Optimal Diet and Nutrition for Healthy Pregnancy

Diet and Nutrition for Healthy Pregnancy

Oh, pregnancy…. that wonderful time when everyone offers unwanted advice and your body changes in ways you didn’t know possible. Since I’m now in the third trimester of pregnancy myself, and starting to really “feel” pregnant, I thought I would offer my own completely unsolicited advice for a healthy pregnancy. (If you’re pregnant, you are probably getting advice from the grocery store cashier, relatives, and complete strangers, so why not?). I am not a doctor, midwife, or medical professional, just another mom who has been there too!

This is only the fifth time I’ve been through all the joys of pregnancy (read about my previous pregnancies here), so I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but thought I’d share what I’ve learned along the way!

Healthy Pregnancy Begins Before Conception

From experience, I know that the best time to begin a healthy pregnancy regimen is before you conceive. Having a strong nutritional system in place not only increases your odds of healthy conception, but will also help your body handle the transitions of early pregnancy without all the discomfort.

For those struggling with achieving a pregnancy, optimizing diet and lifestyle factors can make a tremendous difference in successfully conceiving naturally.

Having positive dietary and lifestyle habits in place will also help minimize the discomforts of pregnancy and make sure baby is getting optimal nutrition as well.

Pregnancy Nutrition

Ensuring optimal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. Doctors warn of the foods to avoid (cold cuts, excess caffeine, soft cheeses, alcohol, etc.) but few give detailed advice on what optimal pregnancy nutrition should look like.

I certainly had to navigate these waters myself during my first few pregnancies, and I’ve noticed that as my diet and health have improved, my pregnancies have gotten much easier.

Unfortunately, for many women, eating the best diet for baby during pregnancy requires forgetting all the conventional wisdom they’ve ever been told on health eating.

Low fat diet- not good!

“Healthy whole grains” – not so good either!

Keeping blood sugar stable with little carb snacks all day- not really!

A woman’s body is quite literally building an entire human being during pregnancy, and as such, she needs a lot of quality sources of all the things needed to support the human body- mainly proteins, fats, vegetables and fruits, and certain supplements she can’t adequately get from food.

Foods to focus on during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • Protein: Most women need 80+ grams of protein every day for healthy pregnancy. Some research shows lower risk of preclampsia and other complications with adequate protein, and some women report less morning sickness when they consume this much protein.
  • Fats: This is often the biggest hurdle for many women, but consuming adequate fats is absolutely vital to baby’s organ and brain development. Women should focus on healthy sources like meat (including red meat), butter, eggs, olive/oil, coconut/oil, nuts, limited dairy, etc.
  • Vegetables and Fruits: Vegetables and fruits have a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber that are helpful during pregnancy. Eating a varied diet including a lot of green leafy vegetables can also help raise Vitamin K levels.
  • Water: A woman’s blood volume actually increases during pregnancy and her body has to supply fluid to replenish the amniotic fluid the baby is in. Drinking enough water (usually around a gallon a day) can help fight off morning sickness and also helps prevent constipation and make sure mom and baby are properly hydrated.

Foods to avoid during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding

Supplements For Healthy Pregnancy

Supplement needs can vary by woman, and all supplements should be approved by a doctor or midwife to ensure safety during pregnancy. In general, pregnant women have higher nutrient needs and often supplements are the only way to get adequate nutrients.

These basic supplements are ones that are often beneficial during pregnancy:

  • Probiotics: Best obtained from high quality supplements, fermented foods, and beverages like water kefir and kombucha. Since a baby  is born with a sterile gut and then has his or her gut bacteria begin to develop based on the beneficial (or not) gut flora of the mother this is an important factor! Adequate probiotics can also help reduce the risk of Group B strep, and have even helped get rid of Group B strep before delivery when probiotic supplements or organic plain yogurt are used vaginally.
  • Omega-3s, DHA, RHA– Adequate good fats are absolutely essential for baby’s development and it is difficult to get enough from diet. Supplementing high quality sources of these fats can help reduce risk of complications and give baby the necessary nutrients for good development. I get mine from Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
  • Vitamin D– This article reports that “Compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D daily, those who took 4,000 IU were half as likely to develop gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, or preeclampsia, Wagner says. They were also less likely to give birth prematurely.” Vitamin D needs vary, but many doctors are now suggesting at least 4,000 IU and up to 10,000 IU a day. This can also be obtained from Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
  • Folate– Well known for its preventative effects against spina bifida and other developmental struggles, folate is another important supplement. The current recommendation is 400 micrograms, though many doctors recommend 2,000 micrograms or more for optimal development, and folate is water soluble and difficult to overdose.
  • Iron– Anemia can cause serious complications during delivery, and is easy to prevent. If blood tests show that iron levels are low, iron supplements may be necessary, but things like cooking with cast iron pans, eating red meat/grass fed liver and eating a variety of fats and vegetables can help optimize iron levels. I personally much prefer to get this from food rather than supplements.

Herbs During Pregnancy

Consult with a qualified herbalist, midwife, or doctor before taking any herbs during pregnancy! This chart gives a basic breakdown of herbs that are helpful, and ones that should be avoided.

If your doctor or midwife approves, some herbs can be very beneficial during pregnancy. My favorite is to make a strong tea that I drink throughout pregnancy using the following herbs:

I blend these dried herbs and make a strong tea by putting 3/4 cup or more in a large glass jar and filling with boiling water and letting sit overnight. I strain, and keep iced in the fridge.

Red Raspberry Leaf:
Red Raspberry Leaf: it is an all-around excellent herb to use for pregnancy. It is a uterine tonic, anti-abortive, and helps prevent infection. Aids in preventing cramps and anemia. Prevents excessive bleeding during and after labor and will facilitate the birth process by stimulating contractions.

Peppermint: after the first trimester, may be used to help digestion, soothe the stomach and overcome nausea. It is an all-over body strengthener and cleanser.

Alfalfa Leaf and Nettle Leaf:
Can will guard against excessive bleeding as they have vitamin K; will improve kidney function and help prevent hemorrhoids.

Weston A. Price Diet:

The Weston A. Price Foundation offers more detailed suggestions for diet during pregnancy and nursing, and I follow many of their guidelines, though I don’t include the grains in any form and am not always able to consume that much raw dairy. Always check with your own doctor of midwife to find out the best diet for you during pregnancy, but from their website:

Fermented Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day

1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows

4 tablespoons butter daily, preferably from pasture-fed cows

2 or more eggs daily, preferably from pastured chickens

Additional egg yolks daily, added to smoothies, salad dressings, scrambled eggs, etc.

3-4 ounces fresh liver, once or twice per week (If you have been told to avoid liver for fear of getting “too much Vitamin A,” be sure to read Vitamin A Saga)

Fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, particularly wild salmon, shellfish and fish eggs

Fresh beef or lamb daily, always consumed with the fat

Oily fish or lard daily, for vitamin D

2 tablespoons coconut oil daily, used in cooking or smoothies, etc.

Lacto-fermented condiments and beverages

Bone broths used in soups, stews and sauces

Soaked whole grains

Fresh vegetables and fruits

Foods to Avoid

  • Trans fatty acids (e.g., hydrogenated oils)
  • Junk foods
  • Commercial fried foods
  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Soft drinks
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Drugs (even prescription drugs)”

Interested in a more natural pregnancy?

Sign up for the world’s first pregnancy week-to-week series from a *natural* perspective! Created by my friend Genevieve from Mama Natural, the series shows you what’s up with baby, mama, and more each week. You’ll discover natural remedies for various pregnancy symptoms and prepare for your best and most natural birth!
Click the image below to get access now!

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Diet and nutrition options for staying healthy during pregnancy and nursing.

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Reader Comments

  1.  Yay! I’ve been wondering about this lately. A couple years ago I did low-carb quite successfully (lost a lot of weight and felt really good) but fell off the wagon (mmm, candy!). Now I’m 25 weeks into my first pregnancy, which has been pretty carb-heavy so far – I couldn’t stand anything that wasn’t bland and bread-based during my first trimester, and now I crave sweet things. I’ve been working at cutting back because I’m overweight and at risk for GD and a big baby, but have been hesitating about throwing myself into a diet change while pregnant. (Especially because I have some medical issues, so I have lots of contact with health professionals who like to talk about what I eat. My midwife in particular likes to tell me to take it easy with carbohydrates AND make sure I eat lots of whole grains! (What does that even mean??!!))

