Half a piece of lettuce is *not* a serving of vegetables!

One of my birth-y friends overheard a conversation in which an obviously pregnant woman told her friend that the lettuce on her fast-food hamburger was her serving of vegetables. I can only hope she was joking!

There are numerous diets in the world; some are geared towards pregnant women, many are not. There’s the official USDA My Pyramid diet, which can be customized for your height and weight and pregnancy status; the Brewer Diet; and many fairly vague, “just eat right, and make sure you take your vitamins” diets. Well, if the average American “ate right,” then we wouldn’t be having the rates of obesity we’re having now.

I don’t particularly like “one size fits all” diets, because we’re all individuals, and what works for one might not work for everyone. After all, not everyone is allergic to peanuts or kiwi or strawberries, but some people are! I’m not so sure about the “official” USDA diet, because it’s sort of “one size fits all” — you can customize the diet based on your height and weight, but there’s not much other variety. Also, I remember watching something years ago on 20/20 or one of those “news magazine” shows (pre “My Pyramid,” with the older pyramid model I remember learning about in school), in which the man demonstrated that people who followed the supposedly “healthy” pyramid diet ended up getting fatter and less healthy. And there was a conversation on a forum I’m on between a couple of nurses or other health professionals, who both noted that when they went on the “right” diet they learned about in nursing school, that both they and whatever other schoolmates also went on the diet started gaining weight. Perhaps it’s changed since that time, though. It still allows over-processed white flour and white rice and other partial grains as counting towards your “grain intake,” while just suggesting that you “make half your grains whole grains.” And, fwiw, here’s a USDA pdf titled “Nutrition During Pregnancy Resource,” which has tons of links, including many to studies and stuff. I’ve not looked at them, but thought it would be interesting, and it’s certainly “official” “good diet during pregnancy” advice.

The Brewer Diet is one that is frequently recommended by midwives and childbirth educators. I like it for several reasons — namely, it emphasizes “whole foods” which just have to be better than the commercially-prepared, extruded, processed, over-salted, fake ingredient foods many Americans consume — whole grains instead of white flour, white rice, etc; an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, etc. It is a “one size fits all” diet, which has its drawbacks, but I still think that people would be better off eating like this instead of the all-too-common french-fries-and-hamburger, fried chicken, pizza, and whatever other fast food and junk food we as a society constantly eat. I’m reminded of a former coworker of my husband’s who died of malnutrition weighing 400 pounds (at my husband’s estimation), because he never consumed food that had anything like real nutrition in it — it was all over-processed junk! And the comment at the top of the post, unfortunately, could be all too real, with some people probably thinking that the wilted, half-dead tiny portion of iceberg lettuce (which I’ve heard called “solid green colored water,” because that’s about the nutrition that’s in it!), counts as a serving of vegetables! So, the emphasis on real food, instead of white-flour hamburger buns with a tiny amount of an almost-vegetable, is a definite bonus.

When people look at all the food listed as a “daily requirement” on the Brewer Diet, I think they get a bit overwhelmed — and it does seem like a lot of food! However, it is also important to note what is not listed — namely, sugar (and other empty calories). Often, it’s not so much eating meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains that adds unhealthy weight (pregnant or not), it’s eating processed and/or highly-sugared foods — like potato chips, ice cream, candy bars, etc. — the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Just for kicks, I used the nutrition/calorie analyzer function on the USDA’s website (you have to register), and put in the following foods:

In case you can’t read it, it’s 2 slices of bread (as in a sandwich), 1 large carrot, 1/4 c. cottage cheese, 2 boiled eggs, 1 c. romaine lettuce (as for a salad), 1 whole grapefruit, 1 c. milk, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 c. peanuts, 1 c. cooked rice (which is 1/2 c. uncooked), 1 oz. swiss cheese, 4 oz. cooked turkey, 2 waffles, and 1 c. yogurt. The total calories was 2348, which might be a lot for some people, but isn’t really that bad, especially if you’re (moderately) active.  This might work out to being…

  • Breakfast – two waffles with 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or butter), and milk to drink
  • Morning snack – the grapefruit and yogurt
  • Lunch – turkey sandwich with cheese and lettuce, plus a salad with the remaining lettuce, the carrot, 1 egg, and another Tbsp. of the olive oil for dressing
  • Afternoon snack – peanuts and the other egg
  • Supper – remainder of the turkey, rice drizzled with last Tbsp. of olive oil, cottage cheese

