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Primal Babies vs. Non-Primal Babies--Your Experiences?

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  • Primal Babies vs. Non-Primal Babies--Your Experiences?

    I was (a soy-reliant) vegetarian throughout my pregnancy for ds and until he was around 15 months old (and 11 years prior!) He has all sorts of food sensitivity issues (even to goodies like almonds and other nuts/seeds, strawberries, orange, pineapples and other fruits, etc...not to mention gluten/dairy/corn/soy...) that I feel were caused in large part b/c of my diet, along w/ toxin exposure (yeah, I had dental work on my AMALGAM FILLINGS 2x during pregnancy!!!! Stupid stupid stupid...).

    Anyway, dh and I were talking about the possibility of having a second child. My biggest concern is dealing with the struggles of food sensitivities (night waking and crying for hours, rashes, behavior issues, etc...) again. But I have a feeling that the improvements in my diet over the past few years will have a HUGE impact on any new babe.

    For those of you who have been primal through pregnancy and beyond, what have your experiences with your new babe been like? If you've got more than one (esp if one had a primal preg and another did not) do you see any differences in temperment etc. between the babes you were primal with vs the ones you were not primal with? I think we each are born w/ personality (having my son totally changed my perspective on the nature/nurture argument for sure!) but I think our diets impact EVERYTHING a ton, and just would love to hear what your experiences have been...

    TIA for any thoughts/experiences you have to share!!!!
    My Before/After Pics
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  • #2
    Hello FairyRae. My son that turns 1 on July 1st. During pregnancy I ate everything except for the bacteria risk foods like soft cheeses, fast food. Still ate heaps of chocolate though!!! I've read more than once that soy is bad so I don't touch it anymore and didn't eat it during pregnancy.

    A natropath friend of mine fed her girl heaps of soy as a baby (she was vegetarian) and now her baby has a soy intolllerance. It is a bean afterall, and how would cavemen have eaten beans if he could not boil water?

    Since starting my boy on solids at 5.5months, he does not have cereal or any grains ( although daddy did give him some bread roll a few weeks ago wetted with poached egg). He's a solid strong very smart little (not so little at 11kg already!) boy. He eats heaps of raw fruits, steamed veggies and mashed meat and breastmilk. He has no allergies or food issues at this stage and no behavioural issues. Having said that, when I eat mainly fruit with some meat and veggies I feel calm, happy and incontroll. Add chocolate and junk food and I turn grouchy and irritable. I am sure this affects our kids too and is responsible for many tantrums and unexplained behavioural problems.

    If a food needs to be processed to eat it, perhaps we shouldn't be eating it as caveman wouldn't have been able to.

    I think stick to the basics of fruit meat and veg like our ancestors did and you can't go wrong.

    Good luck with possible number 2 baby!!!!

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    • #3
      This describes me. I had one non-primal pregnancy and one primal pregnancy five years later. My 2nd is only 1 month old, though, so I can't speak much to his diet or temperment. However, my non-primal daughter was a pretty average baby- she wasn't difficult, but she wasn't as easy as some of my friends' babes. For her, the key was lots and lots of sleep. As a 5 year old, sugar causes her a lot of problems. I haven't been able to eliminate bread from her diet as my husband doesn't see a problem with it and has a pretty high gluten/carb diet himself. Dinners are primal but breakfast and lunch aren't necessarily (though they are sometimes). Her personality is fiery but in a good way. She's always been physically advanced- a little taller, quick to master the gross and fine motor skills, etc. She's also academically bright, though not unusually so.

      Our new baby has seemed a little needier to me, but he was born smaller and born earlier than my daughter. I think that is responsible for their differences so far. He seems to need more soothing, help falling asleep, frequent nursing, etc. Having a primal pregnancy was more noticeable for ME than it has been so far with my baby- quicker recovery, fewer unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, etc.

      While I am curious to see how my children compare, I'm not sure it will be that helpful to you as my non-primal daughter has never been ill, is well-behaved (though opinionated), and eats absolutely everything under the sun. In fact, her adventuresome eating was what she was known for at her pre-school after she told her teacher how much she liked cow tongue This could all be due to genetics and her innate personality as my husband and I are both from families that enjoy an unusual amount of health and longevity. It could also be due to the fact that even when we weren't primal and hadn't even heard of the concept, we did accidentally live more primally than many, due to our more rural lifestyle that included grass fed meat, lots of produce, and high levels of physical activity. Who the heck knows? Good luck with your second baby! I'm a huge fan of kids and babies and always think more is better, so you might want to stay away from my advice

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      • #4
        He has no allergies or food issues at this stage and no behavioural issues. Having said that, when I eat mainly fruit with some meat and veggies I feel calm, happy and incontroll. Add chocolate and junk food and I turn grouchy and irritable. I am sure this affects our kids too and is responsible for many tantrums and unexplained behavioural problems.

