Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Read this article in: French | Spanish

Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day, which is provided by 2 teaspoons high vitamin cod liver oil (Green Pasture brand).

1 quart (or 32 ounces) whole milk daily, preferably raw and from pasture-fed cows (learn more about raw milk on our website, A Campaign for Real Milk,

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


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

IMPORTANT WARNING: Cod liver oil contains substantial levels of omega-3 EPA, which can cause numerous health problems, such as hemorrhaging during the birth process, if not balanced by arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in liver, egg yolks and meat fats.  Please do not add cod liver oil to a diet that is deficient in these important animal foods. It is important to follow our diet for pregnant mothers in its entirety, not just selected parts of it.

, which is provided by 2 teaspoons high vitamin cod liver oil (Green Pasture brand).

Jill Nienhiser has been a Weston A. Price Foundation member since 2001, and has provided web maintenance, editing, and proofreading support for and for many years. She also helped launched the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in 2007.

67 Responses to Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

  1. Cisca says:

    What is 20,000 IU in terms of teaspoons? Thanks!

  2. Kelly says:


    If your not following the specific diet for pregnant women can you still take FCLO with Butter Oil???

    Thank You

    • Tim Boyd says:

      Yes, that’s fine.

      • Katie says:

        I think that this is similar to my question but would just want to clarify: The Green Pastuers “Blue Ice Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend” capsules are the right blend/ratio of Omega 3’s to 6’s to avoid the risks of an imbalance? I am pregnant and would like to use this product if that is the case. I do eat a lot of the foods on the weston a. price diet list, but I am not perfect about it so I want to make sure I am consuming the right ratios here in this product to avoid any risks. Thank you!!!

  3. lindsey says:

    What cut’s of beef are best and how much should you try to consume each day

  4. Courtney says:

    Is chicken liver pate allowed for pregnant women?

  5. Booboo says:

    What about trying to conceive – is it advised to start following this before pregnancy?

    • angie says:

      Yes! A lot of the traditional people studied by Dr. Price would start a diet like this at least six months prior to conception.

  6. Danae says:

    I’m trying to follow this diet in it’s entirety though I have some questions. I don’t have access to raw milk and am very sensitive to pastures milk. Is the milk recommendation for the cholesterol, calcium, fat, vitamin D or all the above? Any suggestions on a substitute for raw milk? Also, I don’t have access to 3-4oz of liver a week so I am considering buying the desicated liver powder. Does the liver powder contain the needed ARA omga 6 to balance out the cod liver oil intake?
    Lastly, can grass fed buffalo be eaten in place of beef or lamb?
    I’m pregnant and want to make sure I balance my omega 6 with the omega 3 in the cod liver oil. I’m new to this so snt advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

    • Tim Boyd says:

      If you are pregnant, you will need a very good source of calcium. Can you eat raw cheese? Liver powder would be fine. Make sure you are eating lots of butter to get your ARA. Yes, you can eat buffalo. But it is lean, so cook it in lard or make a cream sauce for it. If you take the cod liver oil in the context of our diet, you will have the balance between omega 3 & 6.

  7. Danae says:

    Thank you for your reply Tim. I can get raw cheese. Do you know about how much I should eat a day? If not that’s ok. Also, do you think that drinking chicken bone broth is a good replacement for raw milk?
    Thank you again, your advice is really helpful.

    • Tim Boyd says:

      Chicken broth is a great source of minerals. By itself it won’t replace milk but if you are doing raw cheese also then you should be doing well. We don’t really have any formulas for food – eat as much as you want.

  8. Megan says:

    I had been following this diet as my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. But a couple months ago my doctor (functional medicine/naturopathic doctor) ran an allergy test on my because my hormone levels were still way off. Found out that I am allergic (at least temporarily) to dairy (severely allergic to cow and goats milk), eggs, and beef (in addition to several other things). Cutting out those foods has helped some of my hormones to stabilize but I am wondering if I am deficient in some of the key nutrients provided by these foods. Is there an “allergen friendly” version of this list that might help me?

  9. linda says:

    I too don’t consume very much dairy and would like to know some alternatives? Thank you!

