This could have been written to many people, but just happened to come up with the Hypnobabies course I am auditing. It's an issue with Bradley and any number of midwives and doulas as well. They ALL need to just stop referring to the Brewer Diet. It's crap. It's even dangerous to susceptible women. So while this letter goes to Hypnobabies, fill in the blank with who you know who uses the Brewer Diet; they need to dump it, too.
Dear Hypnobabies Folks,
I’m sitting in on a Hypnobabies series and we’ve just finished the second chapter on nutrition. As you know, the chapter focuses on the Brewer Diet, Hypnobabies clearly advocating and recommending the Brewer Diet (BD) for those who take the course. As a midwife, I’ve followed the BD through many years, first through the Bradley classes as a student, then with peer pressure and finally, I started learning about the BD on my own because I kept seeing clients getting sick despite being on the BD, getting preeclampsia, including postpartum preeclampsia. I started reading studies about preecplamsia and reading about Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, opened my eyes to the amount of babies there were that were over 9 and a half pounds when their mom adhered to the BD religiously, bigger still, the more protein she took in. I saw shoulder dystocia over shoulder dystocia with these over-nourished babies. When midwives began talking about it honestly, we saw the same things and quit recommending the BD to our clients.
How did this diet come to be so ingrained in the natural birth world when only one doctor claimed it worked? There weren’t even studies that could replicate what Brewer claimed all that protein could do! For groups of people who demand evidence-based care, this is a glaring example of ignoring what we require of others.
For those that believe Brewer could do anything at all to prevent or help PIH or preeclampsia at all, you need to visit Preeclampsia.org and listen to what the women there have to say about The Brewer Diet. Here are the massive amounts of links the women have compiled that discuss the science of PE/HELLP/PIH.
None of this is to say I think a balanced diet isn’t important, but the Brewer Diet isn’t balanced at all. It is protein and calorie overload which taxes the kidneys and the body, especially during pregnancy. Women absolutely need protein during gestation, but not 80-120 grams a day as Brewer recommends.
What I would love Hypnobabies to recommend is a balanced diet of heavy on fruits and vegetables, quality protein, complex carbohydrates, water and minimal processed foods… what we all know to eat anyway!
I love Hypnobabies. I want to put everything I have behind this method. I don’t want to have to say, “Except for <fill in the blank>.” From what I understand, you’re changing the manual; I hope this is one thing you’re completely transforming.
With respect and admiration,
Barbara E. Herrera, LM, CPM