Still Got Pregnancy Brain and You’re Not Prego?

© Sherry Rothwell

I remember fondly the days before I had children, when I didn’t need a day timer!

I could scroll through the Rolodex of my mind and see an image of my whole week, plus the dates and times that I had plans, and with whom.

Yet, after gestating and birthing my two children, if I did happen to think to write my appointments down, it would be for nothing because I would forget to check my day timer too!

So what causes pregnancy brain?

Ironically after searching the internet in regards to pregnancy brain, I was not able to find any research linking deficiency of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) in co-relation to “Pregnancy Brain”!

If you do a little research of your own, you might find other possible contributing factors:

-like not getting adequate vitamins and minerals

-the amnesia effects of oxytocin or deficency of electrolytes due to dehydration

-decreased circulation (does the placenta gets priority over the brain)

-even elevated progesterone (contributing to fatigue)

While it is logical to attribute the aforementioned possible causes to “pregnancy brain”, among other reasons such as a mother has a lot to keep in mind (and that pregnancy is an altered state of conscious), we cannot ignore EFA’s as being a part of the bigger picture.

Given the widespread fatty acid deficiency in the Standard American Diet (SAD), along with the fact that the brain is built on fat, we must consider EFA’s in the prevention and treatment of “pregnancy brain”.

I propose that (other contributing factors aside): EFA deficient women experience pregnancy brain because of further declining levels of EFA’s (the result of giving up what little reserves they do have to baby) and finally declining into “eternally postpartum brain” due the decline of EFA levels during nursing!

According to Michael A. Schimdt, PhD (NASA researcher), “The fetal brain develops rapidly throughout pregnancy and its demand for long chain fatty acids like arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA can only be met by the mother. To achieve adequate levels for brain development, the baby essentially robs the mother of these fatty acids by taking them from the placental blood.”

Because the trend is to reduce or avoid fat altogether, and because the majority of the population consumes adulterated vegetable fats and homogenized animal fats, we are all most likely deficient in beneficial natural fats (as found in cold water fish, seeds, nuts and compassionately raised animals foods such as butter and full fat non homogenized milk etc).

Given that 60% of the brain is composed of fat, we cannot ignore the implications of declining EFA status in women of childbearing years.

Even those who are not deficient per say may very likely not have optimal EFA levels.

How does such increased demand during pregnancy and nursing impact the woman who is already deficient before becoming pregnant?

Increasing symptoms of EFA deficiency include dry hair, skin and nails, hormone imbalance, depression, mood swings, impatience, memory decline etc.

If a woman was already experiencing these symptoms preconception, can you imagine how her EFA levels would be impacted by gestating and nursing a baby or even many babies?

Baby gets those fats before you do!

Baby’s brain, vision and nerve integrity are built with EFA’s!

“Large scale hydrogenation of vegetable oils reduces omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and replaces them with trans fatty acids that interfere with omega-3 and omega-6 metabolism, inducing significant partial deficiencies of essential fatty acids.” Dr. Ralph Holman

What are you building your brain with?

Unnatural, processed and refined fats and oils (the ones that our bodies haven’t yet evolved to recognize and utilize)?


Essential and natural fats as nature intended (ones that we have evolved to be able to assimilate and utilize)?

Processed oils are typically stripped of essential nutrients, bleached and finally deodorized for the purpose of shelf stability, and to mask rancidity.

It sounds less like nutrition, and more like work for the liver, doesn’t it?

Could you be blocking your own brain fats?

Trans fatty acids impair our ability to synthesize the critical neural fatty acid, DHA.

If your kitchen contains vegetable shortening, margarine (whether it be non-hydrogenated or even Earth Balance), canola oil and other refined, bleached and deodorized oils or if you “eat out” a lot, then you may be primarily building your brain and your myelin sheaths (insulate nerve fibers) with artificial fats.

Don’t forget that the oils in all processed foods are in some way artificial or refined, so stick to food that is real if you want to think clearly! Hmm….sludgy, mushy myelin sheaths and cell membranes or integral, smooth optimally functioning ones?

What can a mother do to get her brain back?

Throw out all refined oils (even expeller or cold pressed canola oil which is genetically modified and not meant to be for human consumption) and replace it with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Get rid of the margarine and other refined “spreadable when cold” artificial butters and replace them with the real thing (yes quality butter is nutritious) plus unrefined coconut oil, ghee and avocado. Add flax and hemp to the fridge to make your own salad dressings and oh, I almost forgot, make your own mayo from the quality fats such as olive or coconut oil! Add nuts and seeds to the freezer, plus eat cold water fresh fish up to 3 times per week and voila and you will have a kitchen full of healthy fats to choose from.