        If a food needs to be processed to eat it, perhaps we shouldn't be eating it as caveman wouldn't have been able to.

        I think stick to the basics of fruit meat and veg like our ancestors did and you can't go wrong.
        I totally agree--and am glad to hear your ds has been fine as he's eating a primal diet (and sounds like you are now too!) I KNOW this makes a huge difference in EVERYTHING.

        I feel like I had major deficiencies (that I've been working to fix) so I'm hoping that my diet over the past 2 years (gluten/dairy/soy/corn free, nourishing traditions style whole foods, fermented foods, liver at times, etc.) along w/ switching to totally grain free/primal this past October (w/ my 20% of dark chocolate and some potatoes--the latter of which I'm working to drop), and supping w/ a good multi, vit D, fish oil and probiotics will all help prevent future issues. I'm betting a lot of the reactions my son had throughout infancy and toddlerhood won't even happen to a new babe b/c I'm not eating those trigger foods, but I'm still nervous a/b it. Ds was for sure a 'high needs', 'fussy' baby, but I really feel it was food/toxin related... But we are still working on gut healing for both of us (although he has more issues than me). These deficiency issues can have powerful effects, and I'm just hoping to skip those if we decide to TTC again, you know?
        My Before/After Pics
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        "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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        • #5
          Fascinating slesca! And I'm betting this played a part in your daughter's health:
          It could also be due to the fact that even when we weren't primal and hadn't even heard of the concept, we did accidentally live more primally than many, due to our more rural lifestyle that included grass fed meat, lots of produce, and high levels of physical activity.
          I think the inclusion of really really good nutrient dense foods is more important than just excluding crappy or suboptimal foods (although eating more good foods will naturally force you to eat less crappy foods). Whole foods w/ good meats is WAYYYYYYYY better than my pregnancy veg diet (which had been shitty for years b/4--I felt like I was finally eating really healthily the year b/4 and during my pregnancy w/ all my organic fake soy meats and whole grains, and *low* fat eating...)

          Thanks both of you for your input--so helpful! Keep it coming folks!
          My Before/After Pics
          Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

          "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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          • #6
            the child from my higher vitamin d pregnancy is much easier than my other child. the first was born in april.....the second in september.

            Most of the allergy thing and not dealing well with toxins thing is simply a function of 25(OH)D status.



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            • #7
              I don't know... Sometimes a kid is just more sensitive.

              I was not primal with my twin PG. I don't eat soy however (other reasons).

              My guys were born early. One just over 5 lbs, the other a little more than 3 lbs. They were born with with ZERO medical issues requiring NICU. No breathing, no heart. They stayed 4 days to make sure they could maintain body temp, and could easily gain weight. No probs there either.

              Then I had a horror of a time breastfeeding. They were not strong enough (not being full term) to nurse. My boobs got huge, but NOTHING came out. No pump could extract it. Stingy boobs I guess!

              The were formula fed. Milk based. Then whole foods fed. (well, ground up whole food. No jars in my house.) They are 5. And in 5 years, have had maybe 4-6 colds each. (a few extra when they hit pre school). No flus. 1 ear infection for one of them, and NEVER a diaper rash, which, unless a child has a yeast infection is most often caused by pee or poop being allowed to sit on skin, burning it, with WAY too much rubbing to get it off.

              In fact, I've been the one who gets easily ill lately. And I really beleive that has to do with total exhaustion and all that can start to go wrong with a body that does not get adequate sleep.

              My point is. One child has little to any sensititivies. I can't think of anything. Has slept like a rock rather quickly. The other has a few sensitivities. His skin rashes out under certain food circumstances (or when grandma busts out the bubble bath...YUCK!). Is WAY more picky. And took forever to sleep through the night. FOREVER! They are feakishly developed with their motor skills. A bit behind on speech, but now caught up. Common among people that communicate quite well with each other through a series of grunts.

              Personally, I would eat in a fashion that makes you feel good, and keeps you healthy, creating the healthiest growing environment you can. Avoiding foods known to be occassionaly disasterious. It's always sad to hear about an infected placenta because someone just had to have brie. But, I'm assuming that you're already doing well primally. And I wouldn't worry much beyond that. Because, as it can turn out, ALL VARIABLES, EXACTLY THE SAME, you can still end up with one child whose DNA causes him/her to react negatively and another who is just fine. I can see how a mom of singletons has an easier time beating herself up over "I should have done..." But it just isn't always so...

