Sacramento women want to know whether there will be fewer C-sections and will birth be easier if a woman remains on a vegan diet, a vegetarian diet, or a Paleo diet? Sacramento has a rising rate of C-sections, usually due to the position of the baby, but sometimes caused by not enough pelvic depth which may have a dietary origin. Other California cities have a higher C-section rate of births.
Sometimes painful, long labors and C-sections may be due to pelvic depth issues, which also may be dependent on nutrition and the diets your mother ate while pregnant with you. Correspondingly, jaws with impacted wisdom teeth also may be caused by jaw length not being deep enough lengthwise, due to poor nutrition such as starchy fillers, sugar, white flour and jam eaten frequently by pregnant women.
Pelvic depth issues that result in C-sections in many instances may be due to the diet your mother ate when pregnant with you. For further information, you can check the C-section statistics in Sacramento. See, Why does Sacramento have a 28% C-section rate? Women’s bodies know best. Sacramento’s 28 percent C-section rate is still lower than some cities in other parts of California. But were all those C-sections necessary? See, the December 16, 2011 Sacramento Bee article by Grace Rubenstein, Births by C-section continue to rise in California – Sacramento Bee.
Pelvic depth may determine how easy childbirth will be if you had to have a baby unattended
Childbirth was much easier, quicker, and less painful before the agricultural revolution. Did the diet of hunter-gatherers have anything to do with the greater pelvic depth size of pre-agricultural women and some modern women on what scientists call the original pre-agricultural foods Inuit diet of Arctic peoples today?
Should pregnant women in Sacramento continue on their vegan diets? How will their baby’s health be affected? And what if a pre-pregnancy vegan or vegetarian woman is carrying multiples? Some doctors and scientists say it’s healthy if there are no nutritional deficiencies either for the baby or the mother. See the article, “Pregnancy and the vegan diet.”
That article reports, “Actually, it is reasonably simple to follow a vegan diet throughout pregnancy while eating foods that meet your needs and the needs of your baby. In addition, a series of studies 1,2 at The Farm, a community where vegan diets are a part of a socially responsible lifestyle, have shown that vegans can have healthy pregnancies and healthy children.”
The studies you can read online are, Carter JP, Furman T, Hutcheson HR. Preeclampsia and reproductive performance in a community of vegans. Southern Med J 1987;80:692-697, and O’Connell JM, Dibley MJ, Sierra J, et al. Growth of vegetarian children: The Farm study. Pediatrics, 1989;84:475-481.
A posting from Sacramento, CA on the Real Vegan Children site reads, “Amélie is a healthy, happy, vegan baby. Her parents have been vegetarian for over 10 years and vegan for 7 of those 10 years. Heather’s vegan pregnancy was a breeze, and Amélie was born a full-term; healthy; 6 lb., 8.4 oz. baby. Amélie’s organic, vegan diet includes breast milk, apples, apricots, sweet peas, carrots, and brown rice. Carrots and Joe’s O’s are a big hit. Amélie lives with her “fuzzy siblings” – 2 dogs and 2 cats.” (From VeganHealth.org, a project of Vegan Outreach.)
What do local UC Davis scientists say about diet and pregnancy? The Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis has an article in PDF file format online, Some Facts About Vegetarian Diets, that notes, “Eliminating the meat can increase vegetable intake and reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Vegetarians can also turn to many ethnic cuisines, such as Indian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Asian, for plant-based dishes that include protein in the form of beans, nuts, and higher-protein grains.”
Several vegetarian food guide pyramids have been developed and may serve as helpful tools for planning a healthy vegetarian diet. See the example, adopted by the Mayo Clinic. Also check out the May Clinic’s information on “What are functional foods?”
Plant-based diets are supposed to “turn off the cancer-causing gene,” according to numerous TV programs and books. And meat-focused diets are supposed to turn it on, but how do you get balanced nutrition on a vegan diet when pregnant? And what does it to to generations of vegan women? The answer depends upon dietary choices and supplements that actually balance the nutrients.
Some pregnant women follow a semi-vegetarian diet. The diet excludes red meat but includes small amounts of fish low in mercury such as wild-caught salmon and no-growth-hormone-added low-fat white meat turkey breast. Others follow a modified Mediterranean diet or a modified pan-Asian diet without the monosodium glutamate (MSG), high-salt soy sauce, or excess table or sea salt. Their doctor will advise pregnant women on salt intake in regards to their blood pressure readings.
In some studies, mothers who took calcium and some magnesium supplements had children born with more normalized blood pressures as opposed to the higher blood pressures that run in some families passed onto the newborns. Talk with your doctor about what supplements are helpful for the baby before birth if any condition runs in your family.
Whether vegetarian or containing small amounts of meat, plant-based diets that include ample fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can help reduce the risk of chronic disease by minimizing the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, while providing dietary fiber and phytochemicals found only in plant sources. Some women get anemic in the fifth month of their pregnancies and might benefit from the iron in plant-based foods.
