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Your Top Pregnancy Questions Answered!

I have been slowly cataloging all the pregnancy questions I received while pregnant…what prenatal vitamins I took… whether I’m vaccinating my baby… what foods I avoided… how did I prevent stretch marks…did I do a birth plan? I answer all these questions (and more!) This list will be updated regularly so if you have more questions, please ask in the comments below and I’ll update this list and let you know! 

My sweet Harley at one week old 

Photography by Little Nest Portraits

What preparation did you go through before getting pregnant?

I have been on a journey for over 10 years to get my health back on track, which helped to prepare my body for pregnancy. Over the years, acupuncture has helped tremendously to balance my hormones and heal my body. I also stopped taking birth control pills years ago, because they were preventing my body from doing what it is naturally supposed to do. I’ve restored my gut bacteria back to normal with a whole foods diet, supplementing with effective probiotics, and eating fermented food daily. 

My books The Food Babe Way, Feeding You Lies, and Food Babe Kitchen will show you how to provide the cleanest foods for your body to prepare it for pregnancy. Another great book that I love and read (twice!) was How to Conceive Naturally: And Have a Healthy Pregnancy after 30 by Christa Orecchio, a member of my advisory council. This book is spot on about the nutrition you want to put into your body if you are trying to conceive. 

What foods did you avoid while pregnant?

Overall, I stuck with the same diet that I had before pregnancy full of whole nutrient-rich foods with a few indulgences into those cravings – organic grilled cheeses and pizza to be exact! However, there are a few foods that I didn’t eat during pregnancy…

  • Sushi – especially Tuna (and other high-mercury fish): You are supposed to limit it due to mercury content, so it’s not worth the risk. Although I ate fish during pregnancy, I stuck to lower mercury varieties of fish such as wild salmon. Other high-mercury fish to avoid are halibut, sea bass, swordfish, shark, marlin, orange roughy, and mackerel.
  • Processed foods: Anything that comes in a package or box or container, I ate way less of! I wanted to stay away from all the packaging chemicals that food can be exposed to when it is processed – stuff you do not see on the label. Also once a food is processed, nutrients are degraded – I wanted to the get the maximum micro-nutrition out of all my food to make sure there are plenty of nutrients the baby could assimilate. 
  • Soda and sugary drinks: Sugar in general is bad, but it goes down way too easy when you drink it! 
  • MSG, yeast extract, hydrolyzed proteins, natural and artificial flavors: In the second trimester, your baby can actually start to taste the food you are eating! Knowing that gave me serious motivation to stay away from controversial food additives and processed foods that screw with your sense of taste or satisfaction. You don’t want them tricked by the food industry before they’re even born! 
  • Processed and cured meats like sausage, ham, and deli: These are more likely than other foods to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause a miscarriage or infect your baby. 

Did you drink raw juice while pregnant?

Yes, smoothies and juices made with mostly vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your immune system strong during pregnancy. As always, I take care to thoroughly wash my vegetables before making a juice and fill up my blender or juicer with greens like romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, and collard greens. I tried not to overdo the beet juice though! I did that once in my first trimester and let’s just say it did not stay down! It’s always good to remember natural foods when juiced can be very potent too.

What did you do about cravings for bad food?

I’ve never had such a roller coaster of cravings before in my life (I know you other pregnant women can relate!). Read more about that here. One of my obsessions was frozen grapes to curb that sudden sweet tooth. I took my commitment to staying on track with my eating principles even more seriously while pregnant, even while indulging in the occasional treat. I’d indulge – but I made sure the ingredients were organic. If I wanted cookies – I’d eat them, but they need to be organic first to avoid any unnecessary toxic pesticides and chemical additives!

What strict pregnancy guidelines did you adhere to? Did you eat soft cheese? Have a glass of wine? Etc.

I didn’t drink any alcohol, but did have some soft cheeses on occasion when I knew they were either heated or pasteurized. I continued my habit of drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper first thing in the morning, drank kombucha on occasion, reduced the amount of caffeine I used to have in half (from 8 ounces of coffee or tea to 4 ounces), and tried to eat fermented foods everyday (See more important info on pregnancy habits from my advisory council member Dr. Amy Shah here).

Can you give us a breakdown of what you ate on a daily basis while being pregnant? What are some things that are completely off limits aside from the obvious foods? 

As always, my diet consists mostly of plants like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans and nuts, but there are some specific foods that I ate more of during pregnancy. This is such a big topic that I wrote an entire post about it with links to my favorite recipes! Check it out here

Did you drink that awful glucose drink to test for gestational diabetes?

These drinks (also known as “Glucola”) are essentially sugar water with hazardous artificial colors and preservatives for a VERY LONG shelf life. They are no better than most sodas on the market – and truly not something you’d want to consume while pregnant. While it’s certainly important to monitor your blood glucose during pregnancy, there are safer alternatives to drinking this toxic sugar water. I simply asked my doctor what my options were and she was ready with 5 alternatives! I was able to monitor with simple blood tests and it was reassuring to see that my blood sugar was on track. Specifically, I took my blood sugar two times a day for 3 days over one week and reported the results back to her. Be sure to ask your health care provider for options! In my opinion there is no way in hell any doctor could convince me to drink something with flame retardant, artificial dyes made from petroleum, controversial preservatives and GMOs, pregnant or not!

Did you wear nail polish while pregnant?

Only on my toes since it lasted longer and I didn’t need to paint them as often. I am generally doing the same thing while breastfeeding and handling my newborn as well – although I do occasionally paint them for events and here is a link to some safer nail polish brands I’ve used.