  10. Brooke says:

    What is the source of folate in this diet? Is the liver a substantial enough daily source or is this mostly needing to come from leafy greens? Thank you so much

  11. Sharon says:

    What is your recommendation for the amount of protein a pregnant mom should have daily?

  12. nissah says:

    Is it okay to consume Kalona Supernatural VAT pasteurized milk if I can’t get access to raw milk? Is there any fish oil you recommend besides the fermented cod liver oil?

    • Tim Boyd says:

      No, if you can’t get raw milk, then do the liver-based formula. We don’t recommend fish oil, only fish liver oil. There are other recommendations besides the fermented on our website, in the cod liver oil section

  13. Audrey says:

    Any suggestions for a nursing mom of a 2 year old? We are grain, dairy and sugar free because of allergies. What can we use instead? Thanks so much!

  14. Melly Chamas says:

    I have some concerns regarding the Weston Price diet. I myself am allergic to fish, my son is allergic to dairy, soy and shellfish. I’m wondering if cod liver oil or algae omega would be a good substitute? Also, I was planning on trying to refrain from dairy and shellfish with this pregnancy in hopes of reducing the chances of allergies my first son presently has. Any suggestions or knowledge related to these topics? Many thanks!

  15. Tashad says:

    How many FCLO capsules do you recommend during pregnacy? What is a good alternative to liver? I noticed a comment above re: Kalona Supernatural VAT milk , yogurt, ect– isn’t that a good alternative if unable to do raw?


  16. Tashad says:

    Also, is there concern for mercury and other contaminants in FCLO? I tried to connect to your link for recommneded brands, but it did not link me. Is green pastures blue ice FCLO capsules a good option?
    Thanks in advance for your response to my two posts!

  17. Katelyn says:

    Does anyone know what the equivalent of Green Pasture’s brand of capsules are for the 20,000 IU etc? or 2 teaspoons? The capsules do not say really what the proper amount to take is. (Im taking the Fermented Cod liver Oil and High Vitamin Butter Oil combo capsules.


  18. Alice says:

    Do you think that a diet like this would benefit women who are hormonally imbalanced?
    Do you think this would lead to benefits such as period regularity, acne clearing and brain fog?
    Thank you for any help you can offer!

  19. Karen says:

    I saw this question above and am curious as well. Can I have chicken liver pate during pregnancy? I know the liver is recommended, but how about it in a pate? Thank you!!

  20. Juliane says:

    Does this food list assume that women are not taking pre-natal vitamins? I plan on taking a raw, food-based pre-natal vitamin. If I stick to this diet and take the vitamin, is that an overload?

    • Tim Boyd says:

      This does not assume pre-natal vitamins. It would not be easy to make any comment on overloads without knowing more detail than can be done in web comments but we think that any problem would more likely be due to vitamins than food.

  21. Katie says:

    Hi, can you pls be very clear on exactly what would need to be taken in conjunction with the cod liver oil to balance the right ratio of Omega 3 and 6? For instance, If I take the recommended dosage of FCOL and 2 raw pastured organic egg yolks daily, would this offer the right balance of 3’s to 6’s in my daily diet to avoid any potential risks?

  22. Emily says:

    For those who are allergic to eggs and dairy, are there are changes to the diet? (More of anything else?)

  23. nicole says:

    Was planning on following this diet except the liver or organs can I substitute the liver for Dr Rons freeze dried raw liver from new Zealand and 6 caps are equivalent to 1 ounce of liver. Also wanted to know if I could take his doc’s best multi just to for reassurance (no vitamin A or d) and he designed it to be taken with cod liver oil. I am planning pregnancy number 2..not yet pregnant…Thanks

  24. Kayla says:

    I would like to know what I can do to either get liver down or replace it… There are many things that I dont really like that I can make myself eat but liver I just cant stomach. What can I do?

  25. Ashley says:

    Can I substitute raw goat’s milk for cow’s milk?

  26. Kristy says:

    To ingest liver in an in-offensive way, try freezing it and grating off pieces. These can be swallwed in frozen form (cooked first and then frozen) or they can be frozen raw and then grated off and added to soups, sauces, casseroles etc… They are so fine they will be cooked in no time, and are usually not a problem in these small sizes. Hope that helps!

  27. lauri says:

    No access to raw dairy? How much cheese to replace if I can find that.
    If not… what to do?

    What about processed organiz yoghurt?

    What about enzyme supplements FROM MILK?

    • Tim Boyd says:

      As much cheese as you want – your body can best answer that question. Plain organic yogurt is also very good.

  28. Heather says:

    Does anyone know how much liver powder (Radiant Life) to give a one year old? Adult portion is 1.5 tsp. Thanks.

  29. Carissa says:

    Can raw goat milk replace raw cow milk?

  30. Rachel says:

    I am making pate from chicken liver and I’m not sure if the chickens are pastured. Likely not as I live in Singapore and I think most chickens are not pastured. Is this still good for me? I also try to eat 2 eggs a day even though they are not free range. I can’t get raw milk or cream easily here either and have small amounts of pasterised homogenised milk on my oats. Is it better that I don’t have any milk?

  31. Amy says:

    I don’t have acess to raw milk. I’ve been looking on and I can buy organic grass fed whey protein powder that is processed at a low heat. Worthwhile or a waste? Thank you.

  32. Lourdes says:

    Hello! Im 2 months pregnant and recently ordered fermented cod liver oil after reading its benefits while pregnant and didn’t know abut the risk of taking if not balanced by arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid found in liver, egg yolks and meat fats. I have a few questions:
    1- Could you please explain me shortly what ARA is?
    2- If I eat 2 eggs a day, butter and coconut oil (2tbs a day of each), not much beef for now ( twice a week maybe) since I feel very gross out now that I have nausea and afternoon sickness. I will start consuming organic chicken liver twice a week (as pate since is the only way I can eat it ), would this be good enough to balance the amount of omega-6 fatty acid so I could start taking fermented cod liver oil?
    3- is it ok to eat duck liver instead of chicken?

    Thank you so much for all your information.

  33. Lisa says:

    If you take the butter oil/cod liver oil combo do you need to worry about following this diet so closely? I definitely don’t consume this much dairy or meat although it is pasture fed, organic and raw. 30 weeks pregnant.

    • Tim Boyd says:

      Reply from Sally:
      You still should do our diet for pregnant women. You especially need raw whole dairy–like cheese–and liver, egg yolks, fermented foods, broth, etc. You need the nutrients from a variety of foods.

  34. Lisa says:

    Also is it beneficial to also take evening primrose oils or is this too much or not recommend?

  35. Rachel says:

    I have an egg sensitivity, what would you substitute the eggs for as I’m unable to consume (as much as id like to) 2+ eggs a day. I can consume eggs it just wouldn’t work out well if i were to have that many everyday. Thanks

  36. Cassandra says:

    Hi there, how can someone modify the diet to accommodate the fact that they’re vegetarian but can eat eggs dairy and fish?

  37. Emily says:

    I feel sick if I eat that much fat. In the first trimester, it would be hard to imagine eating that much food.

  38. Alison says:

    Hi, I’m keen to follow your diet,
    but I don’t have access to cod-liver oil made of real cod.

    I want to fall pregnant 2 months from now.
    Here in South Africa, we just power-load on ox-liver.
    But, I have access to pastured everything.

    What can substitute the cod liver oil?

  39. claudia says:

    Please help! My daughter’s firstborn is dairy allergic. It took her months to figure out the connection and she then discontinued dairy in her diet while breastfeeding. In the two years following she has implemented many W.P. dietary principals but her second baby appears to also be dairy allergic. The two year old continues to react to raw cow and goat milk. She needs to discontinue dairy while breastfeeding, but the last time she did her milk supply immediately diminished. What can we add to her diet to help her maintain an adequate and nourishing breast milk supply. Your help is greatly needed and appreciated.
    Claudia SHine

  40. Cat says:

    Exactly to what @claudia said. So many babies now have a Milk Soy Protein Intolerance (my baby also has intolerances to wheat, eggs, nuts, some meats, and coconut in addition to dairy and soy). Most babies outgrow this by 1 year, but in the meantime what do you recommend–feeding a baby an amino-acid based hypoallergenic formula made up of 65% corn syrup solids, or sticking with breastfeeding and an elimination diet?

Leave a reply

© 2015 The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts.