taking it religiously.

    God bless you and yours.

  11. My midmife just started me on this diet. It's really not as hard as I thought it would be and I find I have so much more energy! :)

  12. Thank you for this post. My first child was born at 36 weeks and I had symptoms of pre-e and had dangerous high blood pressure through labor. Before she was born I went to the hospital 3 times for premature contractions. By Gods grace she was born healthy and didn't spend anytime in the NICU. She is now a thriving two year old. We are expecting our 2nd child in October and I was worried about premature contractions and labor again. I came across this post and starting today I'm going to follow the Brewer Diet. I'm also sharing this with my sister who's son died in the NICU this past October.

    1. Glad to hear this was helpful. Quality protein and salt are two key components to a healthy diet that are sometimes overlooked.

      I was very sorry to hear about your nephew. That is the worst thing that could ever happen to a mother. I hope your sister is doing ok.

  13. Hi,

    I see this post is pretty old but it's very interesting! I'm pregnant with my third child but have never heard of the Brewer Diet. I've been looking for some better guidelines for eating healthy getting good nutrition. What's your take on supplements? Do you still take prenatal vitamins while following this?

    I'm just starting my own blog to track my pregnancy. My goal is to find as much information as I can on healthy pregnancies and how they effect your labor and your baby. I'm glad I found your page! Thanks!


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.