How did you handle being around a computer and wireless phone all the time?

One of the things that I absolutely could not live without during pregnancy was my Belly Armor Belly Blanket. I worked from my laptop almost every day, but knew that it wasn’t safe to expose my baby to all of the radiation that emits from laptops and wifi. Radiation exposures during pregnancy can increase risk of miscarriage and are also linked to developmental issues – and there was no way I was willing to take that risk. So I found an amazing solution! I just placed this Belly Blanket over my pregnant belly whenever I was working at my computer or using my phone for an extended period of time. The blanket is made with special fabric that neutralizes electromagnetic waves and blocks the radiation from reaching my belly, keeping my baby safe. This really gave me peace of mind! Now that she is born, I continue to use my Belly Blanket to protect her while I’m on my computer. As a new partner of Food Babe, Belly Armor is offering you a special deal:

Get a free baby hat ($19 value) if you spend $50 or more in their online store with the code “foodbabe” at checkout. (Note: the code will only work once you have the baby hat in your cart! These are found in their “Nursery” section.)

How did you handle the exhaustion?

Before getting pregnant, I couldn’t remember the last nap I took! But once I became pregnant, I needed at least a 30 min – 1 hour nap almost every day, otherwise I would fall asleep at 8pm.  Your body needs more sleep during pregnancy, so don’t fight it. I also drank unsweetened iced tea or kombucha to perk myself up on occasion! 

What do you recommend for prenatal supplements and vitamins?

I didn’t take prenatal supplement formulas because the ones available on the market are one-size-fits-all and not everything in those supplements work well with my body. I worked with my doctor to come up with a supplement regimen that worked for me. I took a whole food based organic multivitamin with no fillers and synthetics, following these guidelines. I also took extra probiotics, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium – which helps with sleep. Of course, I also eat The Food Babe Way and have been limiting the amount of sugar in my diet.

What did you do to help you sleep?

I was able to sleep pretty well throughout my pregnancy, which I’m thankful for. The vitamin and mineral supplements that I took (see above) were helpful, but I also took nightly baths with epsom salts. This really helped me to relax and ease discomfort! I did not buy any special pillows, I just used a king size pillow between my legs while I slept on my side. 

How did you handle heartburn naturally?

This simple remedy worked wonders for me: 1 tsp apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water. Take up to 2 doses, as needed. I also slept at an angle propped up on two pillows and took a 10 min walk after eating to help prevent heartburn. 

What did you do for exercise?

Getting out in the fresh air makes a huge difference in everyday life! Although I didn’t go at it as hard as I did before I was pregnant, just doing a little bit of something improved my mood. I kept it part of my routine and made sure to get up and go – showing up to my exercise class every day, whether I could do everything or not! For example, I took a pilates barre class (Hilliard Studio Method) all the way up to my due date. I loved spinning in my first and second trimesters. And I lifted heavy weights with my trainer and took long walks the entire pregnancy. 

What did you do for your nausea?

I drank ginger tea, woke up and ate first thing in the morning and had smaller meals spaced out through the day. Exercise always helped too!

What did you do to prevent stretch marks?

I found the most effective thing to do to avoid stretch marks is eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods while your tummy is growing. All those vitamins and minerals strengthen the skin’s elasticity! I also used organic coconut oil and/or sesame oil on my body every day. 

Did you take the flu shot during pregnancy?

I don’t normally take the flu shot because it has shown to be not effective (so I don’t take the risk) and I would personally never consider it as a pregnant woman. I want my body to react naturally to the environment and to fight viruses on its own. I take steps to prevent the flu – wash hands often, reduce stress, exercise, drink lots of filtered water, eat fermented foods, and avoid industrial toxins. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle sets you up for a healthy pregnancy.

Did you have a natural birth?

Yes, you can read my birth story here. 

Did you encapsulate your placenta?

No, I did not. I discussed this with my doctor and doula, researched options and there was not enough convincing evidence for me, although I have heard it does benefit some women. 

Did you do something for your baby shower registry to specify “no plastics”? If so, how did you make those requests known?

The awesome women throwing me the shower put my preferences on the invitation. I had an eco baby shower, for example, instead of bringing a card with a gift, they requested guests bring an inscribed book instead. I also registered for a lot of eco-friendly items at Sprout San Francisco

What was your Birth Plan?

My birth plan is below, this is highly personalized and you should talk about these choices with your family and health care providers before determining your own. 

This list is intended to express our preferences under normal conditions.

Labor Preferences:
A Natural Birth. I will use natural pain relief techniques. Please do not offer any medication, I will ask if needed. I have an adverse reaction to most pharmaceuticals.
Interventions only following opportunity to discuss options with husband and doula.
I prefer minimal internal exams. A vaginal exam only when I ask to be checked.
I prefer to move freely during labor and eat and drink as needed.
I prefer only intermittent monitoring when needed.
I prefer to have no IV but will consent to a saline lock, if medically necessary.
I prefer no induction of any kind. I prefer the bag of waters to break on its own.
I would like perineal support with massage, hot compresses and various positions to avoid a tear.
I prefer no episiotomy unless required for baby’s safety.
I prefer that no vacuum or forceps are used.

Birth Preferences:
Please place baby on my bare chest immediately.
Please do not cut cord for 15 minutes or until it stops pulsing. Father will plan on cutting cord.
Please allow placenta to expel on its own.

Newborn Preferences:
Please conduct newborn procedures in arms, at least 2 hours after birth.
We have chosen to DECLINE: erythomycin, Hep B vaccine (baby will follow up with Pediatrician), and Vitamin K shot (baby will be taking liquid Vitamin K per Stanford University Protocol).
We consent to: newborn screening (including PKU), necessary emergency treatment. Please conduct all in room. Father will accompany baby for hearing test.

