I wanted to share a story that shows the power of a nourishing, traditional diet during pregnancy. When I got pregnant during the summer of 2006, I had spent the previous few months following the pregnancy dietary recommendations on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, including plenty of grassfed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, butter, raw milk and cheese, fish eggs, homemade chicken stock, sprouted and/or soaked whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and of course the daily dose of cod liver oil. I planned to have a homebirth with midwives, and one of the focuses of midwifery is the diet of the pregnant mother. Throughout the pregnancy, my midwives were amazed and pleased with my diet that was so outside the norm.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, there was some concern because my baby seemed small and my blood pressure was getting quite high. Nonetheless, my husband and I decided that homebirth was still our most prudent course of action. After an enjoyable labor, Alina was born at home on March 17, 2007 at full term. She was 18 inches long, but we were all surprised to see just how skinny she was, weighing in at just 4 pounds. The cause of her low weight soon became apparent as the placenta was only half of normal size with large portions that were not properly formed. Alina was so small because nutrient flow through the placenta was severely limited. The placenta was unlike any ever seen by the senior midwife, who had attended over 2,000 births.
My midwives told me that told me that I was able to maintain the pregnancy only because of my exceptional diet during pregnancy, and that such a compromised placenta would generally lead to miscarriage. Besides being skinny, Alina was born perfectly healthy, and was able to gain weight faster than any low-weight baby the midwives had ever seen (which is saying a lot considering they had both worked in neonatal wards). With lots of nursing, Alina doubled her birth weight by the time she was 8 weeks old.
Why the placenta was malformed remains a mystery. My theory is that it is related to over ten years of birth control pills prior to pregnancy in combination with the fact that, according to my fertility awareness charts, my hormone levels were abnormal when Alina was conceived (even though I had been off the Pill for 7 months). Regardless, I owe the life of my daughter to the nourishing, traditional diet recommended by WAPF. I am so thankful to have learned about the research of Weston Price early enough to save my daughter's life.
This post is part of Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist!