Brewer Diet?

Are you pregnant again after having preeclampsia once already in a previous pregnancy? Post your thoughts/concerns here - there are others who share your feelings. This is also the home of our Bedrest Buddies Support group.
deerhart
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby deerhart » Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:26 am

HOLY COW 3300 calories a day!

Thats around 2x's the recommended intake for an adult and well over 1000 more calories then recommended for a pregnant woman (1600-2200 is avg for adult woman 1900-2500 is avg for a pregnant woman).

Heck i didn't eat that many calories a day when I was playing basketball and averaging 3-4 hous of strenous exercise daily, and I ate a ton (about 2500-2700 calories a day)

http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/DietGd.pdf
The recommended daily calorie intake and servings are on page 16-17 of the PDF

I think when you look at the brewer diet there is a lot more you have to take into consideration. What about your health AFTER the pregnancy. Every 10 calories a day you don't burn equates to adding 1 lb a year (so 3650 calories unspent =1 lbs). We also know that the body likes to hold on to fat versus dropping it.
Thus if your body uses 2300 calories a day pregnant, and you eat an extra 1000 calories over that, you are gaining 1lb ever 3.6 days. If you start the diet preconception (because you never know when its going to happen) so your on the diet for a full year (3 months preconception, 9 months of pregnany) you have 365000 unspent calories for that year that results in pure added weight in the form of fat.
That is 100lbs that you gained purly from your diet and doesn't include the natural weight you gain in pregnancy.
Thats 100lbs you will need to lose after the baby's born that will not just fall away because its not weight from excess fluids, baby.
Gaining that much weight can be just as unhealthy to your body as not eating well. Even if your eating all the right foods, if your eating in excess of what your boy needs your still eating unhealthy.

Erin

laura
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby laura » Fri Aug 01, 2003 08:29 am

Sorry, I won't apologize for the strong language- but I will reiterate that it was not directed at you- I have a profound disregard for people who place the quality of the birth experience over the safety of it (in high risk pregnancies alone), and when the people we count on to tell the difference between the two cannot because of personal agendas. Honestly, those words are mild compared to what I really think.

If anyone else still takes issue with my phraseology, they are welcome to email me personally to discuss it, as my personal take on that contingent really has little to do with preeclampsia, and is distracting from the discussion at hand.

I never argued that nutrition wasn't an important part of pe- we weren't discussing nutrition in general, we we were discussing the Brewer Diet specifically.

I've said for months that I think there might be something in the oxidative stress theory and I am watching the antioxidant supplement use with great interest- and have myself been taking them with my multivitamin...

I also deliberately eat a diet heavy in green leafy vegetables rich with the B family of vitamins, and try to limit my carbohydrates and refined sugar intake in a futile attempt to corral the PCOS/insulin resistant link to preeclampsia. Again, I think diet is important (which I've been saying all along) just not this one.



Laura-28
DH Jack-30
Allie 5-13-98 (35 weeks-pre-e)
Baby Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/c/camilleandallie/

sarahedgcomb
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby sarahedgcomb » Fri Aug 01, 2003 03:35 am

Even though your comment was directed at health care providers, it was pretty strong language and seemed to imply that if I agreed with aspects of Dr. Brewer's diet, that I also was in that category. That's how I could possibly think that that group included me.

Narrowmindedness runs both ways. I'm just exploring the possibility that nutrition might have something to do with preeclampsia. I seem to be in the minority on this site. I'm trying to combine nutrition (maybe in your eyes, an alternative practice) with seeing a high-risk specialist and following his orders.

This has been a learning experience for me as well. Dr. Brewer seems to stir up a lot of passion in people on this site and maybe it's better if I avoid the conversation in future as well.

Sarah

laura
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby laura » Fri Aug 01, 2003 02:29 am

Sarah, If you read carefully, you'd see that the comments I made were not directed at you- I am concerned about the element of providers-- in my personal case midwives- who underestimate the causes of preeclampsia and do not refer sick patients to doctors because they read stuff like Dr. Brewer. That's who I was talking about. I was not talking about you- quite honestly, I don't understand how you got that. I said there was a militant contingent that takes his word as gospel- why on earth would you think that group includes you?