Afterbirth Preferences:
Baby will be breastfed exclusively. Please do not offer sugar water or formula.
I wish for baby to remain with me following birth. Father will accompany baby out of room if needed.
I do not wish to receive any medication post labor, including stool softener.
I prefer to leave the hospital as soon as possible after birth.
Should a transfer be necessary for baby, please allow me to accompany baby.

In case a Cesarean becomes necessary:
Husband and doula present in operating room.
Father holds baby immediately for skin-to-skin and stays with baby continually.
Doula present continually during recovery.
Newborn reunited with mother as soon as possible.

Did you take any classes?

Yes! I did the Mama Natural Birth Course from start to finish and loved it so much. This is a digital course that you watch from home on your own time, and on your own schedule. It is super informative and I left each lesson feeling empowered and confident. I can honestly say that I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed an online course as much as this one. You can sign up here for free and Mama Natural will send you weekly pregnancy updates and you can find information on the Mama Natural Birth Course here.

Are you going to vaccinate your child?

The most powerful thing you can do for your health is become educated about everything you put in your own and your family’s bodies – whether it be the food you eat or the pharmaceuticals you inject. Vaccines are not one-size-fits-all and I feel that is way too simplistic of a view – and my doctor agrees. Not all vaccines are created equal. It is really important to recognize that what can help one person, has the ability to hurt another. Each vaccine needs to be evaluated individually for its benefits and risks relative to your personal situation.

Understand that I’m not an expert on vaccines recommended by the CDC for children, but now that I’m a parent I feel that it is my obligation to become as educated as possible on the subject… so I’ve been doing A LOT of reading! I have checked out or ordered just about every vaccine advice book under the sun and am doing a thorough personal investigation to become as educated as possible about my choices. I have also been taking the time to talk to my own doctors and trusted advisors to make the best decisions. I encourage you to do the same and make the decision for yourself as to what you feel comfortable with. 

What type of meal plans can I follow to help get me ready to become pregnant or while pregnant? 

Join us in the Food Babe Meal Plans For Health Program. I’ll stick with you day after day to get rid of the food additives, chemicals and extra baggage that can weigh us down in this over-processed food world. If you are looking for more help in the kitchen or are struggling with figuring out what to eat, the best brands to buy, and how to follow a non-GMO, organic diet, then this program is the perfect fit for you. Sign up and download your guides here: https://foodbabe.com/eat 

For more…

While I was pregnant, I did a pregnancy Q&A on Facebook Live with my great friend and doula Latham Thomas of Mama Glow – you can watch the entire video here

Please share this post with all your mamas and mom-to-be friends!

I’m so excited to share my pregnancy journey and now on to motherhood with you. This has been the most amazing time of my life. Remember to follow along on Instagram at thefoodbabe & foodbabemama to see all my fun antics and pics!

Xo,

Vani

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94 responses to “Your Top Pregnancy Questions Answered!

  1. Great, thoughtful responses! I just want to add that my sister, who is a management consultant at Bain (I believe you used to be a consultant!) wrote a book about healthy and unhealthy behaviors related to pregnancy (including food). She was frustrated during pregnancy about all the myths associated with pregnancy, and spent hours pouring over data in order to provide objective advice for mothers on what’s healthy and what’s not. The book has thousands of citations and based on the facts I only disagree with your point about fish. Fish oil is really essential for a baby’s brain development, and mercury actually takes a long time to go into your system and wouldn’t actually affect a baby during pregnancy.

    The book includes some interesting guidance about foods to eat/avoid…check it out and see what you think!
    https://debunkingthebump.com/

    As always, I love what you’re doing and thanks for continuing to be a food activist!

  2. HELP! What did you do for gestational diabetes test?!?! I have mine coming up in a few weeks and I have let my dr. know I am not ingesting Glucola! What did you do in your second trimester–alternative sweetened product (i.e. pineapple juice) or food journal/blood draw for 1-2 weeks? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Nicole – I did not take the drink. I monitored my blood sugar using a glucometer for 3 days (twice a day) over one week as recommended by my doctor. See more above! I answered the question 🙂

  3. What hair products and make up products did you use during pregnancy? I ask becasue you always look so put together with hair styled. Make-ups isnt safe so wondering what is your favorite products.

  4. Great answers! I also loved “The Vaccine Friendly Plan”. Wish I read it prior to even trying for a baby! Congrats on your little one, she’s adorable!

  5. Wow! Thanks for Shari g your birth plan! I wish I would’ve been a star educated about my health when I was pregnant. Thank God for Caribbean parents who always like to cook everything from scratch so there was a limit to my processed food intake. I did, however, succumb to those Taco Bell cravings lol. Are you going to write a Food Babe Way for Mamas book? Please say you will because you really should! Wish you were blogging in the 90’s when I had my twins…Keep up the good work Food Babe! Go after some of these baby product companies for us would ya!

  6. Have you looked into the honest company prenatal vitaimins? I use the plant bases organic ones . They were the most balanced ones I have found
    Thanks

  7. Can you share who your doctor is or how to research a doctor locally who promotes an organic lifestyle? I saw a midwife and took the natural birth route as well, however I was never given an alternative to the glucose test nor discussed alternative prenatal vitamin options.

    Thanks!