For my part, I simply cannot eat that much dairy — it makes my lactose intolerance kick in. Sorry for the TMI, but somehow I don’t think that if I drink a quart of milk a day and it causes peristalsis to kick into overdrive (ok, “raging diarrhea” until it gets out of my system), that I’ll actually get much if any nutrients from milk or any other food I have eaten. I can handle small amounts of dairy every day, or large amounts every few days, but there is a point at which my body tips into imbalance, and I go from normal to in pain. A quart of milk is definitely overdoing it; yogurt is supposed to be easier to digest, but I don’t think I could handle much more than a cup per day, and perhaps some cheese. It’s good that there are some “calcium substitutions” on the Brewer diet, for non-dairy ways to keep calcium intake up, for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

Actually, many people are now suggesting that instead of calling it “lactose intolerance,” which makes it sound like a problem or a disease, we should call the ability to handle dairy after childhood, “lactase persistence” because the norm worldwide is to be unable to digest lactose! Europeans have a high incidence of lactose tolerance, thanks to a gene mutation; but most people from other cultures — Asians, Africans, etc., by and large are lactose intolerant. But our medical and scientific system arose from the European culture, and doctors decided what “normal” was based on those they were around, which was mostly people of European descent. As we’ve gotten more global in our understanding, we can see that many times “normal” isn’t “normal” at all — and with lactose intolerance being truly the norm, those of you who have no problems with dairy are actually the weird ones!😉

Last summer, I had gone on the Blood Type Diet and then the Genotype Diet, and had good results from it. On both, I just feel healthy and clean internally. Plus, on the Genotype Diet I lost about 15 pounds just by changing the types of food I ate, without even exercising much. I saw tremendous benefits in my husband who has more obvious health complaints than I do (muscle aches and pains, phlegm, sleep, restless legs, heartburn, etc. all gone as long as he ate compliantly); and one of my friends has her whole family on it, and is a HUGE believer in it. (Plus, she was on the GTD since before she got pregnant this last time, and only had a 45-minute labor!)

In my other two pregnancies, I let myself “eat for two” far too much! — my second pregnancy, in particular, since I was pregnant during Thanksgiving and Christmas: “I can’t ‘diet’ and I shouldn’t lose weight. Oh, I’ll just help myself to one of these homemade chocolate covered cherries, since it’s Christmas. Aaaand another one, since I’m ‘eating for two’!” Bad!! Bad idea! Sigh…

During this most recent pregnancy, I was combining the GenoType Diet with the Brewer Diet somewhat — choosing the types of food from the GTD, but eating quantities more along the lines of the Brewer Diet. Since I hadn’t quite gotten the non-dairy calcium intake down (the links I had to the Brewer Diet website were broken, and I only recently found a replacement website), I was taking extra calcium in pills at night; but I was writing down my protein intake, and also staying strictly away from sweets (except for Thanksgiving). It’s a good idea to write down what you eat, to make sure you’re getting the minimum requirements. The above list of foods I chose yielded the following nutrients, according to the USDA:

It was well over on many nutrients, but under on others — for instance, it was about 80 mcg short of folate; folic acid (folate) helps to prevent conditions like anencephaly and spina bifida. Of course, a prenatal vitamin will help to make up for the lack. Let me insert here, though, that I did not specify that I was pregnant, when I filled out this information and “daily diet” — the “recommended or acceptable range” might be different for a pregnant woman, or a man vs. a woman, or it might vary based on height and weight as well.

I don’t know if any of these nutrients would have a detrimental effect, if consumed in too high of quantities in the diet and/or vitamin pill. I know things like vitamin A can be toxic to fetuses, but I’m speaking specifically of getting “enough” in the diet by eating carrots (I don’t think you can overdose on carrots to the point of harming your baby, because you’re not actually consuming “vitamin A” but a precursor to it, and I think your body just discards what it doesn’t need/use); and if you’re getting enough vitamin A in the diet, might you then be getting too much by taking a prenatal vitamin with 100% RDA of Vitamin A for pregnant women? Not sure. Other things, though, it might be considered (within reason), “the more the merrier,” with many people saying that the RDA is the minimum amount the government has determined to be necessary to avoid major illnesses (like rickets or scurvy), but that we may need more of certain nutrients for optimum health, not just minimum health.

