How much does a mom's nutrition in pregnancy actually influence her health and that of the baby? What is it you really need to eat in order to grow a healthy baby?
I started my conscious nutritional journey 40 years ago, as a child, when my parents discovered the importance of natural food, started grinding grain and baking bread. Later my mother ran a natural food store, in which I often helped. I devoured all literature about nutrition that I could find and gained deep insight into the works of Weston A. Price and Dr. Tom Brewer. They both showed how nutrition can make a huge difference in the health of mothers and babies.
Weston A. Price emphasized the importance of truly natural foods including raw foods and those of animal origin. He showed how nutrition of both parents before conception and of women during pregnancy shape the health of the child. He also researched and wrote a lot about optimal nutrition of children. The fascinating aspect is that he studied nonindustrialized, naturally living, supremely healthy people and their nutrition on several different continents to arrive at his conclusions and recommendations. Back home in America, he then proceeded to reproduce these superb levels of health for the people he counselled and treated there.
Tom Brewer proved that eating certain minimum requirements of different natural foods such as fruit, vegetables, green leaves, healthy natural providers of carbohydrates (such as potatoes), sufficient energy and protein can completely eliminate preeclampsia, premature birth and low birth weight. Still, these older approaches in many cases did not work as well for contemporary women as they used to and I wondered why.
Later, with increasingly many people turning vegan, I researched how to make vegan nutrition work for moms and babies. I came to the conclusion that the answer lies in the emphasis on greens and raw foods and special preparation techniques. I have been experimenting with a diet based on raw vegan foods myself on and off through several years and am in close touch with people who have used this form of nutrition in pregnancy, during breastfeeding periods and for their children.
Eventually, I discovered Anthony William, thoroughly studied his approach, and found it to be the most effective and suitable one for our day and age, in which many people suffer from a multitude of health problems. I found his approach to work amazingly well and my nutritional advise relies mostly on him today, although I think and feel that it is always best to look at everyone and their needs and preferences individually.
Anthony William also writes very extensively about natural food supplements. I used to not consider using food supplements, because I thought that the body should be able to get everything it needs from natural food. But I noticed over time that this is not the case, which is partly due to the fact that most people's diets are not natural at all, or perhaps have only recently become natural, and years or decades of inferior nutrition cannot be compensated for so quickly. Another problem is the increasing impoverishment of the soil, which often no longer contains the necessary substances. Another very big problem is the exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, many other toxins, radiation and more aggressive pathogens. We are exposed to all these factors and can therefore very well use a portion of extra strength in the form of food and food supplements that are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals. Examples include freshly queezed celery juice, which has become justifiably famous, or the valuable algae spirulina or barley grass juice powder.
Ideally, a couple who want to have children should live and eat as well as possible for a whole year before planning a pregnancy. Three months before conception should actually be the minimum, because that is about how long the egg and sperm need to develop in the parents' bodies. But of course life is often not ideal... It is worthwhile at any point of your childbearing and -raising journe to try and eat and live as healthy and natural as possible!