    1. My youngest was born in 09 and we used the midwife group at Charlotte Ob. In my experience you have to ask for alternatives. Most people blindly trust physicians without question. Be a partner and don’t be afraid to ask for alternatives or refuse something you don’t feel comfortable with. Unless it is life threatening you can always revisit.
      I never have taken prenatal vitamins and have always since 1995 asked for an alternative for the glucose. I was a rebel before it was cool! Wait til you decline Hep B and vitamin K at birth? Do your research and share with your physician, partner. They are human too!

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us! This is very helpful. I was very much looking forward to reading your opinions and decisions on vaccines, and am disappointed you chose not to share, though I can respect the delicacy of the topic. I have tried to reserach, but as I’m sure you’ve found, there is a lot of very controversial research and polarizing opinions out there, and I’m not sure I feel confident in making the right decisions.

    1. I know how you feel, i read through the whole post only to find that she did not actually answer the question. I feel the same way about vaccines, as i do as much research as i can and most of it is controversal. My oldest had a reaction to his vaccines one time and i have been scared to do any ever since. And i have yet to find a doctor that helps me keep my kids healthy rather than basically say that i am hurting my children if i dont vaccinate them. I worry every time someone asks that question, i have read many stories and know of a few people that have had their children taken away because the goverment said there was medical negligence due to not vaccinating. I was happy to read her birth plan as i didnt know that you could be that specific and there was a lot of things done that i didnt like (such as the hospital saying that no one can accompany the child for hearing test), so i will be keeping that in mind!

      1. Please watch the documentary VAXXED. It’s about the proven fraud/whistleblower at the CDC. VAXXEDthemovie.com Watch the thousands of real life, live recorded families tell their stories – you will be changed forever. Facebook: We Are Vaxxed. Watch Suzanne Humphries MD YouTube videos and get her book about the history of vaccines and disease, Dissolving Illusions. Dissolvingillusions.com

      2. I actually found quite a few doctors that reccomend not to vaccinate and which don´t carry any vaccines in their clinic. Both in Canada and now living in Germany. I have 5 friends that have kids that one is vaccinated, and one not. In all cases the unvaccinated one is by far the healthiest. The rest of my friends have vaccinated kids. 2 of them with major injuries after that. I guess, you have to trust yourself because o doctor wil support you if something wrong happends. Trust your intuition and research, research, research. There is no smoke without a fire….

      3. If you followed the link she posted to the book The Vaccine-Friendly Plan: Dr. Paul’s Safe and Effective Approach to Immunity and Health-from Pregnancy Through Your Child’s Teen Years, I think you may find some help and peace of mind. I read through the reviews of the book and it is highly recommended by many. One of the reviews pasted in information from his Appendix having to do with a study he is doing based on patients in his practice. Basically, three groups…one group with no vaccines, one group who followed a safe vaccine schedule and a third group who followed the CDC. There were no incidents of autism in the first two groups. He also provides support on how to deal with medical practitioners if you are choosing a non-CDC schedule. While not divulging exactly what she intends to do, she provided an extremely helpful resource. I will use it personally when I have children, but I’m buying a copy now for some friends who have an 18 mo old and who having been fighting doctors over vaccinations.

      4. Carly Rosa, I would recommend reading about each individual disease vaccines are for. Calculate the risks/benefits of vaccinating. Also, to add to the resources Sharon wrote, I was blown away by Tim O’Shea’s, Immunization is not Vaccination. The book is a quick, to-the- point read and he cites 290 resources to follow up with. He touches on the exemption process. The more I have read the less fearful I am. Don’t make a decision out of fear.

    2. Vaccines shouldn’t be controversial. They are safe and effective and you don’t even realize how much so because you’re fortunate enough to live in a time where people aren’t constantly dying of polio or other now vaccine-preventable diseases. They are only “controversial” because people continue to believe pseudoscience and long discredited studies.

  9. Do you have any organic protein shakes you would recommend? I have been using an organic vegan brand for a while that I love but it has caffeine in it and I have also heard to stay away from whey protein. Thanks!

  10. Thank you for addressing vaccinations! I hope more people do their own research in the subject. Bravo ???

  11. Thank you SO MUCH for compiling this amazing article with such outstanding answers and resources! I’m thrilled you touched upon vaccines, and even mentioned Dr. Paul Thomas’ and Jennifer Margulis’ awesome book, The Vaccine-Friendly Plan!!! It’s an important and balanced look at this critical topic that few are brave enough in the medical field to touch! I’m grateful for your continued courage to share and find the truth about ALL these health topics. Bless you and your sweet family!

  12. I have been on the pill for about 10 years now and I’m contemplating going off of it as a part of my journey to a healthier lifestyle (not necessarily to get pregnant right away). Regardless of what information is out there about how harmless the pill is, I feel like it can’t be good to have your hormones regulated for all these years…like is this even who I really am as a person or are the regulated hormones my personality?! Haha. Anyway, I’m curious as to what convinced you to go off of the pill or any research you have found regarding going off after long term use?

    1. I’m very interested in additional information about this too. I’ve been off the pill (Desogen/Reclipsin.) for 6 months now after being on the pill for about 10 years and I still don’t​ feel like my harmones are balanced. It was much harder being off the pill that I expected and we are hoping to be pregnant sooner than later.

    2. I know I’m not Vani, but I was on the pill for 11 years! I was scared about going off of it and how my hormones would be, especially because I was desperate at 39 to try for a baby. I read up about foods that help normalize your hormones after BC pills and found that avocado and sweet potato are super healthy and helpful. I went off the pill (mid-pack, which was sort of dumb) in the middle of January. I had some serious discomfort (ok, pain!) in my ovaries after the fact but I drank TONS of water to flush my system and ate TONS of organic avocadoes and sweet potatoes to regulate my hormones naturally. I also avoided all sugar. By March 14th I was pregnant!!! I had struggled for years with endometriosis and PCOS which is why I went on the BC pills to begin with. I could not get pregnant for years prior to going on the pill. But after quitting BC pills and regulating my hormones naturally I was pregnant in a month and a half – AT 39 YEARS OLD! I know you may not be seeking to get pregnant, but the point I’m making is that you can relate your hormones after BC pills naturally – I am proof of that. I suggest researching foods online that regulate your hormones and detox your body. Good luck to you!