Still, as with all diets, it really comes down to “choose wisely,” and try to eat foods as close to the way nature made it rather than a bunch of processed junk food — whole potatoes, not potato chips, as an example. Different people have different ideas about what constitutes “the best diet,” but I think we can all agree that the more “whole” foods are bound to be healthier, so we should consume more of them, and less of the other.

16 Responses

  1. Thanks for your very interesting review and rumination of several related nutrition issues!

    I’d like to add a couple of thoughts that might be helpful….

    –I respectfully disagree about the Brewer Diet being a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan. I think that many people do see it that way, and I also think that that perception of the Brewer Diet may have led to its “failure” for some people.

    I don’t believe that the formulators of the Brewer Diet ever intended for it to be used in the same way by every person, or even by the same person in the same way for every week of her pregnancy. The primary goal of the Brewer Diet is to service the placenta–by assisting the pregnant body in its efforts to expand the mother’s blood volume by 60% by the end of the 24th week. The growth and development of the placenta, and concurrently the expansion of the mother’s blood volume occurs at different rates at different times of the pregnancy, so the mothers need to use this nutrition plan in different ways at different stages of their pregnancy.

    Many women experience a lot of difficulty with eating anything at all in the first trimester, but during that time the placenta is extremely small and requires less blood in the A-V shunt that is forming behind the placenta. So it is my recommendation to women that they probably do not need to be eating the full Basic Plan of the Brewer Diet right from Day One of the pregnancy. Rather, I encourage women to gradually work up to the Basic Plan by week 12 of the pregnancy.

    During the second trimester, the placenta is going through the major portion of its development. It is also during this time that the mother’s blood volume is attempting to bring it’s expansion up to its 60% increase. So it is during this time that the mother needs to be the most vigilent about cooperating with that process. But to do that, she needs to be continually aware of what her unique needs are, which sometimes may change on a daily or weekly basis. So she needs to view the Basic Plan of the Brewer Diet as simply the bare minimum of what she needs–not the be-all-and-end-all–and not the “automatic pilot” that she can set and ignore for the rest of the ride.

    Some of the factors that can contribute to this need for frequent adjustment of the mother’s diet can include the season of the year (she may lose extra salt by being outdoors in the summer months, or by being in over-heated living or working conditions in the winter months), and the number of calories she burns by having a higher than average level of activities of daily living (how many children and/or elderly parents does she care for?), or by including recreational exercise in her life, or by having a stressful job, or by having a job which includes a lot of physical activity, or by the addition of a trip or a household move into her life, for a few of the possible examples. If mothers do not frequently reassess and readjust their nutritional needs during this time, they can very easily fall behind on the blood volume expansion that their bodies are trying to do, in which case they are at risk of seeing a rising blood pressure, PE, and other complications.

    In the third trimester, the nutritional task is to maintain the 60% blood volume expansion that was hopefully accomplished in the second trimester. This will again involve continual self-awareness and readjustment of the levels of protein PLUS calories PLUS salt that each mother’s unique lifestyle and life circumstances will entail (no one’s life is continually static and unchanging).

    To see more about how to assess one’s fluctuating nutritional needs during pregnancy, you can see this page….

    http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id95.html

    I would also like to add that there are a couple of “tricks” that are often helpful for mothers who feel overwhelmed by the amount of food on the Brewer Diet…

    –Check out the serving sizes on the diet. Many women find that the serving sizes are actually smaller than they were picturing them to be when they first encountered the diet.

    –Print out the Weekly Checklist and post it on your refrigerator. There are no calorie counters or protein counters required. You just put a check mark in a box every time you eat something.

    –(You did make a suggestion similar to this one) Instead of trying to get the food in from only 3 meals a day, you can eat small snacks every hour and whenever you wake up at night. Every time you eat something, you can mark off the appropriate box on the weekly check list. By eating a little every hour, you might find that by the end of the 24 hours, you will have eaten most if not all of the servings on the checklist. Here are some examples….
    1 cup milk plus 1 banana
    1 nut butter sandwich plus 1 handful raisins
    1 cup yogurt plus 1 tangarine
    1 handful cheese cubes plus 1 handful baby carrots
    1/4 cup cottage cheese plus 1/4 cantaloupe
    1 egg plus 1 tomato
    1 handful nuts plus a handful of dried apricots
    1 handful trail mix plus 1 orange
    1 handful sunflower seeds plus 1 apple
    1 handful nuts plus 1 handful of grapes

    I hope that this helps.
    Joy

  2. I’m not following the blood-type diet religiously any more, but I did notice that when I severely reduced dairy and wheat, my too-fast pg weight gain was stopped in its tracks. I definitely don’t think the US Pyramid diet is healthy, especially in that it’s basically grain-based. How do you fatten a cow? Feed it grain. How do you fatten a human? Hmmm. Not that grain is bad, but basing a diet upon it might not be best. Anyhow, thanks for the good thoughts!