              Best wishes!

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              • #8
                Most of the allergy thing and not dealing well with toxins thing is simply a function of 25(OH)D status.
                Thanks Cillakat--we're working on it. We're all supping (a bit over the amounts you rec for weight on your vit D pages while we build up our levels) so hopefully I'll see the changes soon. You and all your info have been a GREAT help. Glad to hear it made such a difference in the two kids!!

                Twinmama, now that is really fascinating! Are your kiddos identical or fraternal (just wondering--not sure how twins' DNA makeup is.)

                This makes sense (esp as I've taken so many measures in healing already, and currently eat almost strictly paleo/primally):
                Personally, I would eat in a fashion that makes you feel good, and keeps you healthy, creating the healthiest growing environment you can. Avoiding foods known to be occassionaly disasterious.
                Thank you again for the input folks. It sounds like EVERYONE who has posted has probably had a better prenatal diet than I had with my ds (even if you were not primal)--although I've read Cillakat's stuff and know you were veg for at least one (maybe both) pregnancies? I do think eating in this manner can make a huge difference, and am really glad I found this way of eating, no matter what we decide as far as another child goes...

                If you've got more to share, please do! Very interesting to me!
                My Before/After Pics
                Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                • #9
                  Glad to hear it made such a difference in the two kids!!
                  I mean between your two kids.
                  My Before/After Pics
                  Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                  "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                  • #10
                    Mine were born in July and then in April. Both pregnancies I would describe as "whole, real foods" - a Michael Pollan diet, not a primal diet by any means (I ate grains), but I wasn't eating a lot of vegetable oil (not much processed food, cooked with butter or olive oil), and I was supplementing with omega 3, and soy has skeeved me out for a long time, so no soy. There was a lot of sugar in the beginning because I was sick as a dog, and creaminess of any kind made me puke. I drank diet coke during the second one because I was so bone tired, as the first one still wasn't sleeping though the night (we finally let her cry it out when nothing else worked - she loves to cry. It's kind of her schtick. Now she sleeps fine.) Took the same multivitamin with 1000 IU D3 through both pregnancies, and I would guess my level was around 40, as it was about 31 when I had it checked about 4 months after stopping all vitamins when I weaned the second one. First was breastfed 14 months, second 10 months (by mutual agreement). They both had a certain amount of rice cereal from 6-9 months, but if I have another, no rice cereal! After 9 months, both went on a whole, organic food diet (at least at home). They drink organic whole milk with algae source DHA supplemented, and I give them vit D gummy vitamins, and the older one (like most toddlers) can go for years without eating much at all, so I started her on a multivitamin with minerals too.

                    So all and all, pretty similar. The first is nearly three, bright, sensitive, and stubborn. Poor sleeper, fights every nap and bedtime. Personable and makes new friends everywhere she goes - drives mama crazy but in a cute way.

                    Second is just over one - always sweet, great sleeper, also seems to be pretty bright, but who can tell. More shy, I think. Not sensitive - will have tremendous pratfalls and then pick herself up and toddle along - the older one always made a big drama of such things, doesn't mind hanging out in her crib with her stuffed animals. She eats more primal than the older one.

                    I don't notice any difference in temperament in either one with regards to amount of sugar, or wheat. They've never been to the doctor aside from well-checks - a couple colds each, and the oldest had roseola. No ear infections (knock on wood). No food sensitivities. Younger one gets heat rashes and gets diaper rash more easily, but typically when her father is taking care of her and doesn't change the diaper quite often enough. Neither has ever had a GI bug. They're both above the charts for height and bounce around between 40-70% for weight. The older one walked at 13 months, the younger 10 months. The older one is not yet three, but knows all her letters and numbers, colors, and shapes, can count to 30, and can read a few words she's memorized - like "off" and "on" and her name, her sister's name, "Bob" (as in Bob the Builder) and "airplane" for some reason. She is adept at the computer and loves Starfall (starfall.com) and (unfortunately) netflix.
                    Last edited by Bisous; 06-26-2010, 12:07 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Fraternal... basically the same as any brother sister combo... just born at the same time. Bizarly the one that is is a whopping 1 minute younger, and the smallest acts typical youngest. He's a total bull dozer! His "Older" by a minute brother, is more typical in the older sibling roll. He is more calm. Copes with the bull dozer. Announces he doesn't want to play wiht his brother, in the way older siblings often do... It's kinda funny!

                      I have a friend that has identical boys. And even they respond a bit differently to foods and such... and one has been more sick than the other. In the way of getting any cooties.

                      I know people that have had very healthy diets, easy PGs, and have had kids with deformities, and such. I really think it's much more of the DNA combo that dictates most what's going to happen to your kids...

                      Again, main thing... Just do what you can to eat/stay healthy. Seriously, just keeping food and therefore nutrition down can be a HUGE factor. My sodium intake was probably pretty high. And I'm embarrassed to admit a freakish craving for Micky D's Cheeseburgers! I know... GROSS.... But the sodium helped nausea, and I never once puked up my nutrition. I mainted a nice low blood pressure, and zero water retention. I also, only managed to gain 40 lbs (I wish I hadn't started out a bit overweight... that's a bummer)... and lost 30 lbs within 4 days of delivery. My blood pressure went up the day before delivery. I think that was a little physcosamatic.... induced a little bit by a husband that was suddenly aware that children where coming as if it where the first time he heard about it. Nevermind the whale that had taken residence in the bed.

                      Can't wait to hear about your PG if/when you should go for it!

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                      • #12
                        I think the Primal Baby would just eat the non-Primal one. Being babies they haven't learned that cannibalism goes against CW, and would be attracted to the Omega-3 rich source of fatty calories, and tender protein.

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                        • #13
                          When I was pregnant with my first child I was semi-veg, and it got to the point where I was fantasizing about cheeseburgers so started eating meat. I think while aiming primal, it's often a case of eating whatever you can get down, if you have nausea. For both of mine, first trimester nutrition was limited to dry crackers, toast, steamed chicken breast and white rice.

                          On Cordain's blog somewhere I saw a reference to not going too low-carb during pregnancy - a pediatric colleague of his had some concerns - so that would be worth checking out. I'd be interested to know whether paleo/huntergatherer mamas pregnancies tend to fall at particular times so that certain seasons (and thus seasonal foods) are plentiful at particular stages of pregnancy/feeding.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks again all--esp you Darth--I'll have to arm my non-primal during preg babe so a new primal kiddo won't devour him.

                            On Cordain's blog somewhere I saw a reference to not going too low-carb during pregnancy
                            I read something similar that Dr. Eades said, posted in a low carber paleo forum. The primal mamas I've talked w/ online have all seemed to crave more carbs during pregnancy. I'll keep checking it out. (I'm not worried--I've never gone VLC although have toyed w/ the idea, but I def. get enough from fruits and veggies.)

                            Keep the experiences coming folks, if you have them! It's all good food for thought!
                            My Before/After Pics
                            Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                            "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                            • #15
                              FairyRae, you were actually around when I found MDA and was primally pregnant. I started eating primally about halfway through my pregnancy and here's how it's impacted my kiddo thus far:

                              1) Other than heartburn, I had a VERY easy pregnancy. I only gained 20lbs, exactly what the doctors told me to gain.
                              2) I ended up with a c-section (due to breech) so I can't tell you how eating well impacted my energy levels during the birth itself (though I wish I could!)
                              3) My kiddo was born BIG - 9lbs, 3oz - and SUPER healthy. A little jaundiced because I wasn't very strict about my D intake, but strictly breastfeeding sorted that out within a few days. I REFUSED to let them give him formula at the hospital. That was a nasty fight that I won.
                              4) I did the "mild attachment parent" thing - cosleeping, carried him a MobyWrap/Ergo/Bjorn, strictly breastfed, never let him CIO, used the Happiest Baby steps, and I ignore well-meaning folks who tell me I"m spoiling him. In exchange, now, 24 weeks later, he A) held his head up sooner than all my friend's babies, B) cried WAY WAY WAY less than all my friend's babies, C) never suffered from colic, D) is practically crawling, and E) can pull himself up to standing by himself now. The ONLY thing I wanted to do from the beginning that I'm just starting to do now is EC and cloth diapering. After the c-section I couldn't manage it and then we moved back to KS, so I just didn't have the energy/time. Now I do. It's a challenge.

                              5) People try to give him "baby food" and think I'm a food nazi or "one of those moms" when I jump all over them. My kid is JUST starting solids (though still primarily BF'd) and he SPITS OUT anything that's not meat, dairy, or veggies. My mother tried him on baby cereal when I wasn't looking and he wouldn't eat it. She complained, I said "no wonder", and I gave him some finely shredded pulled pork ten minutes later. Her mouth GAPED when he gobbled it up!

                              Thus far no allergies and he's bigger, stronger, and way ahead of all his mental and physical milestones. I attribute this 100% to the way I ate while pregnant and the way I eat while breastfeeding. Do I think he's better than the kids around him? NOPE. I think he's NORMAL... for a PRIMAL baby. A baby that hasn't "evolved" to our CW-spouting world. And I think it's awesome.

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