by annegarrett (2525 Posts), Mon Sep 01, 2003 08:35 pm
I appreciate your weighing in, however I am troubled that the tone on this forum strikes you as condescending. I imagine some of us are--we have very strong opinions--however I searched through this thread with great care and found no one saying that she advocated ignoring the importance of diet--in fact--I found numerous citations of women saying how important it was and that that was NOT the issue.
I appreciate you feel Sarah needed support and defending. We are all adults here and I was very impressed with how Sarah handled some very vigourous debate. She was tactful, thoughtful and made an effort to be responsive to the individual differences raised. I think she handled herself admirably and even rose above some more heated comments when required.
Saying that the March of Dimes says that "Low birth weight is the cause of the greatest number of deaths in the first year of life and it the major cause of disability in childhood," does not equal Dr. Brewer being right. I can ASSURE you that the March of Dimes truly does not support the Brewer Diet. I know--I just recently met with their Assistant Medical Director. Nonetheless, it doesn't mean he is wrong.
It does not say that LBW is directly caused by a woman failing to eat the Brewer diet--eat 3300 calories a day and potentially dangerous levels of protein, it does not unfairly and unkindly enter a forum of survivors of a devastating disease--a large percentage of whom (25%) have lost their babies--and flatly say that the women who had this had a direct hand in it. I am appalled that someone with your professional background would suggest that our women are "abdicat(ing) themselves from their participation in their wellbeing and in their births."
I am sure the fact that you haven't had much experience with preeclampsia is largely to due with your good care, your experience with childbirth and your caring nature. I can't imagine you would look a client in the eye and tell her that she lost her baby because she abdicated herself from participation in her wellbeing. Tell that to this woman:
Shame on you.
The fact also is that people INSIDE the Brewer group have admitted that he is not entirely lucid. I for one am quite uncomfortable advising women to take medical advice from a man who does not seem to be entirely "all there". I have, in my office, over 300 postcards and letters from this doctor, with imaginary names and return addresses on the envelope, written in several different colored pens, covering every white corner of the paper, illegible script, with insults like "Nazi" and accusations of murdering babies and women, and bizarre ramblings that IF you can read them don't even make sense.
Our organization cannot--in good conscience--endorse the work that has not been proven scientifically. IF you would have read our forum--you will see we don't recommend Aspirin, Heparin, Calcium, Antihypertensives, or even BEDREST. WE don't endorse things that are still open to debate. There is no question that his diet clearly falls in that camp. The fact is that Dr. Brewer's Diet has been studied and has not really been demonstrated to be successful. DESPITE this--I have on several occasions here said we don't know--and that women should, if they want, and with the guidance of their health care professionals, give it a try. We just heard of a woman who had HELLP last time and who had a very safe waterbirth at home with a 9# baby after following the Brewer diet. You will not find me saying he is right or wrong--we are just saying we don't endorse it.
There is no question (if you will see--my very last post was about the importance of a proper diet and losing excess weight prior to conception) that we strongly feel that a healthy diet is critical.
And for the record--yes--I am quite aware of the Stewart book and other excellent books (IMO)--including Adelle Davis, Diet for a Small Planet, etc...because in fact, I am extremely health conscious and at the time was a vegan. Funny though--that this did not prevent me from getting preeclampsia three times. Ironic given that I was in hypno-birthing classes and had an excellent midwife whom I loved and who really helped me immensely. Sad really because, unlike my best friend who delivered four babies in the tub at home--I was in the hospital having acute renal failure because my MIDWIFE realized I needed to get to the hospital. She would be the first person to tell you that I take great care with my diet, I drink filtered water, I wake every morning to a meditation tape (no Laura, not whales singing...though likely I am the sort who would own that [;)]), I limit tv, violence, read to my children, recycle, compost, attend church, love my neighbor, eat organic, drink in moderation, and juice religiously.
We are not a bunch of techno-freaks who think a pill or a test is the cure. We are seeking answers in a safe and protected forum--one that is meant to be for membership to survivors. MY job is to make sure that all members here exchange information in a compassionate and thoughtful manner. I would like to think that this forum was a place where people can use their commonsense and pick and choose from good advice from people who recognize that women come here with a variety of experiences and traumas--and who sensitively and responsibly share their own experiences. This is a forum for preeclampsia survivors--not for people who are pushing an agenda--we won't allow doctors to push their research here (even doctors on our own medical board) and we won't allow salesmen to sell Juice products...we exchange information based on what happened to us.
Unless you personally have had preeclampsia or DO have preeclampsia, you are on the wrong board.
If you had ever had preeclampsia--I think you would have read the posts with more care and certainly more compassion.