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high protien diet

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high protien diet

Postby megdemar » Thu Dec 11, 2003 04:25 pm

by megdemar (1 Posts), Thu Dec 11, 2003 04:25 pm

I just stumbled across this forum and couldnt resist participating. I am a student midwife. The main treatment I have been taught for treating preeclampsia is a high protien diet. This means 60-100 g of protien each day and no refined foods. Also lots of water and salting your food to taste.
Or "every bite of food you put in your mouth should be protien". ( Nuts, lean meats, eggs, milk, whole grains and beans.) My mentor midwife has had great success with this advice for her clients.
Check out the book "What every pregnant woman should know about diet and drugs in pregnancy." by Dr. Tom Brewer.
I would like to see more emphasis placed on nutrition in modern medicine. Eating well is so important.
Cheers! Meghan
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Re : high protien diet

Postby ileana » Thu Dec 11, 2003 05:38 pm

by ileana (1010 Posts), Thu Dec 11, 2003 05:38 pm

What we are against here at the Foundation is the "One size fits all" a.k.a. there is one miracle treatment for preeclampsia.

What works for some people might be dangerous to others. Maybe we do not exchange healthy menus in here, but some of the women in here are on bedrest, with not so many options. Others have kidney diseases, and too much protein is dangerous for them. Others are too sick to eat anything...

We encourage everyone to trust their doctors in recommending a specific diet. Also, we consider that preeclampsia is a very dangerous disease and the treatment should be at least overviewed by a doctor (actually we recommmend being managed by a high-risk pregnancy doctor)

About the recommendation to drink more water, I think that's everywhere on the web site and there was a discussion about salt just the other day...

Eating well is very important... we agree with that.

We had midwives around here for a post or two... I honestly wish we had more and we could spread the word of what preeclampsia is. Please don't go away, stay here, read our stories and ask your midwife mentor what's her opinion for each of these cases.

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Re : high protien diet

Postby akemt » Thu Dec 11, 2003 06:00 pm

by akemt (4961 Posts), Thu Dec 11, 2003 06:00 pm


Thankyou for your concern and input.

OOPS! I forgot what part of the forum I was (eg, the edit)

Here are some links to the discussion we've had previously reguarding the Brewers diet:

I've made my comments on some of those. I agree that eating healthy is best, but I personally do not beleive that diet is it.

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Re : high protien diet

Postby annegarrett » Thu Dec 11, 2003 09:21 pm

by annegarrett (2525 Posts), Thu Dec 11, 2003 09:21 pm

Thanks for weighing in. Ileana speaks for the PF when we say that we value a good diet with adequate protein and we strongly advise that women with preeclampsia (particularly a past experience of, or current situation with) see a high risk pregnancy specialist. There are excellent midwives and the theory you raise is highly thought of by one camp of such midwives. Some of our medical board specialists agree that diet is a factor but we do not have anyone on our board who endorses the Brewer diet. However, every woman is different. We do hope for some women that diet makes all the difference. As with any theory--talk to your doctor and make sure you don't have issues that might make excessive protein dangerous for you before starting such a diet--and never assume that by eating well that you are covering all the bases. A good diet should be a foundation of a good pregnancy but some women have other factors that make their care more complex.

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Re : high protien diet

Postby joanne » Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:38 am

by joanne (25 Posts), Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:38 am


Thanks for trying but it doesn't guarantee success. My last pregnancy I ate fantastically well and still got PE serious enough to be delivered at 31 weeks.

I have to say I am strongly of the view that we should discourage women from thinking that there is a solution which if they follow it, they wouldn't get PE. Guilt is something that we could do without. Compare diets of pregnant women all around the world - there are malnourished third world mothers who dont get PE and people like myself who eat lots of protein/healthily who do. This is a complex disease, it occurs in different circumstances in different women with different outcomes. If there were an easy solution we'd know about it here and many wonen and babies lives would be saved/improved.

Many experts now believe that the problem arises in the first trimester at the time the placenta is formed. I recommend you read up on these theories. There is no causes or cure been proven yet and whilst its good to share theories to raise awareness we cant recommend anything to anyone except for vigilance.

I'm glad you are interested in this disease the greater awareness in midwives and pregnant women the more lives will be saved.


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Re : high protien diet

Postby laura » Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:33 am

by laura (5139 Posts), Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:33 am

Jo, are people familiar with the Brewer diet in the UK? What are the perceptions there? Is it common for providers to "prescribe" the diet for sick women?

I would hope that if providers do advocate this diet, at the very least they don't abdicate for their responsiblity as providers to run the requisite tests, and watch closely for worsening symptoms.

I developed a lasting, profound mistrust for providers as my midwife quite literally told me to "go have a steak" as I became increasingly ill. If she had said- "do this 24 hour urine and come back for a NST and then go have a steak", perhaps I wouldn't have a little voodoo doll bearing a striking resemblance to her with pins sticking out of interesting parts of the anatomy....