Now, if you were a provider, who had a patient who had preeclampsia, and you didn't run tests, and blew off concerns and told her that she should eat better because that's why she's sick, and didn't refer her to a doctor, and made disparaging comments about the doctor's decision to intervene, then yes I am referring to you. Unabashedly and unrepentantly. I doubt it though, unless you're the person who helped muck out my first pregnancy and tried to sell me protein supplements as I got sicker instead of treating me.

Obviously, you're not a provider. You're seeing a perinatologist. You're educating yourself about the disease. You're doing what you can not to get sick. You're not who I'm talking about.

This thread started because someone asked us what we thought of the diet- and some of us don't support it for various reasons, and we tried to leave it at that, and in the past have been able to do that. I think it's ok to carefully examine the available evidence, and disagree with something without being at risk of narrowmindedness- which, (I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong)- seemed to be your implication.

I personally have very strong feelings about the diet-- I developed them a long time before I ever came here, and I try to hide that vehemence (poorly at times) until someone forces the issue. My opinions don't necessarily have a thing to do with the opinions of anyone else here but myself. If we have come to any kind of consensus, it was unintended.

This has certainly been a learning experience, and I know now to avoid the subject completely when it comes up in the future. I am sorry if you felt that my comments were personal to you-- they were certainly not intended as such.

Laura-28
DH Jack-30
Allie 5-13-98 (35 weeks-pre-e)
Baby Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/c/camilleandallie/

sarahedgcomb
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby sarahedgcomb » Fri Aug 01, 2003 00:41 am

Okay... this is the last posting, I really promise this time!

I'd just like to quote directly from Dr. Brewer's introduction in his book - not cheezy website.

"I want to make it clear that not all pregnancy problems are related to diet, but in this book I want to make clear which ones are... because these problems have solutions. In my view this is the best part of the Brewer Pregnancy Diet: it empowers you to do the best possible for yourself and your baby."

Sample menu plan - 3,300 calories

Breakfast: orange juice, corned beef hash with an egg, bran muffin w/pat of butter

Mid morning snack: yogurt with fresh fruit

Lunch: salad nicoise, whole wheat or rye crackers or bread, milk

mid afternoon snack: peanuts, almonds, salted, milk

Dinner: spinach salad, moroccan chicken (with almonds, prunes and apricots) cous-cous, milk

Dessert: honey sponge cake

Middle of the night snack: piece of cheese, hard boiled egg, slice of meat, something left over from dinner, to keep your blood sugar up and avoid a lightheaded feeling first thing in the a.m.

So, that's a sample menu he gives for a day on the Brewer Diet. I've been subsituting the hash with oatmeal and fruit and a hard boiled egg for breakfast. There are also vegan and vegatarian options. It doesn't sound that over the top to me. Doesn't sound like too much food to me either. Maybe I eat more than other women on this chat board, I don't know. I'm not overweight though, and I haven't gained much since I've been pregnant - 8 weeks now.

I also resent a little bit (not a little bit, but a lot) being referred to as the "unhindered living/labor to the sound of whales/doctors that are butchers contingent that take his word as gospel" that's just rude and untrue. I'm follwing a diet, that's all. One that doesn't differ much from any other pregnancy nutrition guide that you would find in any other pregancy book. I went though the same horrific illness that is preeclampsia that everyone else on this site has suffered.I was extremely sick with preeclampsia, was swollen beond recognition, had extremely high blood pressure and kidney failure. I had a c-section at 32 weeks and gave birth to a 2.5 pound son who was in the NICU for 3 months. Do you think I don't understand what the illness is all about? What women's suffering is like who have this illness? The fear and trepidation of embarking on another pregnancy and what might happen? What it's like to be the mother of a preemie? You're very rude, wrong and angry to imply that I don't understand and that I think doctors are butchers.

Jeez, I think the next time I have something to say on this board, I'll keep my mouth shut! [:(!]







Sarah

laura
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby laura » Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:20 am

I agree with Erin- it's not the notion that nutrition is important that riles us- it's THIS MAN SPECIFICALLY. Most reputable scientists don't have promotional websites that look and sound like an infomercial. Still, despite his shoddy, outdated science, and ridiculous hyperbole, a certain segement of the "unhindered living"/labor to the sound of the whales/doctors are butchers contingent takes his word as gospel- and endanger women's lives by underestimating the origin and complexity of the disease.