  3. My issue with diets and weight gain during pregnancy in general is even for those that are supposidly easily ‘personalized’ is that they start with the basic assumption that people need 2000 calories a day and pregnant woman need 2500 calories a day. While I work my way up to 2500 calories during late pregnancy I only need (to maintain a healthy weight/muscle mass vs fat) about 1000 calories. So having to more than double my food intake is extremely difficult, especially when, most days, pregnant, nursing, or other, I’m only HUNGRY for 1000 calories. I end up eating a lot of ‘bad’ food during pregnancy and nursing because, unless I use some of those ’empty’ high calorie foods, I’ll never make it to 2500. Eating a protein heavy 1000 calorie diet gives me all the vitaims/minerals MY body needs. A prenatal vitamin and a little extra in the ‘good food’ department takes care of the vitamin/mineral needs of my pregnant body/babies needs. But, as baby is growing rapidly (3rd trimester) or my body is adding blood volume/mass rapidly (2nd trimester) I do need more calories than I am hungry for, just like people in food-poor areas, however, all I need is the actual calories for energy. The difference between how much I’m able to consume comfortably and how much I need makes me crave high sugar/high calorie food to try to meet those basic calorie needs. I went from 190 (hadn’t lost the previous baby weight due to keeping calories up to produce milk) prepregnancy, to 175 towards the beginning on 2nd trimester. Making a conserted effort to up my calorie intake, I’m not back up to 190 at 25 weeks. Baby is growing normally for age and my first baby was born 9lbs. The only issue I have with vitamins is I end up (go figure they are two vitamins NOT in prenatals) being B12 low and fighting being vitamin K low too (for my body, not via blood test except did pop b12 anemic in late 1st pregnancy and needed the shots…those were WONDERFUL!)
    The point to this very long reply?….not everyone needs the same daily intake, of calories, vitamins, elements, protein, etc. Some of us could go on the ‘perfect’ diet (take your pck as to what that is) and gain weight, and at the same time maybe not meet their bodies reqiuirements (genetically I need, like all of my father’s side, a great deal more protien than most)….Now I will say I don’t eat as many vegetables as I should! But then again, if I filled my little stomach up with 60 calories of carrots, I won’t have room for the 300 calories I need to intake for that meal. And in case anyone thinks I only need 1000 calories a day because I’m overly sedintary or something, I only ate 1000 calories a day while running 5 plus miles a day during high school track and maintained a healthy 12% bmi at 130 at 5ft 6in (I know the height/weight seems off to some people, I was heavily muscled).

  4. I’m not completely sure that I understand what the question(s) are, but I will take a stab at it.

    –I do not believe that some women need only 1000 calories during pregnancy. The Brewer minimum for pregnancy is 2600 calories (not 2000-2500), and I believe that minimum to be accurate. When a mother gets fewer calories than that, she risks burning some of her precious protein for the energy that her body needs and is not getting from her calorie intake.

    –When a mother is able to put a check mark in all of the boxes of this weekly checklist (remembering that liver is optional), she will automatically have had the recommended 2600 calories for the day…

    http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id89.html

    –When a mother eats a small snack every hour during her day, and one or more when she wakes up during the night (examples of suggested snacks are in my earlier post above), she will most likely be able to fill in all of the boxes of the chart for each day.

    –When women have trouble getting enough calories in during pregnancy, it often helps to drink less water and get more of their fluids from liquids that have nutritional value–such as milk, 100% vegetable juices (no sweeteners added), and 100% fruit juices (no sweeteners added). When a mother drinks too much water she will have trouble getting enough of the foods that she needs to fit into her limited stomach space. See this link for more info about the water issue….

    http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id71.html

    –Women who get more than a few minutes of light to moderate exercise a day have been shown to be at a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia. I believe that this recent study underlines the Brewer principle that women who engage in extra physical activities need to compensate for that extra burn of calories by eating more than the minimum recommendation of 2600 calories. You can see the links to the study which describes these findings through this news report….