Supplemental Sources of Good Fat

If you already have deficiency symptoms, or for whatever reason cannot get adequate fats from your diet, then use fish oil (preformed DHA and EPA) or flax oil for Omega-3 fatty acids, evening primrose or borage oil for Omega-6 fatty acids or hemp oil for Omega 3, 6 and 9.

Adequately determine which fatty acid profile best suits your individual needs before supplementing by doing your own thorough research or investing in the services of a holistic nutritionist or naturopathic doctor.


Brain Building Nutrition- Michael A. Schmidt

Go to my website to get your FREE 4 Part Video e-course “First Steps to Becoming a Whole Foods Family!” Learn how to upgrade the QUALITY of the foods you already eat and love, so that you can IMPROVE your diet WITHOUT changing it!

Toxic Epidural Leaves One Mother on Her Death Bed and Another Paralyzed for Life

While we know about the risks of birthing in a hospital such as the known side effects of interventions, I wonder how many medical accidents affect birthing woman?  And how would we find out about them?

This link leads to a story about a mother who was accidently administered an antiseptic into her spine during labour. She is currently dying and there is nothing that is known that can help her. Another woman who also fell victum to this mistake was administered way less and was left paralyzed for life.

We must really look at the truth about hospital birth. It comes with it’s own increased risks and does not guarantee a safe outcome for mother and baby (the way we are commonly led to believe that it does). Rarely, if ever, do parents weigh in hospital negligence or accidents when choosing to birth in the hospital-just in case.

“Epidural administration of chlorhexidine – used to clean skin before injections and strong enough to neutralise resistant hospital bacteria – is so rare that Ms Wang’s doctors have identified only one other case.

Angelique Sutcliffe, from Britain, was paralysed for life after the chemical entered her epidural in 2001. But this was just a droplet – a fraction of the eight millilitres infused into Ms Wang.”

Vit.K- Are Babies born Deficient? or Do Modern Life and Current Birthing Practices Create the very Problem that Vit.K supplementation is supposed to Solve?

So the question has been asked at Birth Without Fear: Vit.K…yes? no? why?!/birthwithoutfear

Well, I was about to give my two sense, when I remembered that I wrote about this at length in response to a post at Homebirth: A Midwife Mutiny written by Lisa Barrett (which is a fantastic blog by the way and I recommend that you read her whole article and thread on this topic!)

Lisa writes,

“This brings us to the action of the third stage in all of this. If the placenta isn’t detached from the baby until after it has birthed then there is an equalisation of the blood passing to and from the placenta: this creates just the right amount of transfer of all the cells required. There is a higher haematocrit which essentially makes the blood thicker and stickier. Isn’t this the natural way to prevent bleeding in the newborn until vit K can be made by the gut flora and what is in breast milk can be absorbed by the baby. This is a good reason not to interfere with the third stage. Even cutting the cord when it doesn’t seem to be pulsing isn’t a guarantee that the natural process has taken place, and I believe that the potential for complications due to that can cause bleeding issues for the mother if cut before placenta is out.”

While I don`t profess to know the ultimate truth here or have the final answer on this subject, I sure do have a lot of questions.

First of all, I think that Lisa`s point is a poignant one and probably  the most important consideration here.

As well, would it not be possible that while we are also “creating” this “deficiency” of adequate Vit.K (by cutting the cord too soon and not enabling baby to have “thicker and stickier blood”), but we might also want to ask, “how much Vit. K is stored in that 1/3 or more missing blood supply“ when the cord is cut before it stops pulsating (as is done in hospitals and even with some homebirth midwives….gasp!)?

Could synthetic Vit.K whether injected or given orally be essentially like a “drug” only treating the symptom of mismanaged birth? If that is the case, then the root cause of vitamin K deficiency at birth, is not being addressed-that of interrupting normal third stage physiology.

It is now culturally acceptable in most places to use synthetic vitamins, but are we really just taking part in a huge experiment with our bodies and with our babies? Just today an article was published that showed that women supplementing with Calcium were at greater risk of heart attacks and that they aren`t effectively increasing their bone density either!

Have we forgotten that vitamins and minerals work synergistically, and are (provided in nature with many co-nutrients), many of which haven’t even been discovered? How arrogant can we be to assume that we have this whole vitamin thing figured out?….I mean, really, we didn`t even know that vitamins exsisted until 1911 and now we are injecting them into our babies’ bloodstream? Is it not the way of vitamins and minerals to enter the body via food and first through the digestive tract before they hit the portal vein to enter the blood stream? Eating Vit.K in it’s natural form is one thing and then synthesizing it (from who knows what kind of raw materials) and then injecting it via the skin is another.  

