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Topic review

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Expand view Topic review: BREWER PREGNANCY DIET AND PRE-E


Post by lories » Wed Feb 25, 2004 09:51 am

I just wanted to agree with Jessica somewhat. While I don't necessarily think Bradley classes are evil, I do think they have the potential to be dangerous. Women are told that they WILL NOT and CANNOT get pre-eclampsia if they eat enough protein. Because of that, they might ignore symptoms that should be checked out because they feel they are immune from the disease. I know there was a woman in my class who was 33 weeks pregnant and mentioned she was having severe headaches frequently and had been undergoing rapid vision changes. She was NOT advised by the instructor to call her doctor as soon as possible, but was instead given some exercises to try at home. (She was advised by other class members to see her doctor, luckily).

So, in that sense, I do think the classes can be somewhat dangerous, since they lead women to believe that eating enough protein provides complete immunity from pre-eclampsia.



Post by annes » Wed Feb 25, 2004 09:35 am

I just wanted to chime in that Laura's post was very well written, and I am in agreement with her. I found out about the Brewer diet after I had experienced pre-eclampsia and was trying to find out why I was afflicted with it. I found the website and could only read part of it, because it made me feel sooo guilty, as though I could have prevented the whole episode simply by eating differently. I was very conscious during my pregnancy of food and what I put into my body, and was dismayed to think that there may have been more I could have done, I dismissed the Brewer thing pretty quickly because I don't believe that people should be made to feel guilty for medical conditions. That being said, I still deal with guilt, that I should have lost a fair amount of weight before my pregnancy, and am attempting to lose some now (without great results) so that I will be at a better size if my DH and I choose to have another child. Those are proactive things that I will do because I think it is the informed, smart thing to do, not because some internet diet Doctor made me feel worse than I was already feeling about developing preeclampsia and almost losing my child and my life. OOPS, a little free therapy on the Preeclampsia forum, sorry! I still get worked up![:I]

Parker 7/6/03(severe pe)33wks


Post by angelical » Wed Feb 25, 2004 07:35 am


That is such a well-written post.

For myself, I had never heard of Dr. Brewer until we started discussing it here. But throughout my pregnancy, I did hear every idea and thought on what I could be doing better. It is so easy, since there are no definitives on what causes this or what stops it, to blame the woman for getting and succumbing to pree. I refuse, though, to let myself feel guilty for what happened. I think I did what all was reasonable and within my ability given my situation, with hypermesis and then pree/HELLP AND working full-time with an hour commute. Should I have eaten less salt, more steak, walked more, rested more... I don't know and until someone can show me PROOF of what causes and helps pree, then I cannot let guilt come down on my shoulders. It is hard enough to feel normal and happy after all this, without guilt in it too.

Anyway... great post, Laura.... there's not too much else to add. [8D]


Sharel O'Connell
Local coordinator for Pittsburgh area
'Parents of Preemies' co-moderator
Survivor of Preeclampsia, HELLP Syndome, & preemie parenting
Future adoptive mom

Aaron (28 weeker, 5/2/02)
Kevin - DH


Post by laura » Wed Feb 25, 2004 01:01 am

Jessica, I've been thinking about your post all evening- how to respond without being a hypocrite, while being true to what I believe and still being diplomatic. It's a subject I think about pretty often, for a couple of reasons.

For me, probably the worst and longest-ranging effect I felt from my bout with severe pre-e was losing my trust in my provider. It ranks up there with finding out there is no Santa, my cheating first love, and my parents' separation- with one huge difference- my mistrust led to my presence here, and why I'm still chatting with you guys long after my pre-e babe is out of diapers and into training wheels. I developed this notion of well, you folks don't know what the h**l you're doing, so I'd better figure it out. Changed my worldview, so to speak. Forced me into official adulthood.

And Brewer, I guess you could say, was the root of a lot of that. I was very ill, and I trusted my midwife implicitly, and she told me that there was nothing wrong with me that a little protein wouldn't fix, to eat a steak, and I'll see you next month. Well, my child was squalling on the outside long before that month was up. I'm frequently visited by the understanding that if I hadn't been working at that hospital, if I hadn't known that the headaches she said were normal weren't, if I hadn't followed my instinct- we (my dd and I) may not be here. It's scary (esp for a control freak) to acknowledge that the trust I gave so thoughtlessly could have cost my child her life. It's pretty fair to say that I'm pretty darned angry about it. Still. It's something I'm working on.

I try to look at it this way. This whole "pregnancy is not a disease" thing is a mantra for some folks that has become nearly religon. We, the puffy preeclamptic types, are the 5% that stands in the way of their proof- therefore, it must be our faults. Our mere existence challenges the foundation their world is based on. I can't say in all fairness that they're evil- I think it is arrogance driving this. The premise that our docs impede a natural process that they alone understand is inherently ego boosting for them- and they appeal to our egos by appearing to give the selected few the understanding they need to trump the professionals. The folks I've met of this ilk are the sort who are bright but probably not formally educated- the sort of folks for whom the term 'anecdotal' isn't a pejorative, and for whom 'peer-reviewed' means little. And I guess that's all right-- For the 95% of women who bear children without complication, without Pre-e. I try to understand that they don't know the harm they do in the guise of help, and like our halo-ed Oprah says "they did what they did because it's what they knew. When they know better, they'll do better."

I also try to understand that they may never know better unless it happens to them. And so, until they're struck by the Preeclampsia Fairy, I put the claims into the same realm as my neigbor who thinks the aliens talk to him through the fillings in his teeth- throwing rocks (figurative or literal) wouldn't fix him, nor would reason. Sometimes you just have to nod, and smile, because it's all you can do. And you try to be diplomatic, hopeful that when your sisters in pregnancy are faced with the facts they'll understand, too, and try to not get too impatient with the ones who aren't there yet. Believe me, I've tried fury, sarcasm (any reference to whales and their music probably is mocking ME), reason- it doesn't do anything but get people angry. This is the sort of thing people just have to find their own way on, something we old-timers here on the board learned the hard way. I didn't mean to write a book- but I couldn't go to bed having you think that you were alone in this- you're not, you're not, you're not.

And if anyone violently disagrees with me, that's fine. Email me. I'll just throw in the reminder that this forum is for people who have or have had preeclampsia. Check around the other health forums on the net- it's not appropriate to go to *any* place where people seek support and blame them for their maladies, and it sure isn't appropriate here.

Moderator/AK Coordinator

Mom to Alicia (severe PE) 5/98 and Camille (htn, oligo) 4/03


Post by tafkap » Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:53 am

I guess I'm the only one who DOES think that the Bradley method is "evil". It sets women who have pre-e (or other complications) to fail.

I think natural childbirth is GREAT. I was a FIRM believer it its benefits- but when you teach natural childbirth at the expense of those who are unable to do so, are you really teaching or merely preaching?

And yes, it is "Evil" in that it provides false information. Wether or not Tom Brewer is correct, there are OTHER opinions out there- to teach Tom Brewer as the "bible" deliberatley is wrong- and any childbirth method that places its sole practice on this belief is simply ignorant. For a method that teaches "consumerism" they sure don't practice it.


Post by hutced » Tue Feb 24, 2004 08:19 am

I dont know much about the Bradly Method or the Brewer Diet but I do know about "UNINFORMED" people. My sister-in-law who is somewhat in the medical profession told everyone, except me of course, I had PE because I ate too much salt.

I am so angry at the stupidity out there.

Emily 3-6-02 41 1/2wks, 7lbs15oz
Evan 10-21-03 35wks, 5lbs6oz, PIH/PE (placental abruption)


Post by denise » Sun Feb 22, 2004 03:01 pm

I meant "evils" in a sarcastic way, I guess.[:I] I think people should be able to giv birth in whatever way they'd like, I just don't like being told I'm ignorant because of my beliefs. I have the same problem with people thinking I brought this on myself. I guess I'm saying I agree with you 100% Sara!

Ariana-born 5/3/03 at 35 weeks due to HELLP Syndrome


Post by sarab » Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:26 pm


Just want to clarify that I don't think the Bradley method (or anything else for that matter) is "evil". I have no issue with the Bradley method at all. If someone uses it and doesn't get pree, that's great! Same with the Brewer diet...if someone wants to follow it during their pregnancy, I say go for it. I just have a real problem with outrageous claims of 100% prevention that go along with Brewer, and the attitude that somehow we brought pree upon ourselves that many "natural birthers" have.

Oh yeah, and the fact that the Brewer web site looks like an infomercial makes me wonder... [:)]

Sara, 23
Local Coordinator, Utah

DH, Scott, 25
Maggie Lylas, 6/9/03, 29 weeks, severe pre-e


Post by denise » Sat Feb 21, 2004 07:45 pm

Wow, I guess I too new to know about the evils of Bradley. I don't even know if we have these classes around here. I've heard about them from tv, but that's about it. The one thing we don't need is to feel more guilt than what we already put upon ourselves![:(!] I know I've had one person say something about being overweight can cause problems with pregnancy and that maybe I should have lost some before I got prego. Needless to say, I don't ever talk to that person anymore! I also had a conversation with a pregnany couple the other day and was told I was naive because I insisted upon having a baby in the hospital for my pregnancy. Well, it's a good thing I did or we'd probably not be here! They are doing all natural, at home birth and want to avoid the hospital at all. After going through what we did, all I could do was shake my head and say everyone has their own opinions and needs.
Okay, I just went and checked out this guys website. He's out to make a buck right?[?] I would like to see peer-reviewed studies as well as some evidence!

Ariana-born 5/3/03 at 35 weeks due to HELLP Syndrome


Post by laura » Sat Feb 21, 2004 09:52 am

knickers in a twist?[:p] Too funny.

Moderator/AK Coordinator

Mom to Alicia (severe PE) 5/98 and Camille (htn, oligo) 4/03