In my opinion- 'malnutrition' theories like this (perhaps specifically this one, I'm not sure)helped my first midwife nearly kill me by blowing off my hypertension and swelling until I was nearly in kidney failure. And I'm not the only one- I've read where midwives, referencing this Brewer diet, advise each other to modify sick women's diets by adding protien instead of running 24 hr urines or monitoring their blood pressure or refering them to a perinatologist- after all , it's not illness, it's malnutrition. Well, people die from that attitude.

Now, if the nutrition theory was accurate- why are preeclampsia rates constant throughout the world- and places where they have healthy diets and ample food have comparable preeclampsia rates as places of famine?

Preeclampsia is primarily a disease of first time mothers. 85% of cases of PE are in primagravidas- since the 'cause' of preeclampsia is malnutrition and a starved liver, does that mean that the low rates of recurrence are indicative that the women involved drastically improved their diets in subsequent pregnancies?

Does Dr. Brewers "0%" rates include women with lupus, kidney disease, or clotting disorders? No? Well, how can he tell? A great number of women with underlying disorders are asymptomatic during their childbearing years, as the illness will emerge later. How is Brewer able to screen these women out, since for many of them, there are no clinical indications of their underlying disorders? You said that perhaps my salt sensitivity made me a "special case" but really, 0% doesn't permit for "special cases"

And most importantly- why is Dr. Brewer so resistant to follow the normal channels of scientific/academic inquiry? Anyone can write a book or set up a website declaring that they have the "answer"- it's the ability of other people to replicate your results in a controlled setting that establishes proof. Now, for whatever reason, he is unable or unwilling to do this.

YOU are not saying his diet is one size fits all- but HE is. And 0% is not negotiable- he's either right, or he's wrong- HE hasn't permitted himself much leeway. Well, the problem is that I just don't believe 0%. And if he's wrong about that, he's wrong about it all.

It's great that you have good enough medical care that you can dabble in this- if this guy is wrong, then you're still covered. Well, I'd say a huge part of the problem is that many of us are having a hard time finding providers with sufficient knowledge about the disease competent to help us. We're not covered to begin with.

If you have a personal belief that this may help, then go for it- but as far as I'm concerned it has too little scientific proof backing it up and too many unanswered questions for us all to blithely jump on the bandwagon with you. And the problem is, if you follow what he says, and he's wrong, the potential loss is not face or ego- it's life.

Laura-28
DH Jack-30
Allie 5-13-98 (35 weeks-pre-e)
Baby Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/c/camilleandallie/

deerhart
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby deerhart » Thu Jul 31, 2003 07:44 am

You may not have said it, but HE does.

I think its the implications on his website
its things like this

When you understand what a good pregnancy diet is and how important good foods really are, you will be able to protect yourself and your baby from many complications.

That imply that woman who get PE don't understand good nutrition and didn't eat well.

or this
A good diet will protect you and your baby from MTLP. A good diet will protect you and your baby from Abruption of the Placenta. A good diet will protect you and your baby from miscarriages.

That implys that if you eat well you don't need to worry about PE and other complications which hasn't been proven at all imo and gives woman a false sense of security who then might ignore warning signs because they ate well they can't POSSIBLY get these.

and this
Every day of the week, you and your baby must have:

This statement alone implys that if you don't eat what he states then your not eating right which isn't true.
Looking at the items he has you eating and the portions they would make me sick
Your drinking 2x's the daily recommended amount of milk for an adult, your eating 3 pats of butter (which I do beleive that a pat = 1tsp which 3 pats equates to about half a stick a butter a day), plus 2 eggs (anyway, but eggs are typically fried which adds more grease and fat typically)
Not only is this diet high in protien, but it is also high in things like fats, calories, and can adversaly cause you to gain weight that you may not be able to remove easily because its not baby weight but true fat because of the calories.
You only need 300 more calories a day while pregnant.

Its alot less about the diet, but alot more about how he presents the information as imp misleading, granting a false sense of security, and trying to scare woman to do something that I think is not as healthy for them as he makes it out to be.