      1. I’m curious to know what Vani used for contraception if not on the pill? I also stopped taking birth control years ago and hace been regulating my hormonal balance naturally through diet and exercise though I’ve kinda been challenged trenebdously since Michael big to Dallas!

    1. I read in the comments of her birth story that she bought Holle formula from Organic Munchkins just in case.

  13. When should you give your newborn vitamins, if at all, and what brand do you recommend? My doctor has recommended my 2 month old take a multivitamin with iron as a preventative measure even though he is a heathy and being breastfed. I feel my milk is enough for now epsepcially since I am eating organic foods and taking prenatal vitamins, c, and d. Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. I would hope she is. Anti-vaxxer pseudoscience is so dangerous. Recently a child of anti-vaxxers in Spain died of diphtheria, the first case of the disease in that country in 28 years. So sad that anti-vaxxers are bringing back preventable diseases.

      1. @Sam

        That’s not actually true…and the live diphtheria virus isn’t even in the diphtheria vaccine.

        Shedding is not even usually an issue with live vaccines. Anyways, I’d choose to believe doctors, scientists, and major health organizations over anti-vaxxer propaganda.

      2. @Lexi science is the only thing I read when it comes to vaccines. There are many doctors and scientists coming out against vaccines. The proof is in the ingredients, they are neurotoxins. https://avscientificsupportarsenal.wordpress.com/

        What exactly do you think the anti-vax propaganda is? haha. Its simply parents of vaccine injured children spreading their message. There is no money whatsoever involved on that side…

        On the other side however, Big Pharma pays billions of dollars per year for you to think vaccines are safe. Your opinion is bought.

  14. Thank you for taking the time to write this post. This is my 2nd pregnancy, so I wish I had some of your insight the first time around but will definitely use some of this info going forward! I am currently reading The Vaccine Friendly Plan and agree it’s great! For people wanting more info about vaccines, Suzi from GurlGoneGreen has a podcast on the subject which I recently listened to and found very informative.

  15. I also want to know about your hair products. I’d love a shampoo that doesn’t strip my hair and a conditioner that doesn’t leave me oily. And is there really any concern with hair coloring?

  16. Thank you so much for using your platform and voice to help make positive healthy changes in the world. I, too, was really excited to read your decisions about vaccinating, but completely understand why you would leave that vague and appreciate the insightful questions you recommended to ask ourselves. And also love that you addressed taking the flu shot while pregnant. Keep up the good work. You’re doing a great job, mama and this role looks good on you.

  17. I watched an online series, “Vaccines Revealed” recently. I would encourage anyone who is wanting to educate themselves on vaccines to watch it. I wish I would have had this information 20 years ago.

  18. In California, all kindergartners must have up to date vaccines or they can’t start school. Seriously, I don’t want your non-vaccinated kids in my school. Home school your kids if you don’t want them vaccinated. Then, send them to Disneyland where they will contract the measles and pass it on to another 50 people.

    1. I’ve never understood why a person would think that an unvaccinated child would pose any threat to a vaccinated child if the vaccines actually work. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

      There is an interesting review on the book recommended here (“The Vaccine-Friendly Plan”):

      The review is entitled – “The statistics speak for themselves”
      Autism rates in their small study: 0 out of 1098 on the schedule proposed in the book; 0 out of 238 of unvaccinated; 15 out of 894 on regular CD schedule – which is right about the current national rate. It may seem insignificant, but it sure is consistent with what we’re seeing in this country.

      What parent would knowingly take that risk with their own child?

      The key word there is “knowingly.” Without taking the time to study for yourself, instead of taking the advice of anyone else (doctors, family, etc.) you cannot make an informed decision. Aren’t our children worth the time and effort it takes to get educated? Mine are.

      “Vaccines Revealed” is brand new and a real eye opener for those who may not have ever looked into it themselves. But I raised my kids without any shots whatsoever and they never had more than a sniffle. I did my due diligence and was convinced not to risk it.

      1. CDC obfuscated MMR vaccine and autism link

        In August 2014, Dr. William Thompson confessed that he and his colleagues had participated in an act of serious scientific fraud. Ten years prior, he had worked on a study of the MMR vaccine and published the findings, claiming that the vaccine was not linked to autism. (Related: Learn more about autism.)

        However, Dr. Thompson now says that he and the other study authors purposely omitted data that contradicted that outcome. Thompson claims that the CDC did find data showing the MMR vaccine demonstrated a statistically significant effect at the 36-month threshold. This shows that the study found a causal connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, but the evidence never made it to publication.

        The omitted data revealed that African American males vaccinated before 36 months of age were more likely to develop autism. (Related: Learn more about vaccines at Vaccines.news)

        In a statement, Thompson said “Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can.”

        Thompson knew what they were doing was illegal. He himself noted, “I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.” Fortunately, Thompson held onto copies of the original documents that had been disposed.

        Dr. Thompson penned a letter in 2002 to the then-CDC Director Julie Gerberding because he was growing very concerned about the MMR vaccine study findings, and wrote to her again in 2004. It would appear that Gerberding did little in regard to Thompson’s concern. Following her time at the CDC, Ms. Gerberding went on to become the executive vice president at Merck.