And then there is the question of the modern diet and it’s deficiencies.

How does the mother’s Vit.K status affect the newborn’s status at birth? Is baby’s Vit. K status limited, because mother has less than optimal levels herself?

Does the average pregnant woman really eat a lot of greens, just because she is told they are good for her?

As well, many of us have imbalanced and inadequate beneficial intestinal micro flora… we can make our own Vit.K, but are we doing this optimally when we have more “bad” bacteria in our guts, than good bacteria?

And we pass on either our balanced or imbalanced microflora to baby….does this impact the speed at which baby starts producing adequate Vit.K?

So my long drawn out point is, why not attend to our digestive health and microflora, learn how to add greens to our diet in way that tastes good and drink infusions of Alfalfa or other vitamin K rich nutritive herbs (at the very least during the last month of our pregnancies) along with choosing a place of birth and care provider who we can trust to leave our baby’s cord intact at least for the first hour after birth.

In my mind at least, this is a logical, preventative and proactive approach.

As well, according to the research that I have been doing in regards to delayed cord cutting, it seems possible that immediate cord cutting itself may contribute the to heamorrhage that Vit.k is supposed to protect our baby’s from. So instead of worrying about using Vit.K or not, we should be looking at other contributing factors as to why a baby might bleed, such as trauma at birth, as well practices such as immediate cord cutting, should we not?

Here is another useful reference:

Judith Mercer writes:
“Infants in the delayed cord clamping group were found to have fewer incidences of any level of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) defined by the reports of cranial ultrasounds routinely ordered during the first 28 days in the NICU. The incidence of IVH was equally divided between the stratified groups (ICC 7/7, DCC 2/2) although the majority occurred in infants less than 30 weeks gestation. One infant in the DCC group was a protocol violation, meaning that the cord was clamped prior to 30 seconds in violation of the study protocol. In addition, infants in the DCC group were less likely to have blood culture-proven (confirmed) sepsis during the NICU stay.

Expanding our thinking to have a systems view of the question itself, allows us to have a much broader perspective. When we look at all the possible factors involved, we just might find that the whole problem does not really even exist in the natural course of things, except that we make it so.

Lecithin, A Natural Solution to Ligament Pain

This is an excellent article by Birth Faith! Don’t forget that if you are going to use lecithin granules or capsules which are extracted from soy, make sure you get ones that are labelled non-GMO.

I find this interesting because it was my second pregnancy that I noticed round ligament pain, but at the time I was lacto-vegetarian (meaning I didn’t eat eggs). However, the moment I gave birth, I just “had’ to eat eggs! Must have been trying to make up for a deficiency!

Diet Soda Linked to Premature Birth

“Aspartame breaks down into methanol and other substances in the body, which can in turn be converted to toxic substances such as formaldehyde and formic acid, the researchers explain. And studies in non-human primates have linked even very low exposure to methanol to shortened pregnancy and labor complications.”

The New Potential of Childbirth-Exploring the Significance of Pregnancy and Birth

As you carry your beautiful Buddha belly have you stopped to acknowledge that you hold the future of humanity in your sacred womb and gentle heart? The late Midwife, Jeannine Parvati Baker brought us the insight that we can indeed “heal the earth by healing birth”.  As mothers we carry a sacred potential to be healers of the world through the power of giving birth. 

While intitially we may be focused on creating a great birth experience to protect the health and well-being of our baby, in time it becomes appharent to the seeking mother, that the way we give birth has vast and far reaching impacts on humanity at large. 

Where we look for answers and feedback about our choices in birth, reflects our deepest values conscious and unconscious. By looking closer at our choices and their subsequent impact on our baby and society at large, we have a unique opportunity for insight, inner growth and expansion of our power as pregnant women.

Many women are beginning to harness the transformational power of birth and motherhood as a time to consciously “evolve”. They are harnessing the momentum of change, to question and recreate many aspects of their lives with much greater reflection and attention than they ever have before.

Many new mothers today are looking more closely at how they can align their choices and actions with their deeply felt values. They are living in the question of their incongruencies and “sitting with” how they can come into greater alignment within their inner selves. This new and upcoming generation of mothers, are longing to feel the peace that comes with no longer making choices that conflict with their true inner values and they are finding the courage they need to take the actions needed to come into alignment with their souls longings.

How much value or significance do you place on the responsibility you carry as being the vessel for bringing a new soul onto the planet?

Few stop to ponder the irony that many people will go into debt for wedding expenses (most of which is to entertain and impress others, but only lasts one day!), and then bemoan the price of paying for the gentle midwifery or holistic Doula care that leads to upholding the sanctity of one of the most precious days of their lives, the birth of their own child.