It does make me wonder though if anyone has followed the brewer diet to a T, had something happen and then sued him. I do know woman who followed the diet and had PE reoccurance, but I am not sure how closely they followed it and I guess that would be the hardest thing to document (this person also gained 80+ lbs before PE set in).

I question alot of the information that he provides because it rings so against everything else I have read/seen, etc.. I am also by nature wary of ANYTHING that is a catch all. Reminds me so much of the magic syrups that used to be sold back in the 1800's that cured everything from headaches to pneaumonia, to colds, to stubbed toes.

But I also have the knowledge that I ate extrodinarly well in both my pregnancies and still got PE, so the thought that its caused by a lack of nutrition and that eating right will protect you 100% I know is bull.
Thats like saying if you eat extremely well you will never get sick nor will you ever get cancer, or if you exercise you will never get sick nor will you ever get cancer.
It leaves out several important things.
Genetics
Environment

These 2 items when dealing with conditions and diseases of the body are very important.
Diet is important and a good diet does help reduce illness etc, but it does not prevent it.
So yes, some of us are oversensitive to the idea that someone makes promises that you will not get PE based only on part of the picture, I for one feel that woman are being lulled into a false sense of security, might ignore symptomns, and might miss something that leads to a bad outcome. His site and wording also implys blame on the woman who suffered from this which just adds to the guilt we naturally feel when we have this condition.

In other words, the diet may be great, but the presentation is ALL wrong, it makes unfounded promises and it blames.
Thats enough for me to be more hostile to it.

Erin



sarahedgcomb
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby sarahedgcomb » Thu Jul 31, 2003 05:57 am

Okay, this is my last posting to this topic - I promise!

All I did when I responded to a posting by Fiber about if anyone had heard of the Brewer Diet, was say that I had heard about the Brewer Diet and that I was following it. I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on T.V. I was just giving my humble opinion! In response to Erin's posting, I never said in any of my postings that the Brewer Diet was THE ONE diet to follow when you're pregnant. All I said was that it's very similar to what you read in other pregnancy books about pregnancy nutrition. I do think that a midwife, doctor or nutritionist might come up with a very similar plan to follow while you're pregnant. In fact, in Dr. Brewer's book, he has vegetarian plans and vegan plans to follow if you're opposed to eating animal products - so you'd never have to touch liver if you didn't want to.

I'm very surprised that a topic about nutrition, the Brewer Diet, specifically, could evoke so much negativity. What's the deal with that? Are we all looking so much for the high-tech solution to our problems? I mean, after I ruled out all of the serious medical situations that might have caused my preeclampsia... and I believe everybody should do this before they decide to have another baby... (diabetes, high blood pressure, clotting disorders, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease), I turned inward to see if there were any changes I could make to be a healthier person and to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. I don't know why this has caused people to react so negatively. I find it very strange.

Sarah







Sarah

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annegarrett
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby annegarrett » Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:14 pm

Well said Erin.

Anne

deerhart
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Re : Brewer Diet?

Postby deerhart » Tue Jul 29, 2003 03:09 pm

I don't think anyone was saying that people shouldn't eat healthy while pregnant.

But, one diet is not healthy for all, period. We are all different people with different needs and I would have very little problems saying that a nutrionist would not typically put a normal person on the brewer diet.

I personally could not eat or follow that diet as its way way way to much for me and I eat alot of calories as it is.

The issue is that idea that ONE SINGLE diet is the answer. its really not. My typical diet is really not that far off of the brewer diet (I have less milk and less eggs, and never ever liver) and its been that way for years and years. I ate extremely well almsot all of my life. I always had to I was an athelete. Tons of fresh food, little red meat etc..

The question to ask is is this diet right for me or healthy for me. For me the answer would be no, the brewer diet is too many calaries for me and would cause me to gain an excessive amount of weight that after birth I would not be able to lose becuase of the higher calorie intake.
If someone is worried that they aren't eating healthy enough for themselves and their baby, they need to seek out a nutrionist who can design a diet for them, that takes into account thier likes/dislikes, current body weight, build, needed calorie intake etc.. to reach that goal.

That is not saying that diet isn't important at all, its instead saying that diet is an individual thing and needs to be suited and created for that individual, not a one size covers all thing.

Erin


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