Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Monday, September 19, 2005

My little man is ten inches long!

I could say that if I knew that Ebry were a boy, but I don’t. I felt like saying it anyway.

The issue that’s bothering me the most this week is food:

1. On Wednesday, my childbirth prep teacher told us that we needed to be getting 100 grams of protein per day if we had any hope of not getting preeclampsia. She cited some spotty research by a doctor who doesn’t believe in control groups, and that was that. If you’ve ever talked food with me before, you know that I believe that U.S. Americans are obsessed with protein. I think this extends into expectations about nutrition during pregnancy.

2. On Friday, my midwife insisted that if I didn’t eat four servings of dairy per day, I needed a calcium supplement. I mentioned my love and constant consumption of greens; she told me to try yogurt. I asked about milk protein leeching calcium from the bones; she told me that was minute. I countered with the very true fact that countries with the highest milk consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis; she had never heard of such a thing and looked at me like I grew an extra head.

3. Over the weekend, I was reading from the very informative and holistic Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. She suggests that women measure their upper thighs weekly in order to ensure that they’re not gaining superfluous fat that might be difficult to lose after childbirth (page 98 of the fourth edition, published in 2004).

Here’s the deal: You all can bite me. My diet of whole, mostly organic foods is healthy and is nourishing my fetus quite well. My upper thighs are going to be pudgier when I’m done gestating Ebry than when I started, and that’s okay. We call those “maternal fat stores,” and they’re actually necessary for childbirth.


At 8:42 PM, Blogger Jen said...

100 grams? Goodbye kidneys...

You are doing what YOU need to do for YOUR baby. (And so am I. Harpo needs LOTS of ice cream.)

At 3:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note how early the whole competitiveness of "correct" parenting begins. Conception: naturally conceived children are "better", but if one has had to go the artificial route then you can pick up extra points for suffering. Pregnancy: all these food issues you raise. Soon you'll be being criticised for whatever decision you make about how to give birth. I don't really know why people need to criticise other people so much, but it does seem widespread. I guess the food things are really just to help you prepare for all the other criticism you'll be receiving once Ebry is born.

FWIW, I think the human body is brilliant at telling its inhabitant what it needs in order to flourish. The problem is that we don't always listen to what our body is asking for, especially if it is something time consuming like resting or preparing spinach instead taking an iron tablet.

Advice is only advisory. Listen to the advice you find helpful.


At 9:14 AM, Anonymous rich said...

50 grams of protein is I guess what they say is best for the supposedly average human; 100 grams equals like *20* containers of yogurt per day (only number I had in my head).

Either number seems impossible to me, whether it's consuming that much food or just damn being able to pay for it.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Emilin said...

WHO recommends 25 grams of protein per day, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. That's for non-pregnant, non-lactating women, though.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger She said...

What Lydia said. You know what's best for you and your child.

And in my experience, the Parenting/Birthing/Childrearing Industry does NOT like smart, educated, knowledgeable parents. Especially mothers.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Sandalou said...

Are they totally down on forms of protein that don't come from things that bleed? What's wrong with the centuries old complete protein grain combos? A black bean and corn stew is a thing of delight.

Look 'em in the eye, lie, and when all your tests come out within healthy guidelines, neener neener them.

I don't do four dairy a day, and i actually like the stuff. They aren't realistic.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Didi said...

I saw a certified nutritionist when I was pregnant and she said 60 grams, even with me being vegan.

Eat what your body tells you to. I craved sweet potatoes, granny smith apples, and watermelon for the most part.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

Well, i'm not pregnant (yet) but hardly eat any dairy (a heavy dairy day would be 1 serving) and i recently had my bone density checked. I am 37 but my bone density is above average for a 20 year old. Go figure...

It sounds like you are very healthily evaluating the ridiculous crap others are telling you...and you and your baby will be all the better for it...congratulations!


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