Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Brewer Diet

So Monday evening we had our second Bradley class.  It was all about nutrition.  If anyone knows me well enough, they know that I like to eat healthfully but I HATE to keep track of the food I have eaten.  It seems as though all I've been doing for so long is keeping food logs for people when they really aren't benefiting me.  However, the log we must keep in this class is much different.  It's only for tracking protein.  I can deal with that.  Also, Jack is a wonderful coach making sure he asks me what I've eaten that day so he can write it down in the log and keep track of my protein grams.  It is the coach's job to track down what we eat so this makes it much easier for me.  We are supposed to consume between 80 to 100 grams of protein each day (though my midwife tells me 70 - 80 is fine) to combat the risk of and prevent the development of metabolic toxemia.  Dr. Brewer, a close working physician with the members of the Bradley method team, has devised a diet that, when applied correctly, has shown to abate any occurance of this life-threatening disease.  Most doctors will state that the etiology of toxemia is not known, but more and more physicians are realizing that what a woman eats (especially in the third trimester) has a HUGE impact on her overall health during the pregnancy.  The Bradley method is focused on keeping all mamas as low risk as possible and the diet is the easiest thing to control in this realm.  Mainly using protein and then describing the role of all the whole food vitamins, Dr. Brewer's approach is rather simple.  This protein should be well-rounded from all the food groups including dairy, meat, nuts, fruits and veggies.  I had no idea that 3oz. of watermelon had one gram of protein in it!  That being said, I've found that my fear of not getting enough adequate protein has now been surrendered to the fact that if I actually write down what I'm eating I can see that I am consuming the proper amount of food for a healthy baby and a healthy body.  
I'm still in strict abandonment of the couch and Jack makes sure of that.  I now either sit on one of our meditation cushions on the floor with the soles of my feet together, or I sway and rock on the stability ball.  We are continuing to do our exercises each day together.  Lot's of squatting is being done (the pelvis has been shown to open up to 20% larger for the birth when this is practiced regularly and also when it is used as the birthing position).  Squatting, along with adequate vitamin C intake, perineal massage, kegels, and walking walking walking all work to reduce or even eliminate the risk of tearing and/or the need for episiotomy.  We also do leg exercises to help strengthen and stretch my hips and last night's relaxation exercise was absolutely divine with Jack talking me through a series of tasks, the most wonderful of which involved me inhaling a midnight blue light to nourish my body and our baby and exhaling the yucky brown light that harbors any fear and does not serve me.  It has been an astonishing experience for both Jack and myself as we move forward to the birth of our child.  

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