PT on the Net Research

Carbo Load Before Labor Revisited


Question:

I would like to respond to Lisa Druxman's Research Corner Q&A titled "Carbo Load Before Labor?" I feel it is unwise to recommend bread, pasta, crackers, potatoes and fruit. The reasons being are: A) This process is based on information that can and has been shown time and time again to be not only wrong but hazardous to the client/patient as well; B) carbohydrates aren't the main food source during or after gestation, or they shouldn't be anyway; and C) grain (bread) without sprouting is worthless, indigestible and allergenic. The same goes for pasta. Crackers are usually salted with sodium chloride and have the same problems as other grain-based foods, and potatoes and fruit aren't as healthy as other available sources of nutrition. The author mentions the need for vitamin D, yet fails to mention vitamin A, cholesterol and fat as also being extremely necessary. Vitamin D is hard to convert from sunlight without the presence of adequate cholesterol, and if taken in food form, it is usually only found in high quantities in animals... fat and protein. Protein in absence of fat actually brings on ketosis and is impossible to accomplish since the cell membrane of all animals are comprised of fat!

Answer:

Thank you for your feedback. Current research supports my position. Ketosis is possible in labor. Obstetricians see it on a regular basis. It is managed with IV fluids and is generally related to dehydration. High protein diets predispose the population to ketosis, which is why it is not recommended in pregnancy (same effect as dehydration, premature labor). The three nutrients you are not to supplement in pregnancy are vitamins A, D and phosphorus because high levels can be toxic to the baby. They will get enough D from their dairy and/or calcium supplements. The key is to be in "balance" no more than 30 percent of the diet from fat, the rest from carbohydrates and protein (usually 40-30). Carbohydrates are the only food source for the baby, so it needs to be increased slightly. I encourage you to check out two books. One is Exercising Through Pregnancy by Dr. James Clapp and the other is Fit To Deliver by Dr. Karen Nordahl. I think it will help you to better understand this population.