        And of course, Merck isn’t the only company that gives money to the CDC Foundation — and indirectly, the CDC. Several other pharma companies like Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pastuer, and Pfizer are on the list.

        http://naturalnews.com/2017-01-26-cdc-history-of-fake-science-shows-the-degree-of-collusion-and-criminality-behind-vaccines.html

      2. It’s not the vaccinated children who are at the most risk from the unvaccinated children, it’s those who can’t have vaccines due to allergies, etc. and who rely on herd immunity to stay healthy, and it’s also the small siblings who are too young to have vaccines who are at extreme risk if non-vaccinated children bring the diseases into the school.

      3. The myth that vaccines cause autism has been widely disproven so consider looking into some real, recent, scientific studies.

        Even if vaccines DID cause autism in a small percentage of people who get them (which they don’t), wouldn’t you rather have an autistic child than a dead one?

      4. Do you know where I could watch Vaccines Revealed? The website isn’t airing it anymore. Thanks

      5. Can’t seem to respond to Lexi directly, but I have to ask you: did you read Miggy’s response to my post? You’ve been lied to. I found similar things over the years that had been dug up through the freedom of information act.

        I don’t appreciate the fear-mongering choosing an autistic child over a dead child. That’s the myth. And autism is not the only issue, just a growing one. Babies die from those shots too. A lifetime of poor health is being exhibited by the generation born from 1989 forward.

        The truth is the illnesses you’re so afraid of are easily treated with modern medicine.

        But in the end, go with your gut and belief. That’s what freedom of choice is all about. Just don’t try to take my freedom of choice away due to what you believe.

      6. Most of the illnesses are not “easily treated with modern medicine.” They’re still dangerous and potentially deadly. Spain recently saw their first diphtheria death in 28 years-medication had to be flown in from another country because the disease has been gone there for so long until anti-vaxxers brought it back. Many people die of vaccine preventable diseases. Do you really believe that scientists and virtually the entire medial industry are part of a big conspiracy to lie to us? You realize they’d make more money treating diseases than vaccinating people, right?

        I’m glad I live in a state that disallows personal belief exemptions to vaccines for children to attend school. I don’t believe it should be a choice, just as I don’t believe Christian Scientists should be able to refuse essential medical treatment for their children because it’s against their religion.

      7. Lexi, believe what you want. If you are unwilling to do your due diligence there is nothing anyone can do about it. A story is just a story and there is frequently more to it than what you hear. I do believe it’s just a matter of time before the truth comes out. And I’m thankful I have the freedom to choose now as well as when I made my decisions with my children.

        I do recommend Vaccines Revealed as the most recent and excellent source of information. It can be found here (and well worth the purchase): http://www.vaccinesrevealed.com/

      8. Here are some more links to support:

        80+ peer reviewed studies linking ingredients in vaccines to Autism:
        https://worldmercuryproject.org/studies-linking-mercury-autism/

        Vaccinated individuals are the ones spreading diseases:
        https://www.westonaprice.org/press/studies-show-that-vaccinated-individuals-spread-disease/

        Common side effects of MMR vaccine:
        http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/measles/measles-vaccine-injury-death.aspx

        Study shows Flu vaccine causes spontaneous Abortions and stillbirths:
        https://therefusers.com/study-shows-influenza-vaccines-cause-spontaneous-abortions-and-stillbirths-preventdisease-com/

  19. Hi Vani- Thank you so much for taking the time to write this all up, its very informative and helpful, especially the birth plan. Some of your points were very eye opening for me. I had heard about not cutting the cord right away once before, I am going to research this further. I would like your intake on giving dairy to your baby once breastfeeding/formula is over. I dont personally intake any dairy. I have my personal beliefs on consuming it. Doctors will push for giving whole milk to children once they move past breastmilk/formula but I would like to know your take on alternative options. If the milk is hormone free/organic, do you still think its ok? Could a specific nut milk be a good enough alternative or will I be restricting my child from vitamins and minerals? Or can they get all the nutrition they need from food and the milk is not necessary? Its hard to find a pediatrician that provides options and doesnt make you feel bad about your choice.

  20. The ingredients in vaccines are not controversial and should be treated exactly as you would treat the ingredients in food that you choose to put in your body. It is a very black and white issue for those of us pursuing health. With that being said, I do believe in personal liberties when it comes to informed consent. Vaccines are a medical procedure and we should have the right to make this choice for ourselves and children, not the government.

  21. Vani
    Congratulations on your baby and I’m glad to see that your column is so balanced and thoughtful but I would hope to see you focus more on the biggest stressor of all: MEDICAL COSTS! That glucose drink might be surgery awfulness but it’s not fair to terrify poor mothers that can’t afford the alternatives (often not covered by insurance) into avoiding it completely. It’s better to drink the icky stuff then risk having pregnancy complications due to untreated gestational diabetes. It’s especially topical as our country debates how to pay for healthcare and who deserves access to it! Thanks for your work

    1. Alternatives are actually pretty cheap – grape juice or jelly beans. My midwife gave me juice, and the cost was not separated out. Many people have used jelly beans. While not natural, the ingredients are still better than “glucola” and are gentler on a pregnant body.

      1. I’m glad to hear that! However, if we’re being honest, when it comes to healthcare expenses the differences in cost can be astronomical. In the case of the glucola drink I was actually speaking less of the expense of that one item and more on how much home monitoring of blood glucose is vs the test itself, especially if the lady in question has to monitor her blood sugar long term. This article from “the bump” quotes the price of a pregnancy from 9,000 to 250,000 and since no one can predict if they will have any complications adding on extra expenses on the pregnancy can quickly mount up.

