Q. I also wonder what is sufficient vitamin A intake through food sources (not supplements) for a woman in childbearing age? I don’t know whether the RDA levels can be trusted, and they don’t distinguish between naturally occurring vitamin A in foods and synthetic.
A. It’s really hard to say. We recommend about 10,000 IU through cod liver oil, and 20,000 IU through cod liver oil pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and lactation (using our recommended brands), plus additional sources from the diet. Remember that vitamin A needs to be balanced with vitamins A and K2.
Q. I’m a holistic nutritionist, and currently studying to be a clinical herbalist. Years ago in my pediatrics class I was introduced to the Nourishing Traditions book. This was my introduction to the work of Weston Price. Fast forward a few years, and I am pregnant with my first baby and following the WAPF recommendations!
I do have a few questions that may have been addressed before, but I wanted a bit of clarification on. What is your standpoint on caffeine consumption during pregnancy? I know there is significant data that high levels of caffeine can cause miscarriage, birth defects and low birth weight. I’ve always been a steady coffee drinker, so this is a hard pill to swallow. Is avoiding coffee altogether a recommendation that you guys stand by?
Next, and possibly most important, is about kombucha. For about a year before falling pregnant, I drank anywhere between 500ml – 1000ml of kombucha (store bought and/or homemade) daily. I know that ideally store bought kombucha should not exceed 0.5% alcohol, but it’s possible that poorly monitored brewing and/or home brewing can contain up to 2.5%. It’s clear that any level of alcohol during pregnancy is unsafe, but is it okay for me to continue drinking kombucha?
Similar question for taking herbal tinctures (alcohol extracts) – ideally I’d take ginger extract for morning sickness, and lemon balm or chamomile for anxiety, stress and insomnia. Although they are in a base of 40%, I would only take 2-5ml at a time, and can dilute them in water. Any thoughts on this?
A. I don’t think the small amount of alcohol in kombucha or tinctures is a problem, after all, the body makes about 1/2 ounce of alcohol per day. But I think the coffee is more of a concern. Not sure it would be possible to cut it out completely while you are pregnant, but I would certainly cut back–and that may reduce your need for herbs to deal with anxiety, stress and insomnia.
Q. I am twenty weeks along in my pregnancy and thoroughly enjoying the guide lines suggested by your foundation! I am curious if you have any knowledge on the nutrition of bee pollen?
A. I am not an expert on bee pollen–some people get allergic reactions to it, so might not be a good idea to start it while pregnant.
Q. I have two kids myself, and both have or have had issues with their gut. The oldest one is now healthy, but he didn’t tolerate gluten, milk and eggs while I was breastfeeding, and the same is now for the youngest (he can have eggs). But for my youngest, it also seems to be a problem when I eat any milk products or grains. Now to the question – do you know if there is any research on whether a baby can react to gluten proteins in breastmilk? Or if they can react on antibodies if the mother has an intolerance/allergy (unknown) and eats gluten?
A. These reactions are a sign that mom has a leaky gut, I think. My suggestion would be the GAPS diet for mom, and then for baby when he or she is old enough.
Q. Sally Fallon Morell recommends eating liver in the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. I have bought desiccated beef liver from Radiant Life as is recommended in the book and website. My question is how many tablets do I need to consume before I’m pregnant as well as when I’m pregnant?
A. I would say a minimum of 4 capsules per day–I believe that is equivalent to 1ounce beef liver. But it would be good to get used to eating real liver also–such as chicken liver pate or liverwurst.
Q. Is it safe to take fermented cod liver oil while pregnant if you aren’t following the WAPF diet perfectly? I want to start with cod liver oil, however I read that it can cause hemorrhaging during birth if the diet is not followed completely and that really scared me! How can I take cod liver oil safely during pregnancy? What else do I have to make SURE I am taking alongside it?
A. Yes, you can and should take fermented cod liver oil, but in the context of a diet that contains plenty of butter and other animal fats. Also eat lots of aged cheese for vitamin K2. If you are concerned about hemorrhaging, discontinue about two weeks before the birth. And do NOT take any fish oil or flax oil, which could cause an overdose on omega-3s.
Q. What is Dr Prices recommendations for a cavity to be filled during pregnancy?
A. Hopefully you can wait until after your pregnancy. For sure, don’t use amalgams. Take cod liver oil and butter oil and it might clear up on its own.