    My earlier low-carb attempt was with a high-protein focus, but I could never come up to the recommended grams of protein for my weight, I simply didn’t have the appetite for it. (Also, I had stomach issues with it, and I really don’t need any extra “stopping” factors while pregnant, thanks.) Would it be better to focus on cutting out grains and sugars and focus on getting enough vegetables and fats with a side of protein, or does the meat really need to be the center of the meal?

    • I’d say that cutting out the grains and sugars would be a huge step,
      and that you certainly don’t have to force feed yourself protein if
      your body doesn’t handle it well. Maybe try entering everything you
      eat for a few days into fitday.com though, you might be eating more
      protein than you think. The fats are definitely very important
      though, so if you are getting those, and limiting the grains/sugars,
      you should be fine. Personally, I think a major dietary change during
      pregnancy is no problem, especially if it is a change for the better!
      Congrats on your pregnancy!

      • I am currently going through the process of invitro fertilization for the first time. I just read your post on changing habits to conceive naturally, and it was very helpful. I know that I should not take any of the supplements while taking the hormone injections, but would the diet be safe to try? I’ve been trying to change to a more natural lifestyle for a while. I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing!

        • Hi Nicole,

          I am newly pregnant after 1.5 years of trying. I firmly believe that my diet was the #1 reason we finally conceived. In fact the VERY FIRST cycle after cutting out sugar and processed foods, we successfully conceived. Also now that I am off the sugar roller coaster, I have very little nausea. Who knows if that will change as the pregnancy progresses, but I absolutely 100% agree that breaking free from the sugar addiction is the way to go if you struggle with blood sugar and with fertility.

          Hope that helps!

    • I’m in sort of the same boat, Rebekka. I see 3-4 doctors regularly, including an endocrinologist. Just do what I do. Smile and nod and agree with them, then do what you know is best for your body and baby. They can’t follow you home! 

      If you’re getting enough fat, that will help. Can you stomach protein powders? I know they’re not ideal, but your baby does need the protein. I agree with W.M.; checking fitday.com first to check your protein intake is a great idea. I’ve heard that Americans get more protein than they think, so maybe you’re doing okay.

  2. I had to eat low carb for my second, third, and fourth pregnancies in order to avoid gestational diabetes. This was quite difficult in the first trimester, as Rebekka pointed out, but those labors were short and as easy as labor can be (under one hour for each). I also found my recuperation time quicker when I was eating better. I like that you included that herbal tea – fine herbs, all of them. You could also add red clover.

    And to Rebekka, when my blood sugar started creeping up, my holistic OB told me to cut out nearly all of the carbs and I even went into ketosis. I was worried about this but he was very pleased – so I guess it’s okay to make a big diet change during pregnancy!

    Blessings to both of you during your pregnancy! 

    • Great input! Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping that this labor will be
      shorter and easier than my past ones… and if this pregnancy is any
      indication, hopefully it will. Did eating this way keep you from
      experiencing the gestational diabetes?

      • Yes, I avoided the gestational diabetes – my blood sugar levels would only creep up when I started to “cheat” and eat too many carbs. My body definitely responds well to low carb eating.  By the way, I think I read on one of your other posts that you are planning on a homebirth – I can’t recommend it enough!

    • Wow, you had an unusual OB!  Good for you (and for him)!!

    • I have been watching my carbs as well. I gain weight so easily when it comes to pregnancies. I was concerned about cutting my carbs and going into ketosis. I have read so many things that go against it. My physician’s assistant said it wouldn’t be a problem to go low carb but I am afraid that maybe she doesn’t know better. I don’t want to harm the baby. It’s nice that everything worked out with you.

    • I know this post is from a long time ago, but I wanted to comment about using Red Clover herb during pregnancy. I used a lot of Red Clover herb while healing from cancer naturally, but I do not recommend taking it internally during pregnancy. It is a powerful blood cleanser. Once I accidentally took some during pregnancy (my children thought they were making me red raspberry tea, but actually put red clover in instead), and I broke out in a rash, similar to the rashes I had when I did too much to cleanse during cancer.

      Hope this is helpful,
      Tasha L.

  3. I’m in my second pregnancy and just like the first, I went from a really strict diet to craving all sorts of meats and fat-rich foods.  Both times I went through an eggs or omelet for breakfast phase and I have found this time that without enough protein in my breakfast, I’d be feeling sick and needing to eat again before I even left the house!  I had an aversion to anything lean, whole grain, and low calorie…anything the mainstream considers ‘healthy’ lol.  In my second trimester with my first, all I wanted was lean meats, fruits, and veggies…had a former bread and muffin lover gone Adkins?  But it made sense, as my body was asking for what it really needed.  So I listened and that is what I ate.  And I had a very healthy first pregnancy and though long, a natural and healthy delivery.  I’m feeling better these days with my #2 but still find I’d like a meat source with my meals at least twice a day.  I’m someone who once was ‘vegan until 5:00’ for ‘health reasons,’ but these days no longer lactose intolerant, I eat what my body asks for.  And I love organic apples.  🙂

    A friend of mine was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes and has a blood glucose monitor.  Her diet has been very carb heavy and I wonder if it may have contributed.  I don’t know, but she has made the effort to start limiting her carbs.

    Thanks for posting this article, for me it was very timely!  🙂 

  4.  I’ve never been pregnant but I’m trying to be now.  I’m following a Paleo diet now. I’ve heard many good things so far. One of my big fears is that (if I do get pregnant) the hospital would try to push formula if the baby doesn’t “latch” right away.  I know the breast milk on a fat rich diet is supposed to be better nutritionally, does it somehow help with the baby taking to breastfeeding?

    • Getting enough good fats (and drinking enough water) will help your
      milk come in more quickly and will make the milk more nutrient dense
      for the baby. I also make sure to get enough vitamin D, and K,
      especially around delivery, as it also makes delivery easier! I would
      recommend talking to a good lactation consultant before the baby is
      born so you are prepared to help the baby latch… in the end,
      remember that it is your child and you can refuse formula or other
      treatments you disagree with!

    • It doesn’t help with their latching, but with it being your first baby I can’t recommend strongly enough to find a Le Leche League consultant. I wish I had one with my first, and did with my second (which wound up being a MUCH better experience, for me and my baby). The first baby I wasn’t eating paleo or grain free and she had some trouble gaining weight, and I also had trouble keeping up a good milk supply. My consultant came when my second was a week old (I was eating grain free, high healthy fats) and she helped me with my nursing but my baby had already gained her birth weight back without being in the best nursing position.
      Hope this helps!

  5. I was following a paleo diet when I got pregnant with my fourth, and one of my regrets is not sticking to it.  I have issues with hypoglycemia while pregnant, and I realized pretty quickly that I needed to eat more carbs than I’d been accustomed to keep from feeling woozy.  I went for granola bars, but it would have been much smarter to do green beans and sweet potatoes! 

    Eating the junky carb sources during pregnancy made it much harder to resume healthy eating after delivery, not to mention losing the baby weight! 

    Thanks for sharing this message with expecting ladies, and those who hope to be one day!

  6. This is maybe slightly off topic… but not too much… I’ve been meaning to ask – I’ve seen on other posts that you sometimes steep stevia leaf with your tea to make a kind of herbal iced tea – what kind of ratio do you use for herbs and stevia leaf? I know too much stevia can taste yucky and bitter, but now that summer is finally here I thought it would be nice to try making some herbal iced tea! (I already drink most of the herbs you mentioned above as a hot tea with celtic sea salt before bed)

    • It depends on which herbs you are mixing with. Generally, I think its
      about 8 parts tea to 1 part stevia. For a cup of hot tea, a tiny
      pinch works, for a gallon, I add up to a tablespoon or so.

  7. I am 10 wks with my 5th child. I lost the baby weight after each one, but was the fittest and healthiest I have ever been when I got pregnant this time around. Even my husband said I looked the best he’d ever seen me in 12 years! (Maybe that’s why I got pregnant??!) All that because I stopped eating grains, dairy and processed foods. Our family has made a huge change to a more natural lifestyle in every area in that past two years and it’s great! The thing is… now that I’m pregnant I feel awful! I have vomitted every afternoon since I was 7 weeks. I’d like to keep eating right, but the only things that sound good are white rice, mased potatoes, french fries and bagels! Any suggestions to curb my nausea? How do I get enough protein when heavy meats just don’t sound good right now?

    • First trimester is tough! I always tried to get some protein in first thing in the morning if possible and then if I didn’t feel like
      eating the rest of the day, I didn’t. Sparking water with lemon juice helped a lot, as did ginger pills and a tincture made with ginger, mint, fennel etc. If you do eat more starchy foods, which is fine in pregnancy in moderation, just go with healthy options. For instance: make fried potatoes or sweet potatoes in tallow instead of vegetable oil, or make cauliflower mashed potatoes with lots of salt and
      butter. You can also make a lot of alternatives with coconut or
      almond flour and get more protein in.

  8. Hi there. Where do you buy your herbs for the tea? Love to know. Thanks! 

  9. Can you recommend any Paleo/Pregnancy links? I know people have talked of it but I’d love to know their meal plans!

    • I am 16wks with baby #5 and have been following a normal Paleo diet since 9wks. This has been the best I’ve felt during any pregnancy by far! I eat more sweet potatoes and fruit than I might if I were trying to lose or maintain a non-pregnant weight.

  10. Can you recommend any Paleo/Pregnancy links? I know people have talked of it but I’d love to know their meal plans!

  11. Good day ladies,

    My husband and I are 28 weeks pregnant with our first and super excited to meet our baby girl Emma Grace! I plan on breast feeding exclusively, but just in case, I would like to have a back up plan. Can you recommend any good formulas which do not contain sugar and high fructose corn syrup? I was shocked to see those ingredients among others in infant formulas!

    Any advice would greatly be appreciated!:)



    • Kathy,
      My third became ill and couldn’t nurse by 8 months, but would NOT accept any kind of formula. We ended up giving her goat milk. Later we found out she can not tolerate corn in any form. Goat milk with a food-based infant multi vitamin might work for a newborn. We got our milk from a local farmer rather than the store just to be sure of the source. (And it was cheaper, as goat milk is terribly expensive.)

    • FYI: You can make homemade formula. Radiant Life Catalog.com makes it simple and provides a kit of ingredients. That sounds like a commercial! 🙂 Just letting you all know.

  12. Thank you so much for blogging about this. I started out with Paleo last month, then 2 weeks into it I find out I was pregnant.

    The only time I felt heartburn was when I ate grains and legumes (beans, crackers, etc..)  My main meals are veggies and meats (grilled chicken, lamb, etc) and I feel good. I thought something was wrong with me because I was not getting the usual pregnancy symptoms like the other mommies complain about.  I do have tender breasts, I constantly drink water, and also I do have some fatigue, but I don’t get nauseous, I’m not constipated, and so far (knock on wood) no headaches.

    So thank you Wellness Mama.

  13. hey katie! i keep reading conflicting information on red raspberry leaf — and i know your article says to check with your midwife/doctor, but…in your experience, is it safe throughout the first trimester? most seem to agree that it’s fine throughout the 2nd and 3rd…just wondering about the first.

    • Hi Theresa… I’ve personally always taken it throughout the whole pregnancy, though only in tea form for the first two trimesters. I’ve seen evidence that it is safe, and my midwife encouraged it also. I wouldn’t take it in supplement or concentrated form in early pregnancy though…

  14. I just started eating more naturally about a month ago (i still struggle with cheating on the grains & sugar though but am eating a LOT better than I was a month ago).  I also just found out that I am pregnant with my 7th & I am REALLY hoping that my morning sickness this time around will be a LOT more manageable.  My previous 6 were all not so great… 4 of them were actually so bad I couldn’t get out of bed except to throw up for about 2 months…  reading some of these posts are giving me extra motivation to stay away from the grains & sugary stuff though!  Would it be okay to eat Larabars & chobani fruit yogurts for snacks (my sweet tooth!) or should I stay away from them for at least the 1st trimester?  I’m only 2 weeks pregnant now…

  15. Hi RaymondM,
    I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy (maybe 6 more weeks to go), and although I have finally gotten to be a leeetle less sensitive, if I over do it still (like two pieces of Ezekial toast today) I STILL feel the effects!  

    My morning sickness has always started about month 2.  I recommend staying as pure as you can with your diet for now (I find that sugar cravings often indicate that I’m tired — better to take a nap, if you can — though with 6 kids already, this may not be an option!).  You have to have a base line.  Then if you “cheat,” you’ll feel and notice the effects.  Often the first signs for me are a funny taste in my mouth, a sensation that I describe as “fuzzy” on my insides and sometimes sudden sleepiness.  When I’m very sensitive, the effect will be to keep me from sleeping most of the night (often with heart burn), indigestion, and nausea/vomiting.  I had a piece of really simple quinoa toast about a month ago that sent me into a vomiting realm reminiscent of early pregnancy.  I also noticed some signs of edema recently after I ate some things I know I shouldn’t.  I was rubbing the fleshy side of my shin bone in one spot for awhile (was trying to activate an acupuncture point),  and when I stopped, there was a dent in my skin (ie, edema — even though I wasn’t swelling in my ankles or fingers yet).  So, there are various ways that your body will tell you that you aren’t processing things properly and need to modify your diet more (or again).

    It all just depends on how sensitive you are.  But my advice is tow the line as best you can, for as long as you can and see what difference that makes first.

  16. I’m curious – do you eat raw cheese during pregnancy?  I try to only eat raw dairy typically, but am not sure about the cheese while pregnant….  However, if I have never gotten sick from raw dairy while not pregnant then what are the chances it will happen while I am pregnant…?  Thanks!

    • Personally I wouldn’t risk raw dairy…a couple of months before this pregnancy I was regularly drinking raw milk from a local farm (which I thought very highly of). I loved it! Unfortunately, the milk became contaminated with campylobacter and all of us who had been consuming it became very ill for a number of days. The scary thing is that there can be neurological side effects! I know this is rare, but it happened to us. Before going through this I probably would have felt the same as you, but now I’d never touch it if I was pregnant. I will probably drink raw milk again though after this baby.

  17. So I just found out that I’m pregnant and I am overwhelmed with what to do as far as diet, supplements, etc… I was in the process of going organic when I found out and it has sort of halted my plans lol I was wondering what foods should I while I’m pregnant and if I should take the prenatal vitamins? Women were having healthy babies wayyyy before they started prescribing them and I don’t think it’s necessary if you eat properly. Also, I don’t really want to eat too many animal products…So would eating a diet consisting mainly of nuts, fruits, and veggies be enough to supply me and my child with the necessary nutrients to have a safe pregnancy???

    • Do you eat eggs? Those are wonderful during pregnancy and the choline is great for baby’s development. You want to get at least 80-100 grams of protein a day during pregnancy to reduce the risk of preclampsia and other problems, and that is harder to do without animal products. I’d definitely include eggs if you are not going to eat meat. You don’t need a multivitamin necessarily, but if you have a high quality one, It wouldn’t be bad to take either. If you just found out, I’d take 800 mcgs of folic acid for at least the next month or so, as the spine development happens within the first 28 days and that alone can reduce the risk of spina bifida. Make sure to get in tons of healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, etc- no canola, peanut, vegetable oils) so baby has enough for brain and tissue development and get some good sun to get your vitamin D. Best of luck! 🙂

      • I just found out I’m pregnant as well, and want to start increasing my protein intake. I’m unsure how to get in 80-100 grams a day, though. Sounds like a lot! I’m generally not very hungry when I wake up, so eating a big, protein-rich breakfast is difficult. Do you have any recommendations for packing in that much protein? Thanks 🙂

  18. what are your thoughts on decaffeinated coffee? Im a huge fan of coffee, and it seems like one cup a day just isnt enough. I dont drink it for energy, its more of a relaxing drink, and it suppresses my appetite whenever I want to eat out of boredom, but I dont want to drink more than one cup a day because I dont want to put my baby at risk, would decaffeinated be a good replacement? or would it actually be worse, because I know its processed, but im not sure what process is used to remove the caffeine and if its healthy or not… thoughts?

    • Have you heard of Teeccino? If not, check it out! It’s an herbal coffee (organic, no caffeine, non-acidic) and I was amazed with the fact that it actually tastes like coffee (it just doesn’t smell like coffee when you’re making it)!

    • In order to make coffee or black/green tea decaffeinated, a harsh chemical solvent has to be used, almost all (if not all) of which are carcinogenic. So it’s better to either stick with your one cup of caffeinated joe, or just increase your herbal teas.

  19. Hey Wellness Mama, I’m about 9-10 weeks pregnant, and sick all the time. I’ve been eating semi-paleo (meaning I do include grains on occation, but rarely, and always non-gmo) for almost a  year now.  There wasnt hardly a vegetable  I didnt like, I loved eggs, and pretty much any kind of meat except pork… but now… I just cant handle any of those things, the smell of meat, eggs,vegetables, anything like that just sends me to the toilet puking my guts up. I litterally cannot stand eggs anymore, and that used to be a daily thing, one of my main sources of protein. The only thing I can even remotely stomach now are things like organic crackers, etc… and I hate that.. I try to stay away from grains as much as possible, or I did.. but now its either eat that.. or throw up everyday… Any advice would be so appreciated… because I absolutely feel like Im destroying mine and my baby’s health by eating so many grains, and not enough veggies and meat, but I just cant seem to stomach anything else

    • Hi Sarah… I’ve been there too and it is rough. On the one hand, know that the high levels of HCG in your blood are going to mobilize fat, protein and nutrients to feed your baby, so he or she should still be getting everything. Too much protein in early pregnancy can be a bad thing, though enough is important. Hopefully, the nausea will fade in a few weeks. In the meantime, can you eat fruit? coconut flour muffins? homemade coconut flour pancakes or waffles? homemade crackers? Even if you can just drink a smoothie, that would be better than nothing right now. As miserable as it is, don’t worry about forcing your body to eat foods it can’t stand right now, it will just make it harder to eat them later. Keep your fluids up and eat what you can, avoiding the really bad offenders (wheat, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, etc) if at all possible. Things like peppermint tea or organic ginger capsules may also help calm the nausea… hang in there!

      •  I never thought about trying a fruit smoothie. The thought of one doesn’t make me gag; Ill definitely see if I’m able to stomach it. Though I don’t usually use coconut flour ( its a little on the expensive side) I should probably try to make some nut butter “cupcakes” or something like that. I used to make a carrot or pumpkin cake using raw nut butter an eggs as the “flour”  The only thing that I have trouble with is feeling well enough to even get up to cook. I’ve been trying to sip some lemon ginger tea, because I know how ginger is good for an upset stomach… but I have to say, ginger really isn’t my favorite :/ But Ill try to down a smoothie, and see about some cupcakes. Thank you!

        • Just a tip… you can buy a small package of coconut flour for a very good price at most Wal Mart stores these days!

  20. I’ve had digestive/health problems for 12 years since being exposed to toxic mold in college. I have a 9 month old baby with congenital hypothyroidism, which from my research looks like it could be linked to the toxic mold in my system. I’ve been following the Paleo diet about 3 years with some success, but still having trouble with allergies and major fatigue. I recently discovered the gaps diet and think it would help me a lot. I started drinking water kefir and taking Primal Defense. About a week later, I found out I’m newly pregnant. I have been experiencing some die-off symptoms, but I also have more energy than I have in a long time. Is die-off harmful to the baby? Is water kefir okay? I’m concerned about the alcohol content. And I’ve found mixed things about Primal Defense and pregnancy. Please give me information about die-off, especially during the first trimester. I am concerned about it, but I know doing nothing is also leaving my baby in a toxic environment, as I have major digestive problems, allergies, gas and bloating. Is it better to treat or wait?

    • I’d ask your doc or midwife on any supplements. My personal philosophy is that I don’t try to detox during pregnancy or nursing, but will try to eat healthier, even if it causes mild die off, since in the long run, it gives the baby a healthier environment. I do drink water kefir during pregnancy, as the alcohol is less than that in an over-ripe banana. Congrats on your pregnancy!

  21. You mention taking folic acid in this post but in a more recent post mention folate NOT folic acid because it is synthetic. Which do you recommend?

    • I just updated the post… I wrote this before I learned about the difference, but you are absolutely right that folate is better…

  22. Hello. We are trying to conceive our 3rd child. Can you help me with what supplements I should start now to start conceiving in about a month? Cod liver oil with a multi vitamin with a folate supplement and vit D supplement? Is that too much. This does tend to get overwhelming but I am 35 so I want to do this right since I am getting up there in age. Thank you!

  23. I struggled with getting pregnant for years. I took fertility drugs to get pregnant with my first 3, and sadly I miscarried the 2nd and 3rd babies. I then took fertility drugs for the first 6 months of 2012 and got absolutely nowhere. I gave up on trying, then in Sept last year I discovered this blog and completely changed my diet and lifestyle. At the beginning of Dec, we got a huge surprise! I am now 16 weeks pregnant with our second daughter. this really, really works!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story and congrats on your pregnancy!

  24. I just found out I am pregnant yesterday. We are very excited, but nervous. I had a miscarriage last year on Valentine’s Day. I have PCOS and hypothyroidism. I have been having cramps for the past week. I do not have any bleeding. Has anyone ever had this? I have a dr appt on Friday.

  25. Hi Katie, I’m taking FCLO and high vitamin butter oil daily and I’m 7 weeks pregnant. This is my first pregnancy in which I’m taking these supplements, and I’m worried about hemorrhaging from too much FCLO and not enough of the ARA animal fats (as WAPF cautions in their program for optimal pregnancy). I eat a good amount of eggs and good quality beef/pork/chicken (no liver). Do you know if the butter oil also provides those ARA fats to address the risk of hemorrhaging? I don’t want to stop taking FCLO, but the risk of hemorrhaging is scary…

    THANK YOU for doing all that you do; I don’t know where I’d be without your blog 🙂

    • I always just stop taking it in the last few weeks of pregnancy and make sure to eat liver 2x/week to keep levels up. I also take alfalfa at the end of pregnancy and I”ve always had very little bleeding… Congrats!

      • How do you take alfalfa? I had a horrible time with my second pregnancy and passing clots in the weeks following birth. I’m pregnant again about 10 weeks along. When did you start taking alfalfa?

        • I’ve taken both capsules or chlorophyll liquid and added dried alfalfa to my pregnancy tea….

      • Could you share a link our a bit more information on fclo and hemorrhaging? I’m 33 weeks along in my third pregnancy and never heard this before! Thank you!

      • How do you manage to eat liver 2x’s a week? Do you have good recipes Cow or chicken livers? Need some guidance in this area

  26. Hi there!
    I am nearly 13 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I’m a type 1 diabetic with a bit of kidney damage and retinopathy. My daughter was born 6 weeks early due to my development of preeclampsia. During my last pregnancy, I suffered from hormone induced migraines that caused me to be hospitalized 4 times. I would like to avoid those things this time around.
    I started taking alfalfa capsules and eating sprouts when I found out about my retinopathy (apparently eating alfalfa sprouts has cured people of macular degeneration). The capsules did well for me, but I couldn’t figure out how to eat the sprouts without then suffering from severe hypoglycemia. I also started taking handfuls of vitamins A, E and D, alpha lipoic acid, fish oil, and lysine. I then discovered systemic enzymes. After taking them for three weeks, vision in my left eye went from 20/400 to 20/80, my blood pressure went from being around 140/90 to (consistently) 118/70 and I needed to reduce my insulin dosage 50%. Now that I’m pregnant, systemic enzymes make me sick. I was hopeful they’d help prevent migraines and preeclampsia. My blood pressure has shot up again and the headaches have started already. I read the posts about protein and preeclampsia, so I’m going to try that. And I’m thinking of upping my vitamin D and alfalfa. Any other suggestions??