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/12December/Pages/Preeclampsiaandexercise.aspx

    –Women who are having trouble getting enough calories during pregnancy can add calories to their diet by increasing the fat content of their milk source. In other words, they can change from skim milk to 1% milk, or from 1% milk to 2% milk, or from 2% milk to whole milk.

    –It seems to me that there are several healthy options for increasing one’s calorie intake that don’t involve eating unhealthy, empty calories.

    Joy

    • I was commenting on diets in general. While I’m NOT pregnant my body only needs 1000 calories, even while very active, to maintain a healthy weight. I did end up eating (and am eating this pregnancy) around 2500 calories a day, and when I didn’t I lost a great deal of weight in the first trimester before I got my calorie intake up. I do switch from 2% milk to whole milk, choose v8 or 100% fruit juice over water more frequently, but its simply a matter of having a body that (when not trying to make another one!) has a ridiculously low metabolism/caloric need. Think of how much you eat every day and then imagine consuming 2.5 TIMES that much even though you aren’t hungry for the food. I didn’t actually have any questions, just commenting on how diets in general annoy me because if I ate (while not pregnant and trying to lose weight) as much food as even a very strict diet recommends I’d gain weight like crazy. A VLCD (very low calorie diet, usually 800 calories) which is considered only safe under a doctor’s supervision is what I NORMALLY consume on a day when I’m just ‘not very hungry’, before pregnancy my daily caloric intake was between 800-1200 calories, averaging 1000 calories a day. I was just noting that regardless of how ‘great’ the diet is, there is ALWAYS going to be SOMEONE out there that falls outside its guidelines.

  5. Thanks for the clarification.

    It sounds as though you ARE getting pretty close to the Brewer recommendations, even though it is as hard as it is for you! And it sounds as though you had already thought of several of the suggestions that I was making!

    For any other mother who might not try as hard as you are, I would say that while I can see that changing one’s way of eating can be very difficult, and more difficult for some mothers than for others, I would still advocate trying to follow the “Brewer” recommendations.

    According to Brewer, getting even as little as 1/3 less calories than is recomended (ie 1700 calories instead of the recommended 2600) will cause the body to burn as much as 1/2 of the protein that the mother is eating. So even if that mother manages to eat the maximum amount of protein of the Basic Plan (ie 120 grams of protein), she will only get 60 of those grams of protein for increasing her blood volume, growing baby cells, and putting on 1 lb 14 oz of new uterine muscle cells. The other 60 grams will get burned for calories.

    So it does seem like risky road for a mother to get too much less than that 2600 calories. I think that when it comes to activities that all human bodies do (in this case, all female bodies), the basic design is the same. All pregnant bodies work in generally the same way, and they all need a certain amount of calories, salt, and protein in order to make the pregnancy progress the way that it’s supposed to.

    So I think I just disagree with you on your last point, except in the case of a pregnant body that also has some kind of pre-existing condition or disease.

  6. Celiac disease is under-diagnosed in USA, and those who are diagnosed have typically had the disease for well over a decade before they finally get the diagnosis. I myself had never heard of it when I was diagnosed (via a duodenal endoscopy procedure). Even people who do not have the positive diagnostic result of flattened villi can have a grossly positive immune response to gliadin, for example. I wonder how many people who are (as I was for decades) eating gluten (the protein found in wheat, oats, barley, rye, and related grains (e.g. spelt, triticale) and most things derived from them) and thinking they were eating healthily, while those so-called “healthy whole grains” are quietly killing them?

    The trouble with celiac disease is that it often has no symptoms. Why is that a problem? Because it means many individuals are sustaining a lot of damage, at least some of which is preventable, if you eat a strictly gluten-free diet for the rest of your life or until they find a cure or some other treatment.

    When I was diagnosed, my celiac disease had caused thyroid damage, bone damage, and a whole host of other things. It is an autoimmune disease and causes infertility, an extremely nasty type of cancer, GI problems, serious vitamin deficiencies (your flattened villi can’t absorb things properly), early death, you name it. It is associated with other autoimmune conditions, depression, Down’s Syndrome, lactose intolerance, etc.

    Luckily, once you get over the shock, and learn how to read ingredients lists with a view to avoiding gluten, eating gluten-free becomes second nature. Though I must say, that reading ingredients lists for gluten has caused me to stop eating many products because of other things they contain (like trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, and lots of other mysterious chemicals that don’t sound very food-like. My diet is now soooo much better than it used to be in the days when I thought I was eating a healthy diet with lots of whole grains….

    • You can get gluten-free oats, but some gluten-sensitive people still have problems with them; other GS people never have a problem with oats. I have friends that go both ways — the child can’t even have “GF” oats, and the adult friend has never been bothered by them. There are a lot of people on the Blood Type Diet forums who have to be GF, and they were also surprised at first that a “healthy whole-grain diet” is not always so healthy for them.

  7. The Brewer diet is completely unproven, and it is dangerous insofar as women believe it will prevent or treat pre-eclampsia.

  8. This statement is completely false. It has been repeated over and over again on the internet by a few people who may believe it to be true. But repeating a falsehood over and over again innumerable times does not begin to make it true.

    The Brewer Diet has been proven over and over and over again for over 130 years, and it is not dangerous in the least. For a time line of the history of the Brewer Principles, you can see this link.

    http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/id80.html

    Calling the “Brewer Diet” is in some ways a misnomer, because so MANY researchers have done studies which support the principles involved in the Brewer Diet.

    The danger lies in women not even trying the “Brewer Diet” because they have heard that it is pointless to even try, and so they continue to develop the disease unnecessarily.

    Joy

  9. I just thought I’d add my two cents to the mix! First of all, after having an induction at 36 weeks b/c of PIH with my first birth, I was intrigued when I first heard about the Brewer Diet before I became pregnant again. I was in the process of completing my childbirth ed certification and began to do A LOT of reading on nutrition during pregnancy and specifically the brewer diet. The physiology behind the diet made perfect sense. I was absolutely sold on it, and was impressed by just how much research back up its validity. I knew that when I conceived again I had nothing to lose by trying it, based on my previous pregnancy, PLUS now I had pre-existing chronic hypertension prior to pregnancy to add onto it!

    I consulted with Joy Jones a couple of times, right before pregnancy and then during, as well as talking with Dr. Brewer’s widow, Gail. Both were extremely helpful in my trouble-shooting some issues that arose. I want to affirm that the Brewer Diet is not a “one-sized fits all” plan for pregnancy. It is so important for women to understand this, especially to know that the basic food guidelines are the minimum amount needed. At several points during pregnancy, I increased the amount of protein and salt I was consuming (by way of healthy foods) based on my activity level, my appetite, and if my BP was slightly increasing. I am happy to report that I went on to have a full-term, healthy baby even while having pre-existing chronic hypertension, a history of PIH, and being due in the middle of summer in Missouri! My BP only increased slightly by the end of pregnancy and I had absolutely no symptoms of pre-eclampsia. I carefully monitored my BP daily at home, and had a wonderfully supportive, low-intervention OB who partnered with me in this pregnancy.

    **Interestingly, at several points during my third trimester, my BP would all of the sudden get a bit higher. All of these instances coincided with times where I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was eating. When this happened, I would immediately up my protein and salt and within a day or two, my BP would come back down.

    I recently consulted with an acquintance who had severe PIH that resulted in a c-section at 34 weeks with her first pregnancy. She was intrigued by an eating plan that could actually prevent her from developing these same problems. I gave her lots of info, ideas and resources to help her out with the brewer diet. I am thrilled to say that she is now nearly 37 weeks pregnant with NO signs on PIH!!

    I really wish that the Brewer hotline was still up and running, as I believe that personal nutrition counseling is so vital for many women (again, b/c it’s not a one-size-fits-all diet). As an educator, the brewer diet is such an important tool for women to have for the healthies pregnancy/baby possible.

    • Thanks for these stories. I’ve heard similar ones from doulas, childbirth educators, etc.

      One correction — I’m pretty sure that Gail is not Dr. Brewer’s widow, but rather his former daughter-in-law. I was on an email list with her when he passed away. I think she was married to his son; and although they divorced, she remained close to Dr. Brewer and his family until his death.

  10. Gail Sforza Brewer Krebs is Dr. Tom Brewer’s former wife. By the time that he died they had been divorced for awhile, so I’m guessing that perhaps that would mean that she cannot be called his widow. But they were married during the writing of most of their books. 🙂
    Joy

    • Huh. I could’ve *sworn* she was married to his son. Oh, well, ya learn somethin’ new every day!🙂 Maybe I just assumed she was his former DIL instead of former wife, because often people who are divorced do not remain amicable.

      • They do have a son named Thomas, so maybe that was a part of the confusion also. 🙂

        Sarah B, I’d be interested in being in contact with you, if you’d like to email me.

        Joy

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