How much are you willing to invest into creating a beautiful and sacred journey of pregnancy and birth- whether it be research, time, money, self care or all of the above? Do you agree that your baby’s birth has at least as great significance as celebrating the love and commitment between two lovers, if not more? After all, partners come and go, but motherhood is forever!

Our Birth is Significant for Life

It was once thought that the newborn does not feel pain, and that their amnesia about their own births meant that we need not concern ourselves with how they feel or experience birth. Science has long proved that premise false. Yet we mothers have always known that our babies feel, for we can feel right into their feelings!

“The truth is, much of what we have traditionally believed about babies is false. We have misunderstood them and underestimated their abilities. They are not simple beings, but complex and ageless-small creatures with unexpectantly large thoughts.” David Chamberlain, Ph.D.

Have you wondered how you can infuse greater consciousness into this sacred rite of passage as you prepare to partner with the creator in bringing a new soul to the planet? What mission does your child have in the conscious evolution of the planet? How will you ensure that your child’s first experience of the world, namely his or her birth is one where he/she feels welcomed and embraced.

We are coming to an age where we can no longer assume ownership of our children. We must question how our choices affect the incarnating soul and in turn affect the planet at large. What kind of birth do you want for this child? How will your child’s first embarkation with life mark his/her soul? What patterns are being wired in your child’s brain even now while in the womb?

As conscious parents, we must begin to ask ourselves how our actions, feelings, experiences and intentions are affecting our womb baby…”parenting begins before conception”(Carista Luminare-Rosen)

In fact, the field of pre and perinatal psychology is telling us that the moment of a child’s birth has great significance for the rest of their lives, setting up unconscious patterns that play out again and again to call our attention to their need for healing and resolution.

While pregnant women hold the continuation of humankind literally in their wombs, they also hold the key to the future of world peace. Whether children are harmed or unharmed at birth, is carried forward into their adult lives and impacts how they “act out” in the world.

While any of our dysfunctions as the result of our past traumas can be  healed at any moment in time, is it not better to be born gently and peacefully, so that we can each bring our gifts to the world with ease…. rather than the insecurity and pain of trauma that masks our potential in fear?

How we give birth and how we mother matters.

Mothers Matter

If you are reading this and you know a pregnant woman, honor and celebrate her for what she represents and can embody fully with the help of her community. Uphold her, for by her love and selflessness, she gives of her body, heart and soul. She is ensuring a beautiful world not only for her child, but for all of us. Nurture the pregnant women and new mothers among you! Joyfully give of your time, energy and attention if you feel called and inspired!

When we give to mothers, we give to children. What children are given, they reflect back to us and re create in the world. Love a mother and her child today!

For ideas of how to nurture yourself as a pregnant woman, how to nurture the new mother or mother-to-be, purchase my e-book “Nurturing the New Family” @

These books are highly recommended to learn more about gentle birth choices and how to “feel into” the needs of your unborn child:
Sacred Birthing-Sunni Karll
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper
Calm Birth-Robert Newman
Parenting Begins Before Conception -Carista Luminare-Rosen
Birth Without ViolenceFrederic Leboyer
The Secret Life of the Unborn Child-Thomas Verny
The Mind of Your Newborn Baby-David Chamberlain (cut and paste) to read Birth Without Violence online! 

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Birth Trauma

A very informative and insightful list of common birth traumas that cause subluxations with the potential to create long term dysfunction on the developing person’s nervous system.

“The following areas are important to address during pregnancy and birth to detect potential sources of fetal intrauterine stress prior to labor, stressing the passage of the fetus during labor, and management at the time of birth.”

Low Vitamin D During Pregnancy Linked to Pre-Eclampsia

Yet one more reason to supplement with Cod Liver Oil during the Childbearing years and to spend time outdoors in nature while soaking up more of the sun – so nourishing to the pregnant spirit on so many levels!

 “Women who developed preeclampsia had vitamin D concentrations that were significantly lower early in pregnancy compared to women whose pregnancies were normal. And even though vitamin D deficiency was common in both groups, the deficiency was more prevalent among those who went on to develop preeclampsia.”

Ultrasound- More powerful, more dangerous, more unethical

“The embryo is submitted to a forward force every time a pulse passes through it. As medical physicist Dr Frances Duck points out, diagnostic Doppler ultrasound causes higher exposure than normal scans, and can heat soft tissue. [4] (From many human and animal studies we know that raised temperatures can cause abnormalities.)”

A Seriously Joyful Birth!

Wow! Gotta see it to believe it!

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