  27. Hello! I’ve read so many different things about raspberry leaf tea that I’m confused. Some say to only drink it in the third trimester, others say have 1 cup a day in the first, 2 a day in the second and 3 a day in the third, and others say go wild with as much as you like the whole pregnancy. Same with nettle leaf, some say its not recommended during pregnancy (which I personally think is rubbish).
    So can I drink as much as I like of both throughout pregnancy?


  28. I just found out I am about three weeks pregnant – only thing is I’m in Tanzania for another month, some of which I will be sleeping out in a tent in the bush for about ten days. I’m wondering what I can do to have optimum health through nutrition and safety. I do have prenatal vitamins, and cod liver fish oil capsules and folate pills (enough for the rest of my stay). But I don’t get as many fruits and veggies here, and we cook with sunflower oil. Also, I am off all wheat due to previous inflammation. Any advice?

  29. I just found out I’m pregnant with my first. I bought your book on healthy pregnancy. I’m wondering about the safety of eating fish eggs. I live in Finland and it is said here as a guide not to eat fish eggs. Most common fish eggs here are salmon eggs. It is not recommended because of the risk of listeria. What do you think of that? Is it safe to eat and how often? There are many items they don’t recommend to eat including liver at all. You say it’s ok to eat liver? I don’t like that much of liver but would eat it if its good for the baby. Typical liver food in Finland is liver casserole. It is ready bought. It has minced liver and rice. What do you think of xylitol? It is common here to eat gum.

    • I personally feel comfortable eating liver and roe during pregnancy but you definitely need to research it and make sure you feel it is safe. I also avoid xylitol during pregnancy…

  30. Thank you for this article. I’m very early in my pregnancy and looking for alternate nutrition info (I won’t see my midwife for several more weeks). Last year I went on Atkins for several months and was able to lose some stubborn weight. They always say you can’t do low carb diets while pregnant, but I disagree. To me, there is nothing inherently healthy about grains, and sugar is just terrible for you, all the time. I’m sure I’ll end up eating the random Panera’s Bear Claw (Mmmmmm….) but I really want to focus on protein, fat, and vegetables this pregnancy and see if I can’t come out on the other side healthier and more fit.

    Does the Weston A Price foundation give recomendations regarding raw salmon, like sushi grade salmon? I can’t stand cooked/smoked salmon, but the raw stuff is pretty good (any other sushi- yuck). Obviously conventional wisdom recommends nothing raw, ever.

  31. Thank you for your blog! It has been a huge resource for my family and I in switching to ‘grain-free’ living. We had been trying for many months to get pregnant and after 2 months of eating grain free, taking FCLO and progesterone cream, we are expecting:) I have continued taking the FCLO, drinking bone broths daily, using the progesterone cream, eating tons of veggies and meat daily and lots of eggs:) We’re just starting to introduce fermented foods. I have some supplement questions though. I am taking the New Chapter prenatal and am wondering if it is necessary to take a prenatal while following a nutrient dense regimen? The prenatal also has 5,000 IU’s of Vitamin A and I wondered if I should be concerned about too much Vitamin A since I am also taking FCLO. If a prenatal isn’t necessary, I just want to make sure I am getting the nutrients and vitamins I need. (Sounds like I will definitely need to take Folate). Input???
    Also, I am continuing to apply the progesterone cream and am wondering if it is best to apply it once a day or twice? I am using the Natural Radiance one you have linked to and the bottle says to apply 1/4 tsp once a day.
    I would appreciate any nutrition and supplement input…. still feeling a bit nervous that I am missing any necessary nutrients for our developing little one. Thank you so much!!!!!

  32. Your blog is fantastic! As you recommend, I am taking the Green Pasture Ferminted Cod Liver Oil Capsules (750 mg each). My question is, how many capsules (or mg) is optimal for pregnancy?

  33. Thanks for your wonderful post. I am 11 weeks into my first pregnancy and have been lucky with not too many cravings nor sickness. I am following the Weston A Price recommendations as much as possible, but I was hoping you could dispel the beliefs on some of the foods that we are told we shouldn’t eat- mainly those of raw fish/ rare meat, seafood and certain cheeses. I would really struggle to have a hard boiled egg or a well cooked steak and absolutely love all cheeses. I have NEVER had food poisoning in my life (and that was even after drinking tap water in India), and my immune system seems pretty robust thus far….IF I knew they were coming from good sources (organic/ grass fed etc)- what is your take on these foods please?

  34. hi katie, we just found out we are pregnant today not sure how many weeks, but wanted to check in with you if i do need to buy a vitamin code prenatal vitamins on top of folate,probiotic,fermented cod liver and magnesium? planning to buy those as soon as possible.

  35. Many of the herbs recommended for pregnancy eg nettle, alfalfa, oat straw are diuretics and can be dehydrating for those like me who have trouble getting enough fluids when pregnant. Are they nourishing? Yes. But it’s worth having all the info when mixing your preggy tea 🙂

  36. Which animal liver is best to consume? Which tastes best? How do you prepare it?
    Also, what is a good replacement for raw milk? My son has a dairy allergy and we just don’t keep it in the house. I would like to know for my pregnancy and for my son. Should I avoid the WAPD if I am unable to drink the raw mllk?

  37. I am 18 weeks pregnant with my third child I’ve been told by my sister in-law to take raspberry leaf tea towards the end of my pregnancy I believe she said around either 34 or 36 weeks but I’ve read that some women drink it throughout pregnancy. How early can you start drinking it and how often?

  38. I just filled my deep fryer with nice healthy grape seed oil, or so I thought. Your post opened my eyes to this oil. I’m looking for a good oil to replace it with in my deep fryer. I use it to make coconut flour battered chicken nuggets for my boys and occasionally homemade chips and french fries. What kind of oil would you recommend for this purpose?

  39. Zinc is essential for skin health, immune function and optimal reproduc- tive health . Good sources of zinc include meats, breakfast cereals, brightly coloured vegetables and fruit .

  40. Okie doke, so my husband and I have been switching to a diet based off of what the WAPF says a pregnant women should eat. We aren’t all the way there, but grass Fed and raw are now common words in our home and the fclo is in the mail! About a week ago I knew something was up and the test showed we are pregnant! My questions are what do you think of sprouted grains and is the xyliltol in our toothpaste ok for me? Haha, I just made it and am enjoying it.s clean feeling! I noticed though that you posted that you stay away from it when pregnant….

    • I use the toothpaste while pregnant and if I were going to consume grains, they would definitely be sprouted 🙂 Congrats!

  41. What about raw honey? Having trouble finding information on the safety of it during pregnancy. Also have read and heard from many people that kombucha is not safe during pregnancy due to it coming from a fungus making it different than others. I just found out I am pregnant and in the past have had a lot of trouble with my hypothyroidism during my pregnancies resulting in major weight gain. Any information on this would be helpful, love your blog????

  42. Hi! I just found out I’m pregnant and had just started following your supplement suggestions so I am currently taking Gelatin, Magnesium, Vitamin D, FCLO, and I just ordered Folate but I am wondering what you use to supplement iron. I have heard of iodine. Do you suggest that? If so, what kind and how? I have learned so much for you and appreciate all the research you do! Thanks!

  43. Hi, I am 8 weeks pregnant after trying for 3 years. I was eating a paleo/ aip diet for about 2 years before getting pregnant. Now that I’m pregnant I have a love/hate relationship with food. I have a bit of stomach sickness but my big issue is the food. All the things i ate and enjoyed before are unappealing now and I crave all the bad food except sweets yuck. Why is this happening? All I want to do is eat healthy and my body is craving garbage like fastfood.

