The Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Diet
The Diet
Weekly Record
Special Needs
No-Risk Diet
Weight Gain
Bed Rest
Herbal Diuretics
Twin Pregnancy
The Twin Diet
Premature Labor
Blood Pressure
Mistaken Diagnoses
Underweight Babies
Gestational Diabetes
In Memory
Other Issues
Morning Sickness
Colds and Flu
Registry II
Registry III

Drink to quench thirst nutritiously


The following is reprinted from The Brewer Medical Diet for Normal and High-Risk Pregnancy, by Gail Sforza Brewer with Thomas Brewer, M.D.

"Group 12--Water--Daily Exchanges: unlimited" (p 22)

Drink to quench thirst, but do not force fluids. Fruits, vegetables, and juices all contain a goodly proportion of water plus additional nutrients. Forcing water may fill you up without giving you much nutrition--a hazard in late pregnancy, when you have to make every bite count and you have less and less space to put the food in. Diet beverages, coffee, teas, and imitation fruit drinks should be avoided for the same reason. If you are thirsty, drink water or something nutritious (real juice or a milk beverage) or an occasional mild herbal tea.

The Brewer Medical Diet for Normal and High-Risk Pregnancy available here

Note from Joy:

I would like to underline what Gail and Tom are saying here a little bit.

Here is a diagram of the uterus at term, along with other organs in the abdomen (click on "view larger picture" for a better look)...

Pregnancy Diagrams (by Childbirth Connection, formerly Maternity Center Association)

36 weeks

40 weeks

You can see the mother's stomach at the top of her abdominal space, above the intestines and below the liver (which is the darker-colored organ just below the diaphragm). You can see how much pressure is put on the mother's stomach from below, by the growing baby and uterus. So you can imagine how difficult it is for the mother to keep up with her continuing nutritional needs, with such limited stomach space. That is why many childbirth educators and midwives suggest that it's best for the mother to not rely on three meals a day for her nutrition, and that she should switch over to a "grazing" method of eating. In this style of eating she would eat some food every hour, or have 5-6 meals a day, as in breakfast-10 am snack-lunch-3 pm snack-supper-bedtime snack, with each "meal" including foods from the 14 groups of the Brewer Diet until all the servings required by that nutritional plan are met.

By the same token, I often quote to pregnant women the suggestion that I learned from Tom on the subject of fluid intake in pregnancy, especially late pregnancy: "Don't put anything in your stomach that is empty of nutrients". As you look at the limited space in the stomach, you will understand how water could make the mother feel so full that she would not eat as much in the way of solid foods as she might have, had she not filled her stomach with water. So we suggest that pregnant women, and especially women in late pregnancy, consider limiting their fluid intake to milk and 100% vegetable and fruit juices with no added sweeteners (religiously checking the list of ingredients).

It would also be good to take care in your choice of which herbal teas to drink. Unfortunately, some areas of the "alternative medicine" community have followed mainstream medicine in the belief that diuretics are important and useful for treating edema and elevated blood pressure in pregnancy. Many pregnancy teas and some supplements include nettle, dandelion, alfalfa, bilberry, or celery, all of which have diuretic properties. Diuretics are no safer for pregnancy in herbal form than they are in prescription medications, so it is important for pregnant women to watch which herbs they are taking

"'Medical myths' exposed as untrue"

See here to better understand the evolution of the mainstream medical perspective on nutrition and salt in pregnancy

See here for more information about nettle and dandelion and other herbal diuretics in pregnancy

I recently came across an article on "WebMD" regarding the risks of drinking too much water during marathons. While the article was focusing on the issue of drinking water during sports, I found some of the statements to be rather interesting and possibly relevant for pregnancy as well.

See here for entire article