    2. My midwife gave me a list of different combinations of natural foods I could eat for my glucose test instead of drinking the junk. I still had the blood drawn and tested as though I had had the drink. Since the blood test was the same, it was covered by my conventional insurance, which does not cover anything alternative.

  22. hi, vani!
    i am a statistician, and also enjoy reading your opinion. i note that you did not include prenatal ultrasounds, and its possible association with autism spectrum disorders. i have read some of the research, which includes now at least one confirmatory animal study.

    the essence is that when there is an indication to perform ultrasound, obviously, it should be performed. at issue is when not indicated especially multiple ones after the first is within normal. the worst are the “photograph” ones in malls, of course.

    please let me know if you are familiar. also, let me know should you have any statistical requirements.
    dean

  23. Hi Vani,

    My wife & I recently gave birth to our first child. He’s a healthy 13 month old boy. We interviewed various Pediatric Physicians. Of course, most used fear tactics as well intimidation when we mentioned about the side effects of vaccinations.

    Long story short. We found a wonderful Pedestrian locally in town. Our son has not been vaccinated & never will. It’s our personal decision based on the reaseach I’ve done as well as conversations / questions to parents themselves.

    If you are considering getting any vaccine, first read Wikipage for “list of vaccine ingredients” or better, get it from CDC website.

    (FYI: In last 10 years, no one has died of measles, but 108 people have died from MMR vaccine)
    Depending on which vaccine you accept, here is what you can expect to be injected STRAIGHT into your body:
    1-thimerosal (aka. mercury)
    2-aluminum
    3-formaldehyde
    4-castor oil
    5-FD&C Yellow #6 aluminum lake dye
    6-human serum (puss from humans)
    7-fetal bovine serum (puss from cows)
    8-bovine extract (cow puss extract)
    9-monosodium glutamate (the toxin MSG)
    10-monkey kidney cells (puss from monkey, aka. Vero)
    11-calf serum (more cow puss)
    12-ethanol
    13-detergent (with no other description)
    14-insect cell, bacterial, and viral protein (no joke, HPV vaccine)
    15-potassium chloride (used in lethal injection, death penalty)
    16-egg proteins
    17-chick embryo cell culture (chick puss)
    18-human diploid lung fibroblasts
    19-DNA from porcine circoviruses (viruses grown in pig puss)
    20-bovine muscle tissue (puss)
    21-embryonic guinea pig cells (puss)
    22-sorbitol

    1. Dude, whoa! Just whoa! What makes you believe that serum or kidney cells are pus? Serum generally refers to the straw colored liquid when you separate blood into its 4 main component parts: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets or the clotting factor. Serum is the last part and is the least dense. Pus very much the opposite as it is the biological residue of dead white blood cells and whatever was activating the immune response. Completely different chemical makeup. It’s like saying water and gasoline are the same thing because they are both liquids. Kidney cells of monkeys are just that, the cultured cells from a monkey’s kidney. It may sound gross to have a monkey’s cell floating around your bloodstream but I gotta tell you, friend, that for every one human cell in your body there are approximately 10 non human cells. That’s why probiotics are so important we need guts full of good bacteria to be as health as can be. In fact it’s only a mutation in our guts that allows adult humans to continue to eat dairy after about 2 because almost all other mammals become lactose intolerant after infancy with the loss of their lactobacilli. Without them we can’t digest lactose. Crazy huh?
      Please, please read stuff about basic human physiology before getting worked up about monkey pus in vaccines. I swear, no vaccine has monkey pus and I’m speaking as someone who wasn’t fully vaccinated until 2014 at age 30 because my mother was one of the earliest anti vaxxers!!

  24. I live in Charlotte too and I was wondering who your pediatrician was. It’s so hard to find someone who is flexible on vaccines

  25. Can you talk a little about your weight with pregnancy and after the birth of your child? I’m curious to know what weight gain/loss looks like with someone who cares for their body as well as you do. Was gaining hard for you? What is your response to those pressuring moms to hurry up and “lose the baby weight” (I hate that. I feel like we should be kind to our bodies).

  26. Hi! I was holding my grandson and he had a seizure after taking his MNR shot. He had speach, then lost it! He started doing all the classic autistic stuff! We did 40 hours intensive interventions a week, starting at 30 months. We literally re wired his brain like a stroke victim. If you give shots give them individually and spaced out. Of course a majority of babies can handle the standard regimens but a significant portion cannot! A mess a bit like flu shots. Bless you

  27. Congrats on your girl!
    I was wondering your thoughts on starting solid foods. My daughter is only breastfeeding now and about to start solids soon. Just wondering your thoughts on cereals, fruits or veggies to start with.

  28. Hi vani
    Please let me know what shampoo and conditioner you used during your pregnancy? As I have been trying to find the cleanest and best safest one. Thank you.
    Congratulations
    Shery

  29. Hi vani
    Please let me know what shampoo and conditioner you used before, after and during your pregnancy. As I have been trying to find the cleanest and best safest one. Thank you. I looked into Morroccon method but there are bad reviews about that. People are literally losing their hair. Also I looked up the hair print shampoo and the same hair loss issues have happened to its consumers. My cousin got leukemia and I’m sure it’s due to his shampoo.
    Congratulations
    Shery

  30. Please don’t vaccinate your baby!
    “1. Vaccines have never been proven safe or effective. Vaccine studies funded by pharmaceutical companies compare vaccine “side-effects” from one vaccine to another. True, scientific, double-blind placebo studies have never been conducted on vaccines to determine their safety.