  44. I wanted to ask if you take a regular prenatal at all or just the supplements stated above?

  45. Hi Katie,
    I was wondering if you take or recommend taking a daily prenatal vitamin? In my past pregnancies I have always been told to take them so I did. I am pretty new to trying a more natural way of living and just wanted your thoughts on taking them along with the other supplements you’ve mentioned and which one is best if you do take them! Thanks so much! I appreciate your time! 🙂

  46. Im wondering if anyone has advice. Im 5 weeks pregnant and am starting the challenge but I think I need to be dairy free egg free and possible stay away from night shades for awhile to figure out my allergies. My one year old seems to have picked up some on my allergies and I really desire to get enough healthy foods for us in order to avoid all of our allergies. I already fear im not getting enough nutrition and fear cutting other stuff out
    Does anyone have advice for me?

  47. Hi,

    Is it safe to eat raw egg yolk in shakes when pregnant? I thought you could only have hard boiled egg yolk?

  48. What about organic sprouted grains during the first trimester? It is something I am recommending to pregnant clients who can only keep carbs down. I figured it was a healthier option to saltines and crackers.

    • It’s scary that you have clients but are getting your information from a blog!

  49. I’m curious about the WAPF recommendations for a pregnancy diet. Just counting the milk, butter, eggs and coconut oil it is already over 2,000 calories. That’s not even counting a leafy green salad, beef, seafood, liver and everything else that is recommended. I know that a calorie is not just a calorie, fat is good, etc etc (I get it) but it seems to me that you would gain quite a bit of weight eating this diet throughout your pregnancy. Even if the weight gain is from nutrient dense foods isn’t it still not a great idea to gain TOO much weight during pregnancy? I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere and I’m curious on people’s opinion.

  50. Hi all, any thoughts on preconception care for men?

  51. Hi All!

    I am a few weeks pregnant and terribly tired already. I have a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and I eat a gluten free and mainly dairy free diet. I am concerned about proper nutrition with my current diet, as well as having enough energy for my husband, son, work, and other life thingies…

    Any ideas for foods and natural energy remedies? I have researched a few things…but wanted to know if anyone has personally experienced this.



  52. Thank you! This is my first pregnancy, I have been brewing kambucha for a few months. Is it safe during pregnancy? How can you make sure the alcohol levels are low?

  53. How much of the FCLO in capsules do you recommend taking during pregnancy? I also bought the Vitamin Butter+FCLO blend which I assume should be alright too…? I most defenitely get brain fog when pregnant and I am hoping I can avoid it next time.

  54. What do you think about about taking FCLO with a prenatal vitamin? Im concerned aout too much vit A and D…my doctor has recommended preg vit folic 5 even though i am quite healthy and eat a relatively clean diet. I also wanted to take a magnesium plus calcium supplement to help with my moods but she said the prenatal has everything although it has less than 50 mg in it. Im quite confused at this point any suggestions would be helpful!

    Also if I take FCLO thoughout the pregnancy would my baby still need the vitamin K shot???

    • I personally opted for the FCLo even over prenatals and also took folate (not ever folic acid) and L-MTHF and ate a really nutrient dense diet. I’d definitely do your own research and find out what you are comfortable with though.

  55. Hello!

    I am a former health nut who has fallen off the health wagon. I just found out I’m 8 weeks pregnant and am even more determined to get in shape now more than ever. I’m not over weight, just “soft” 🙂 do you think it is possible to get in shape during pregnancy so myself and my baby are healthy during/delivery or should I just focus on healthy eating? I don’t want to miss ANYTHING health wise while growing this baby, so any information you have, I would appreciate it. Your article about necessary supplements was very helpful! Is it ever too late to start taking these? I have been taking prenatal samples my doc gave me but my brother who works for a health food store is bring me a full prenatal lack with iron and DHA next week so I’ll be almost ten weeks. Thanks!!

  56. I simply want to tell you that I am newbie to blogs and certainly savored this web page. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You really come with amazing writings. Cheers for sharing your web page.

  57. First off, let me just say that I LOVE your blog, it is by far my favorite. I feel like my crunchy little heart is supported here 🙂 My question is about Kombucha. I love the drink and the benefits but there has been and still is controversy around drinking it while pregnant. I want to continue to drink my kombucha and in my opinion it would be safe to do so but I’ve read a lot of articles that are conflicting. I just wanted to know what your thoughts and research and personal experience is with this. Thanks in advance 🙂


    • Thanks for reading 🙂 I’d definitely research and make sure you are comfortable with whatever you choose. I had been drinking it before pregnancy and felt comfortable consuming it during pregnancy but I’ve also seen research on both sides.

  58. Hello. I recently graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Food and Nutrition with Dietetics Option and wanted to share my input. I believe there may be some terminology mix ups in the post and comments. CARBOHYDRATES are indeed healthy. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber and are the main sources of glucose-our bodies fuel. WHOLE GRAIN sources are the most dense bio-available form. If you cut out all grains, it would be like trying to put water in your car instead of gasoline. This would be in contrast to HIGH GLYCEMIC foods, such as refined (white) starches and simple sugars (as opposed to complex sugars found in fruits, which are good.). These simple carbs do nothing for your system except cause a spike in the bodies biological reaction (insulin release), which some have argued as a possible cause of diabetes. In addition, I had a friend try to argue that on the Paleo diet, you get enough glucose from fruits and vegetables; you can if you eat very high amounts throughout the day. One commenter said she had been following a Paleo diet for some time but was fatigued– ding ding ding! This is because your body doesn’t have fuel. Most dieters feel better when starting a Paleo diet because they are simply cutting out the crap and upping their “clean” intake; when you give your body what it needs, it functions properly! But one must also think about the sustainability of a lifestyle- the long term effects eating a certain way will have. Another way around this fatigue issue is to take B12 supplements- but if one believes that you can get all the nutrients needed from an adequate diet, why would you need to supplement? In conclusion, you don’t have to stray away from WHOLE GRAINS (unless you have a condition). But DO try your best to limit, if not cut out, all processed carbohydrates (simple sugars and starches). I hope this clears up some concerns about diet!

  59. Hello,
    I’ve just recently found out we’re expecting. It’s our first baby. (So excited!) I’m overweight and am currently on a low carb plan. Do you have any material that you recommend I read? I’m wanting to make sure that we are successful and the baby is healthy. I noticed that your article said you did something similar where you cut out most grains. Before this diet, I didn’t eat much in the way of grains anyway. Any help you can send my way is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • Rebecca,
      I’m in the same boat! I found an awesome community of low carb moms on facebook called Pregnant Atkids and through that group found a book called Real Food For Gestational Diabetes that goes through all the research on low carb diets in pregnancy (I haven’t been tested for GD yet, but I figured it’s good to be proactive and I was getting scared that I might do harm if I stayed low carb).

      So far, it’s the best resource I’ve found and the group of ladies in our fb group is really nice and supportive. It’s nice to connect with other moms that are struggling with the same things. (sorry I’m rambling)

  60. Hello Katie,

    First off, thanks a lot for sharing such an awesome resource with us especially who are now pregnant. I am also a happily pregnant now. And I really try to be safe and eat safe and healthy to keep my unborn safe.

    Recently, I have found another article here- http://www.thetwoangles.com/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/. They also shared some nice stuff but I am not sure if their information is trustworthy or not.

    Wish us luck (for me and my unborn)!


  61. Question on the raw dairy – 1 qt per day is really quite cost prohibitive here in San Diego. It’s about $15/gal from what I remember correctly. I can see doing 1 gal a week maybe, but 1 qt a day seems excesive (purely from budgetary concerns). Local farms charge about the same as store bought raw, grassfed dairy. So I’m curious – why exactly is 1 qt reccommended? Is it the calcium? Is there something else I can eat or supplement with in addition to (or instead of) so much milk? Thank you! Such helpful info…

  62. What about unpasteurized raw local organic honey? Is it safe during pregnancy?

  63. Hi after a recent miscarriage I’m currently trying to eat as healthy as possible and incorperate this diet as a pre pregnancy diet before trying to conceive again. Although i have read that many people with milk allergies are able to drink and eat raw milk and cheese, i don’t have the means of getting it and am not interested in consuming any dairy even raw, except for maybe eggs. Is there any other milk i can drink that would have the same benefit maybe almond milk or something?

  64. Hi! Just came across your site and I can’t stop reading. =) Do you have any suggestions on good water kefir products? Thanks!

  65. Hi,
    I am 25 weeks pregnant, When you will suggest take raspberry red leaf tea, Since i learned it helps faster labor?

    appreciate your answer.


  66. I have a question about the Fermented Cod Liver Oil. My nutritionist said to be careful taking it during pregnancy because of the high levels of Vitamin A. I’ve heard this a few times, that too much vitamin a can cause problems. My biggest reason for wanting to take the FCLO is because I am having major dental problems again. I am 21 weeks pregnant with my third child. Both my other pregnancies I’ve had problems and lost teeth. I’m in a lot of pain and don’t really know what to do so this doesn’t keep happening. Do you think the FCLO is still safe? How much should I take a day? Do you have any other suggestions for dental pain while pregnant?


    • I took FCLO during my pregnancies, but if your nutritionist has expressed concerns, it’s best to follow the advice of your medical practitioners. Perhaps they can suggest a healthy dose that will satisfy both of you. In the meantime, you might consider avoiding foods that are high in phytic acid, and consuming even more mineral rich foods to support your oral health.

    • Have you ever tried oil pulling? I just found out I am pregnant with my third (unexpected) and I have really really sensitive teeth during pregnancy. I didn’t start oil pulling until after my second child and just for the last few years but I cannot recommend it enough and it is truly helping during this pregnancy.

  67. Is raspberry leaf tea safe to drink through all stages of pregnancy? I am in the first trimester (and an avid tea drinker), so I am looking for a tea I could drink daily to replace my usual green tea. I saw that Raspberry leaf can cause uterine contractions? I just don’t want to go into early labor or anything? Thanks!

  68. Hi katie Im hoping you can answer this question for me.
    I have pretty much been eating kind of a cleaner diet. Mostly meat, veggies yes occasionally grains but for the most part meat, veggies, fat ect.. I was taking a prenatal supplement in powder form but then discovered i didnt like some of the ingredients in the powder. I found out i was pregnant about a couple weeks ago and i switch to the Westons diet plan. You said you took FCLO throughout your pregnancy. How much did you take. Ive been reading a lot of contradicting things on vitamin A and am kind of nervous because I have been eating lots of meats and eggs and stuff and was taking the FCLO which is also high in vitamin A apparently. And before I stop taking the powder form of vitamins that said it had about 5000 iu vitamin A, what was your experience with this issue while pregnant did you still eat this way? I read in one of your comments that you even said too much vitamin A can cause issues, how do we know how much is too much? Can you help. Now Im wondering if Ive been consuming too much and if Ive maybe hurt my baby unknowingly by doing so. I feel like when i just ate the way I did back then even while pregnant i didnt have all these concerns about food and eating healthy and stuff. All my kids were born healthy and perfect now i feel like im worrying about this.
    I dont know how often you look at these comments but i hoping you will see this one and can answer here or in my email.

  69. Hi there –

    Thank you very much for posting. I have eaten low carb for a long time now, and initially lost 60 lbs doing it! But aside from that it was my health and energy that I noticed the biggest improvement.

    I am now 4 weeks pregnant and i miscarried two time in the last year and half after having 2 very healthy babies. And I was initially trying to find any rational reason to explain these miscarriages – I was even thinking that it was because of my low carb lifestyle and excersize.

    At the same time though, low carb to me is this:

    6 small meals/day
    3 contain protein
    and all contain vegetables
    with some nuts and cheese
    I eat greek yogurt for breakfast and cottage cheese sometimes for snack
    plus I make low carb smoothies with unsweetened almond milk

    I realize now that how on earth could that be harming my baby?!


    Just wanted to share and thank you for sharing!

  70. Do you drink Kombucha during pregnancy? I get the Synergy and just wondered if you consider it safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Loving your blog! Thanks

  71. Just to clarify, do you take Vitamin D in addition to FCLO?
    If so how much of each do you recommend for someone who’s nursing?

    Thanks, I really love your website 🙂

    • I personally take about 5000 IU of D a day with a generous amount of topical magnesium, but Vitamin D is a very individualized thing, so I”d recommend a blood test and talking with a health care professional.

  72. Hello there! I just wanted to comment. I used to have an awful problem with energy. I went to a bread Beckers meeting at a home schooling convention. The interesting thing I learned is they had mills to buy flour in the Thirty’s and forties. Then they started removing the bran so the flour wouldn’t go rancid. Problem is, As with anything else, when things are processed or removed they just aren’t the same. Natural food can become its own poison. There are over a hundred vital nutrients vitamins and minerals we need to metabolize in fresh whole wheat flour.

    Glucose and gluten ate not properly digested after flour sits. After three days it has almost no nutritional value. The nutrients naturally occurring actually help digest it properly. It should be freshly grained each day or every other day. Oftentimes when people drink fresh milk they notice lactose intolerance is not a problem. The same goes for eating fresh grain. It was meant to be consumed freshly grained. In the bible there is reference to eat us this day our daily bread. Eating fresh wholesome food is vitally important to our bodies being nourished. Ironically enough, there is a book by Sam biser talking about how vital salt is in our diet. He speaks of Celtic or Himalayan salt having a over a hundred nutrients enzymes and minerals to help metabolize our food and vitamins. Natural sugar also is filled with nourishing nutrients. We need to get back to nature. If it wasn’t naturally created, we probably shouldn’t indulge on it.

  73. Hi Katie,

    Have you got any experience with Ormus Supergreen from Sunwarrior and Vitamineral Green from HealthForce? Both have some greens you recommend here but also other herbs and I am not sure about its safety during pregnancy.

    Thank you 🙂


  74. Hi Katty, I read your blog a lot because I learn a lot, I wish I had found you on my first pregnancy. I think I am pregnanat and if I do, which I am almost 100 o/o I am, I would like to buy your Wellness mama guide helthy pregnancy, however; I am wondering how is it updated on you most recent supplements recomendetins, etc. thank you Katty.

  75. Hi! What do you think about eating raw quail eggs during pregnancy. I’m already in the 6 month and was recommended to eat raw quail eggs. As far as I know there is no risk of salmonella with them, but… Look forward to your reply!

    • Interesting question.. I’ve never come across any research either way, but I’d ask a doctor or midwife to be sure.

      • Thank you, Katie! I’d appreciate it!

  76. Hi Katie, I am 12 weeks pregnant and have recently received some unfavorable results with my gut bugs. I am trying to cut sugar and have regular probiotics. I would like to take store brought (from the health food shop) kefir and fermented vegies, do you think this is safe? I am just concerned, because all the research up to now suggests that we should not have unpasteurized food. However due to my stool results i feel fermented foods and kefir might be necessary. I am also unsure about unpasteurized milk, butter and yogurt as I have been told I should have these also. Any help you could give me would be much appreciated. Thanks Katie. 🙂 Michelle.

    • Hi Michelle… congrats on your pregnancy. I would absolutely check with your doctor or midwife to be sure, but personally, I felt comfortable consuming fermented foods and drinks and even raw milk while pregnant.

  77. Hi Katie, I just learned last week that I’m pregnant (5 wks now) for the first time. I haven’t seen my doctor yet, but the nurse told me to get prenatal vitamins. I got some called “Raw Prenatal” from Garden of Life. They say they’re a raw whole food vitamin (organic as well). I read this post after all of that. Do you think these are OK? Also a question about magnesium…these have 38 mg. Can I still use oil topically? I don’t want to overdo anything. Thanks!

    • I think those are pretty good.. I still prefer these because they have the methylated forms of b-vitamins http://amzn.to/1TKEwlu. I did use magnesium oil topically as well during pregnancy but check with your doc if you are concerned. And congrats!

  78. I recently came across the wapf pregnancy diet and am trying to get started on it, as we plan to TTC in about two months. However, my OBGYN says I need to lose as much weight as I can before getting pregnant. I added it up, and without the fruits and veggies, or grains, it’s about 2,000 calories, 53g carbs, 143g fat, and 143g protein. I want to lose the weight, but want to be on the diet to prepare for pregnancy. What would be your recommendation?
    Thanks! 🙂

  79. Hi!

    I was wondering about eating honey during pregnancy. I just found out that I am pregnant and like to drink just one not strong cup of coffee with a little splash of honey ( and butter, coconut oil.). I use raw, unfiltered honey, is that safe or should I stop using it?
    How about kombucha green tea (yogi brand)? Or raw kombucha drinks?
    Thanks for your help!