According to the University of California Davis article, Some Facts About Vegetarian Diets, “…Non-heme iron, the form of iron found in plants, is more sensitive to these influences than the heme iron found in animal products. Dried beans, fortified breads and cereals, spinach, chard, blackstrap molasses, bulgur wheat, and dried fruit are good sources of nonheme iron. To improve iron absorption from these and other iron-rich plant foods, consume vitamin C-rich foods at the same meal.”
A recent study, noted in the UC Davis article, Some Facts About Vegetarian Diets, found that both vegans and vegetarians, in comparison to omnivores, may consume inadequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (measured by omega-3 fatty acid levels in sphingolipids, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine), thus suggesting a need for vegetarians to include rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets.
The best plant sources of these fats are walnuts and ground flaxseeds (or flaxseed oil), but the type of omega-3 fatty acid in these foods (alpha linolenic acid) is not efficiently converted to the essential types found in fish, called EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid). Individuals who follow a plant-based diet but include fish will likely consume sufficient EPA and DHA, but vegetarians who do not consume any fish should consider a supplement containing these two components.
Do Sacramento childbirth preparation classes give enough information on diet choices, such as vegan, vegetarian, modified Mediterranean, Pan-Asian, or low-carb diets? Should pregnant women refrain from eating canned soups loaded with salt, and make their own meals instead to control ingredients?
Pregnant women need balanced diets, but what happens to the bones of the mother and the development of the baby when a pregnant woman is on a vegan diet? Scientists also recently found that DHA is more important in cardiovascular health regimens than EPA, but both are healthy in appropriate amounts.
Is there enough DHA and EPA for the development of the baby’s brain in a vegan diet? Ground flax seeds, for example and ground chia seeds have omega 3 fatty acids. Should a vegan who’s pregnant get a balance of Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils from vegan sources or rely on B12 vitamins, fish oil capsules (or krill oil) and other supplements her doctor suggests? And what eventually happens to a woman’s pelvic inlet depth when generations of women go vegan?
Studies around the world in the past have related the amount of calcium in a pregnant woman’s diet to her child being born with healthier, lower blood pressure. And studies of diet, particularly a vegetarian diet, have been compared to a meat and fish-centric diet and its effects of a woman’s pelvic inlet depth size, which could affect how easy childbirth might be.
What has food got to do with less painful childbirth due to increased pelvic depth inherited before birth?
Does your pelvic depth have more to do with what your mother ate while pregnant with you or with what you eat in childhood and during pregnancy? If pelvic depth is controlled by the diet of the pregnant mother before you were born, your bones and teeth are already formed when you’re an infant. But what you eat can increase the strength of your bones and nourish your cells.
Did the phytates from a diet too high in grains prevent minerals from being absorbed into the bloodstreams of more modern populations? Was that what caused the drastic reduction of pelvic size and more painful childbirths?
Pelvic inlet depth and average stature of any group of people in modern, historical, and prehistorical times are markers of interest, if you overlook the life expectancy data due to war, accidents or epidemics unrelated to daily diet, according to the August 2008 article, “Life Expectancy and Growth of Paleolithic vs. Neolithic Humans.”
Why has the human pelvis gone from very large (easier childbirth) to tiny (painful childbirth, longer labors) and now is growing larger again, for some, but not for all? But in modern times, females still haven’t reached the large pelvis size that it was 30,000 to 9,000 years ago.
One can see from the data that looks at the changing size of the pelvic depth, the life span, and the height of men and women at the nutrition and physical degeneration site, that things are rarely as clear-cut as dietary purists would like them to be. For any period in time, there is good and there is bad.
What you need to look at, for example, is pelvic inlet depth. These are both markers of nutritional status during development. Basically, thousands of years ago, childbirth had been easier, quicker, and a lot less painful. Pelvic inlet depth is a measure of the size of the pelvic canal through which a baby would pass during birth. The difference shows up in both males and females.
Regarding birth, stature and pelvic inlet depth declined tremendously with adoption of agriculture. There’s no way in modern times that most female pelvic depth size levels match the large room that paleolithic women had.
Exceptions might be found, not where they would be expected, not in Africa, for example, where the diet is mostly cereal-grains based today, but with Arctic peoples that are following original diets rather than standard Western diets. Check out the article, “Beyond Vegetarianism.”
Nutritionists have to ask the question: Do grain-based diets interfere with normal skeletal development? There are plenty of studies. Nutritional anthropologists and archaeologists have long written about how the adoption of grains coincided with smaller pelvis sizes in men and women, shortening of height stature, thinner bones, and crooked, cavity-ridden teeth.
Archaeologists that study human fossils point out that skeletal changes are sometimes used as evidence that grains were adopted in a particular region historically. What nutritional anthropologists do also is to study populations as they transition from traditional diets to lots of processed foods rich in white flour, sugar, and corn products along with other types of processed foods, such as certain processed cheeses or nondairy ‘milk’ substitutes further processed with aluminum.
What’s striking is the change in pelvic inlet depth. Why is modern childbirth so painful and long, especially with the first pregnancy? Could diet over thousands of years have set women up so they can no longer deliver their own babies in a short space of time without the type of pain most have reported in journals before the invention of anesthesia, for example, from medieval times until the turn of the present century?
In Western society, birth takes much longer and has evolved into a dangerous situation. How many women have the type of pelvic depth to go through childbirth without the aid of modern medicine and without the type of pain that seemed to develop in more modern times–say the last 1,000 years?
Without the aid of modern medicine, the rising number of C-sections required to save the life of the baby and the mother seems to be increasing. How many women can honestly say they and/or their infant(s) would have survived birth without medical intervention? Could diet over the last ten thousand years have played a role in the evolving pelvis depth size–getting smaller over time?
Modern times shows women evolving a much narrower pelvic inlet than what existed in ancient and also prehistoric times among human beings. For example, before agriculture, a hunter-gatherer woman’s pelvis inlet was much larger than the pelvis inlet size of a modern woman. Archaeologists can put fossil human skeletons side by side and compare how female pelvis size has been changing throughout history and prehistory.
If you speak with doctors visiting traditional societies not on a diet of cereal grains, there’s a relative ease of childbirth among many of these hunter-gather societies, for example among Inuits and other Arctic peoples, and various other North Asian populations that live on a diet similar to Inuits. You can check out these observations from the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
If you look through this book, check out the numbers for average stature and pelvic inlet depth. These are both markers of nutritional status during development.
What made the pelvic inlet depth decline? Was it the adoption of agriculture? Currently, is pelvic depth still declining? It’s not how wide the hips are, because hunter-gatherer human women in prehistoric times had narrow hips. Before humans, female Home Erectus had wide, swaying hips. But pre-agriculture human women had narrow hips that were deep from front to back. It’s the pelvic inlet depth, the measurement from front to back, not from side to side. Ask your OBGYN.
Why did a Neolithic, agricultural age diet emphasizing a high level of cooked grains coincide with a shortening of stature, thinner bones and crooked, cavity-ridden teeth?
Archaeologists look at fossil skeletons decline in stature to tell whether the people were eating grains at that period in history. Eating grains as white flour mixed with sweets quickly developed in ancient times. People used flour mixed with honey and fruit. They fermented the fruit to make the bread rise.
The ultimate result, say some archaeologists is that in modern times, males and females both have a narrower pelvic inlet than our ancestors. For further information, read the chapter in the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, pertaining to the ease of birth of Arctic peoples before they ate foods of modern civilization compared to the problems their grand daughters are having now with birth and protracted, painful labors that was not reported in their societies before modern foods were introduced.
The book notes the following information recorded by the doctor who delivered babies in the Arctic, “One Eskimo woman who had married twice, her last husband being a white man, reported to Dr. Romig and myself that she had given birth to twenty-six children and that several of them had been born during the night and that she had not bothered to waken her husband, but had introduced him to the new baby in the morning.”
The author of the book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, also refers to “Dr. Romig, the superintendent of the government hospital for Eskimos and Indians at Anchorage, Alaska.” According to the book, Dr. Romig “stated that in his thirty-six years among the Eskimos, he had never been able to arrive in time to see a normal birth by a primitive Eskimo woman.”
Basically, nutritionists want to ask how nutrition contributes to physical degeneration in several generations. What foods in particular are involved? Is it processed, Western foods? But aren’t those foods supposed to get rid of the bacteria? More information has to be researched. But what is clear is that childbirth has become more difficult and more painful due to the declining pelvis depth size from previous generations to the present ones.
Only since the 1980s, according to the table comparing life span, pelvic size, and height from 30,000 years ago to the present that you can check out at the article, Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture, has the pelvic depth of men and women increased somewhat, but is still behind the larger size it had been in hunter-gatherer times 30,000 years ago until the dawn of agriculture 9,000 years ago.
The question is why does pelvis depth size get larger in hunter-gatherer times, and smaller at the dawn of agriculture, and larger again after 1980? Why did it shrink so small between 1800 and 1920? How is nutrition related to physical degeneration and more important, how can we make nutrition to be related to physical regeneration? It’s fascinating research to look at how nutrition is linked to physical changes over time, especially at it pertains to childbirth.
If you think about it, it’s almost as if humankind got kicked out of the hunter-gather Garden of Eden where childbirth was less painful and quicker, with less complications. Was the reason that the animals in the pre-agricultural world had been eaten almost to extinction?
The age of agriculture saw childbirth with increased pain for women, decreased stature, less robust bones, and for both, plowing the earth to reap one’s bread by the sweat of one’s brow. But what type of nutrition is causing women’s pelvic depth to increase again in the last 30 years? And will it ever get back to the size it was 30,000 years ago when childbirth, say the archaeologists, was easier?