    2. Vaccines do NOT work. They may create a temporary increase in antibodies for a particular disease, but this does not equate to immunity to disease.

    3. The very first vaccine was a disaster. . .The history of small pox vaccines demonstrates that the first vaccine resulted in an increase in the disease and created additional serious health consequences including syphilis and deaths.

    4. Vaccines are highly profitable for pharmaceutical companies and the health care industry. Strong financial incentives exist to continue this practice, not effectiveness.

    5. All vaccines contain a number of toxic poisons and chemicals that are linked to serious neurological damage including aluminum, thimerosal (methyl mercury), antibiotics, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and formaldehyde. Other dangerous substances found in vaccines include antifreeze, lead, cadmium, glycerine, acetone, and yeast proteins.

    6. Every study comparing unvaccinated to vaccinated children demonstrates that unvaccinated children enjoy far superior health. Unvaccinated children generally do not suffer from upper respiratory illnesses, ear infections, autism, ADHD, asthma, allergies, auto-immune disorders and other diseases, in comparison to those vaccinated.

    7. Vaccines cause a host of ‘chronic, incurable, and life threatening diseases,’ including autism, asthma, ADHD, auto-immune disorders, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, food allergies and brain damage.

    8. The only way to create true life-long immunity to a disease is through natural exposure to the disease in which the body creates true antibodies and immunity on many levels.

    9. Vaccines kill infants, children and adults. Strong evidence links vaccines to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). More than one hundred previously healthy young women have died as a result of the HPV vaccine. The flu vaccine has been documented as awarding the most money for serious health injuries, including death.

    “The long term effects of vaccines are unknown. It is a medical experiment of one’s health for which no one knows the long term health consequences. US children are given far more vaccines at younger ages compared to other countries. Infant mortality rates for US children are one of the worst in the world, especially compared to countries who vaccinate their children less and who have wisely raised vaccination ages.

    10. If you or a loved one suffers from a vaccine injury, pharmaceutical companies and physicians hold no medical liability. In 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was formed, eliminating the ability to directly sue pharmaceutical companies or health care practitioners responsible for vaccine injuries.”

    1. Right on! These same horrible damages happen in vaccinated animals. Today’s animals are far worse than ever before because vaccine damage is also cumulative. Each vaccinated generation is worse than the previous one. I pray Vannie learns the truth & doesn’t harm her baby with those poisons.

    2. I hope this is satire, because that line of thinking is completely outrageous. I would recommend taking a public health lecture.

  31. Even though I’m not pregnant or don’t have young kids, I want one of those Belly Armor blankets for sleeping, because my upstairs neighbors run their wifi 24/7. And maybe a t-shirt to sleep in! 🙂

  32. Thank you for all the information!

    Please watch the documentary Vaxxed. It gives you important information on the MMR vaccine. Every new parent needs to know the information in this documentary.

    http://vaxxedthemovie.com/

  33. I would NEVER consider any vaccine to be “friendly” until all the toxic ingredients had been removed – that’s step one. At that point a THOROUGH study would need to be done comparing vaxxed and non-vaxxed – for SAFETY and EFFECTIVENESS. Such a study has never been done and likely never will be because Big Pharma already knows it would kill their products.

  34. I’m kind of astonished you are pro vaccine in any capacity. It’s very contradictory to everything you claim to stand for and rather disappointing to see.

  35. Hi there and congrats! I live in NY and unfortunately for me when I asked my doctor’s office if there were alternative options to having the glucose test, they said no and added there was no other way around drinking that orange poison. Bummer. Did you go to a holistic doctor or how did you manage to find a doctor in line with your natural principles? I am having a hard time here…thanks!

  36. I would love to hear more about your weight training program with your trainer. What exercises and how much weight did you lift? Also, did you do crunches, planks, pushups? I am 12 weeks with my 3rd and love going to my workout classes but want to make sure I don’t do too much to cause problems later.
    thanks!!

  37. Please do not vaccinate that beautiful baby!
    Vaccines are POISON, toxic, FILTHY and disgusting. They are worse than everything you have stood against in the food industry and injected directly into tiny humans. It is a crime against humanity. Keep learning and do not be afraid to stand against them. You are brave, and many of us look up to you and count on you to tell the truth.
    Blessings to you and your precious daughter!

    1. Your worries about “toxins” are misguided. The real danger is not vaccine ingredients but measles, rubella, whooping cough, polio….all of which vaccines prevent.

  38. Did you have an ultrasound done in early pregnancy or was there another option you used in place or ultrasound?

  39. Congratulations! What a blessing it is to have a healthy baby. My family & I wish you all the very best. The best advice we can give you is to NOT vaccinate for anything. Just 1 vaccine can cause death or permanent damage such as mental retardation/reduced intelligence, digestive disorders…the list is endless. Don’t trust pharma or the conventional medical community. Follow the $$$ as they say. ALL vaccines cause brain inflammation, immune system confusion/suppression & other harms. God gave us an immune system that we need to make strong; not to destroy it with vaccines. If you’re a Christian or Jew, read the Bible to learn that vaccines are a big NO. Why? Because the poison the blood which is to be kept pure as it is the source of all life. Vaccines are 100% unnatural. Study the facts; you can never change your mind once you vaccinate & you may very well regret it the rest of your life. My best friend does; she has a autistic son after vaccination.

  40. Congrats!!! I am currently searching for tips/ideas on how to pump at work and avoid chemicals. It has been difficult to stay away from plastic. Also, the daycare I use does not allow glass bottles. Would like to hear how you try to avoid plastics in your journey. Thank you.

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