    • I felt fine consuming honey while pregnant, since the risk is really just for babies under a year. A moms stomach has the necessary enzymes to break it down, but in babies who don’t yet have this, it can cause problems. Since everything is filtered through the mom’s intestines and the placenta, I was comfortable during pregnancy, but ask a doc to make sure if you aren’t comfortable with it. I also drank KOmbucha during pregnancy, but had been drinking it before so I felt comfortable continuing.

  80. Hi, Katie!

    I just found out I’m pregnant (I’m still processing) and am one who loves coffee and drinks a lot of it. Usually 4-5 cups per day. I had 3 yesterday (just found out the night before last) as I’d read that 4 were a good cut-off. But you’re recommending no more than 1 cup/day. What sort of risks does it pose to the baby? I’d rather not give up my coffee, but definitely will if it will hurt my baby.

    Thank you for all you do! =]

    • Congratulations on your pregnancy! My research tells me that caffeine can contribute to low birth weight in babies, can cause you to become dehydrated (it’s a diuretic), and can suppress your appetite, which can lead to malnutrition for you and the baby. I would strongly suggest discussing the possible risks with your doctor and deciding based on that.

    • I just read something last week that said coffee shouldn’t exceed 1-2 cups a day. I’ll drink it if I’m having a hard time keeping awake at work, but I’ve only had it once since I started drinking greens in the morning (Oriya’s Super Green Medley is especially amazing thanks to outstanding levels of Iron and important vitamins). I’ve also been making more of an effort to get to bed earlier or, at the very least, to accept that the sleep I got is the sleep I got and I’m not going to dwell on it. I’ve also been using the gemstone Carnelian as it has warming and energizing properties and I swear up and down it works.

      When I have habits to break, I find it helpful to ask myself why I do it and what I get from it. If coffee is about the ritual and pleasure, then chai tea and a tasty creamer may fit the same needs. If it’s about getting the caffeine because you’re tired, then maybe half caf/decaf or a cup of yerba mate would be a better substitute (an earlier bedtime is another great idea). If you know what coffee gives you, you can find some creative ways to get your fix in another way.

      Best of luck with the pregnancy! 🙂

  81. Hi! I am recently pregnant (VERY recently) with my first! I noticed that Dr. Price recommends beef/lamb daily and I am wondering the best way to fit that in? Burgers/steak every night?! Also, I heard that meat needs to be fully cooked before eaten while pregnant. I always eat my steaks medium rare. Do I need to cook to well done?

    Thanks in advance!

  82. Just found out that I’m pregnant and am sort of freaking out with all the information out there. I find it kind of hard to follow my own food plan for myself to follow and prefer to follow pre made and thought out food plans like online or with apps. I found a few online for pregnancies but I would see under the oil section canola oil and salad dressing so I don’t trust them. I know that every women probably needs certain nutrition differently but I was wondering if you knew of a good and reliable general food plan to follow for pregnancies that also follows your nutrition tips?

    • Congrats on your pregnancy… I’m due in February! 🙂 I absolutely agree with you… meal planning is a life-saver for me also… the plan I’m using this pregnancy is called Real Plans (wellnessmama.com/go/meals/) and it has all real-food options and I just added my recipes to their system so it includes over 1500 recipes total, a weekly meal plan, the ability to customize if you want to, and they can plan around food allergies and food preferences… I’ve loved it this pregnancy!

  83. I would love to see an average day of meals for you this pregnancy, especially after being on AIP!

  84. I’m wondering which probiotic you recommend during pregnancy. I’ve clicked on a couple of your links, but they just bring me to the Amazon home page.
    Thank you!

    • Not sure why they aren’t working, but I’ll check on it. Thanks for the heads up. This is the one I’ve been using this pregnancy: wellnessmama.com/go/probiotics/ but I’ve also used Bio Kult in the past.

  85. Hi Katie,
    I just found out I am pregnant a few days ago. I’ve been consuming raw milk from a local farm with a great track record. Do you know anything about the risks of an outbreak should it occur while I’m pregnant? The paranoia has kicked in unfortunately with pregnancy

  86. Hi wellness mama! Im in the nursing stage right now, wondering what kinda of vitamins and supplements you all take, I know you listed some above.. Are those it or are there others? And which ones are most vital when nursing or pregnant? Also… What brands are better… There are so many out there

  87. Have you found anything to help in particular with the first trimester sleepiness? I felt so good after revamping my diet before this pregnancy (#4) cutting out all the proceased food and sugars! No more falling asleep while putting the kids down for naps or bedtime but now I want to nap multiple times a day! Hoping this will end after a few more weeks as I move into the second trimester but right now I’m exhausted all day! I take a prenatal and cod liver oil already but was curious if you have found any of these things to help with the sleepiness!?!?!?!?!

    • Unfortunately, that seems to be largely controlled by hormones as the baby is growing so rapidly and there is so much more demand on your body at this time. Eating as nutrient dense as possible can help, but I’ve never found or heard of anything that completely fixes it… sounds like you are getting toward the end of it though. Hang in there!

  88. I found this post while searching for references to progesterone cream. I am wondering if you have a recommended brand. I had planned to use chaste berry extract but found out from your blog that it takes several months to have an effect. I am not young so am looking to do everything possible to strengthen an early pregnancy. Thank you for your help!

  89. Woah, after a lot of research, this is the ONLY place I’ve read that egg yolks, raw milk, liver, lots of seafood .. And a few other things are suggested. Are you saying you had all of this the entire time you were pregnant, and experienced no complications??

    • Continue researching, look at sites like Dr. Mercola, Healthy Home Economist, Weston Price Foundation, etc. They all advocate this type of diet.

  90. I’m due in aug and was wondering…. if red raspberry tea stimulates contractions when should it be used? I’m severely anemic and like the other benefits of the tea but I’m a bit concerned.

    • I start drinking it in the second trimester – but because of your anemia, I’d run everything by your midwife or OB first. Congrats on the pregnancy! 🙂

  91. Hi, I’m in the UK and I’m due a little miracle in November this is #7 for me after being told 5 years ago i was infertile.
    Anyway the midwifes and Drs here pretty much shy away from anything not planned or managed, I’m booked in for an actively managed delivery…which i do not want as the last ended up in a PPH. I’ve been searching up alternatives to reduce risks of complications. Any advice would be welcome as they do not accept the use of natural or herbal remedies where I live. Any advice on what to do/use?

  92. What about taking the dried liver from Radiant Life. How many of those a day is equal to eating liver 2 to 3 times a week?

  93. I took fermented cod liver oil during my pregnancy, and stopped for the last month. At what point would you suggest starting it again after baby is born?

  94. Hi Wellness Mama! I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and have been consuming a diet similar to this. I have been spilling a small amount of ketones throughout the pregnancy, but I do not spill glucose. I spill more ketones after a meal. Do you have any ideas what might cause this? My midwife is confused by this as well.

    • I’ve had that at times as well, and it seems to be because the demands of pregnancy and a relatively lowish carb diet lead to small amounts of keytones, which I’ve been told are not a concern without the sugars in the urine as well.

  95. Thank you SO much for all your helpful guidance! I am 37 weeks pregnant and have been told that since my baby is measuring big that I need to be restricting my diet to one similar to if I had Gestational Diabetes (which I’m assured I don’t have)- it is actually quite similar to what you have outlined here! I have been eating quite healthy up to this point and am wondering how restricting my diet even more is actually going to “slow” the growth of my baby/if that is really such a good thing? How will eating mainly protein and little to no starches (with lots of fruits and vegetables of course!) curb my babies growth? I don’t particularly want to birth a 10 pounder (this will be my first) but… At this point can I really do much to change that?
    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Babies do feed on blood sugar to some degree at this point. As a general rule, I avoid starches in late pregnancy, and the kids I have done this with the most have been my smallest.