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Re : high protien diet

Postby mada » Fri Dec 12, 2003 01:18 pm

by mada (4081 Posts), Fri Dec 12, 2003 01:18 pm

Too funny Laura...I to agree that no one needs to feel more guilt about this disease....I mean we are constantly blaming ourselves during pregnancy thinking it was something we did. And yes diet is important but so many women do eat tons of protien ect. and still develope PE. This is about saving moms and babys.....ANd that means more than just eating well.It is imperative to have the right tests, medications (if needed) and bedrest.....

Mada Harpster

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Re : high protien diet

Postby joanne » Sat Dec 13, 2003 05:19 am

by joanne (25 Posts), Sat Dec 13, 2003 05:19 am


My own experience of PE treatment in the UK is "wait and see". ie reactive and not proactive. This ties in with no one knows what causes or cures it so whatever you take can't be guaranteed to work.

Specialists and they are reluctant to prescribe anything in particular. Advice is usually, eat normally ( nothing special you do will make any difference), rest if your BP is going up.

Of course if you are in your first pregnancy and start to develop PE symptoms there is very little you can do at that stage ( as regards food to make a difference).

There are some good specialists. My specialist advised me to eat normally, aspirin ( in my circumstances ) and vitamin C and E after 12 weeks and not to overdo the stress. He had carried out plenty of tests to look for underlying conditions. There was the caveat at the end that there are no guarantees the same would not happen again anyway.

No one I have come across expressly recommends or disapproves of Brewer.

I ran Brewer past my consultant who smiled and said I could try it but there was no evidence to say it worked. I did for a bit but felt constantly bloated so toned it down to a normal healthy diet.

p.s. this is only my experience and there are probably different views and opinions from others in the UK.

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Re : high protien diet

Postby joanne » Sat Dec 13, 2003 05:35 am

by joanne (25 Posts), Sat Dec 13, 2003 05:35 am


I too have a thing about some midwives and their views or ignorance of PE. I might try that voodoo suggestion......


" its hot weather thats why your BP is up and you are dizzy.."
" you have white coat syndrome..."
" BP is supposed to be raised in 2nd trimester....."
" no-one ever gets it the second time...."
" take a sleeping tablet"
" you have been overworking..."
" take these antiboiotics..."
" why are your lips blue - take off your make up.......(girl was have an asthma attack!!!)
"140/89 - thats normal" - without looking at my history
" you'll get to 36 weeks - stop worrying"

I have to say there were one or two brilliant midwives who got me through, listened to my concerns and advised me truthfully.


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Re : high protien diet

Postby sarahedgcomb » Sun Dec 14, 2003 04:39 am

by sarahedgcomb (19 Posts), Sun Dec 14, 2003 04:39 am


I couldn't help but chime in on this conversation. As some of you might have read in earlier posts, I think nutrition plays a big role in a healthy pregnancy - specifially protien - healthy protien from lean meat, nuts, beans, milk and eggs. Even "mainstream", well accepted pregnancy books from authors like Dr. Sears and others, recommend that a pregnant women eats at least 100 grams of protein a day - espeically in the 2nd trimester.

Of course, there are other reasons that women get preeclampsia, PIH and eclampsia - genetic mutations, metabolic disorders, underlying medical conditions like chronic hypertension, age, number of pregnancies and simply bad luck. I don't think that Megdemar was trying to insult the women on this site or downplay that there might be other reasons why one would become preeclamptic.

I've read a few posts on this site say that the rate of preeclampsia in poor and developing countries where malnutrition is commonplace, isn't any higher than in developed countries. Well, that is simply not true. In India, the infant mortality rate is something like 90 out of 1000. In the US, it's 6.8 - or around there. India has a very very high rate of eclampsia, and the mortality rate for the mothers with eclampsia is very very high as well. Most of this is linked to malnutrition.

I think that doctors and midwives, and us (as mothers and moms-to-be) should look at the "whole picture". I haven't run into a midwife or doctor, in the US or The Netherlands, who has asked me at my first appointment, what my diet is like. Never has a doctor or midwife talked to me about how much protein I should consume and what role nutrition plays in pregancy. Sure, I've gotten a pamphlet or booklet about what not to eat during pregnancy - like soft cheese and raw foods like fish - but never a question or a conversation about what's really important to eat during pregnancy. What's more (and on a slightly different train of thought..)every pregnancy magazine and pictures of pregnant women that you see, shows very thin model-like women, with little "bumps" where the baby is. I don't of any pregnant women who really look like that. Maybe, when they're 3 or 4 months along.

Of course, nutrition alone isn't going to solve the preeclampsia mystery and there are lots of women who eat well and still get preeclampsia. But I think instead of getting a bit defensive or guilt-ridden when someone comes on this site and suggests that nutrition plays a role in preeclampsia, we should be pushing our doctors and midwives to educate us and other women on the importance of nutrition during pregnancy. As well as pushing for the appropriate tests and screenings and proactive care that helps lessen the severity of preeclampsia.

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