Megan asks: “Can I do the GAPS Diet while pregnant?”
If you’ve taken a special interest in your health after you’ve become pregnant that’s wonderful! The short answer is: You can safely follow the Full GAPS Diet while pregnant and nursing.
Incorporating animal protein from healthy pasture-raised animals, fats from naturally occurring sources, fermented foods, and organic fruits and veggies will provide lots of needed nutrients for your growing fetus. These are the same types of foods that our ancestors ate before and during pregnancy, to ensure that a robustly healthy child was born. Our genes can express themselves optimally when this is what we eat.
Leaving out processed foods that just take up space in your stomach while offering little sustenance and leaving out chemicals that might be overburdening your detoxification system, are other benefits of the GAPS Diet.
You may believe that GAPS will be too low in carbohydrates or worry that it will cause detoxification that wouldn’t be safe for your baby. For those reasons, you should not begin the GAPS Intro Diet while you’re pregnant.
When you incorporate fruits, honey, nuts, and liberal amounts of starchy veggies, like squashes, in your diet, you’ll get plenty of carbohydrates. But do be cautious and start with a small amount of fermented foods, or probiotic capsules, if you haven’t been consuming them already. When you follow the Full GAPS Diet with plenty of food variety you’re not likely to get into heavy detoxification like you can when you follow the food elimination and reintroduction plan of the Intro Diet.
When should you consider the Full GAPS Diet while pregnant?
- Low-grade infections. Pregnancy is a natural time of immune suppression and it’s common for you to experience more symptoms of low-grade underlying infections, like vaginosis and yeast infections. What may have been mild and barely noticeable pre-conception, can seem more urgent now.
- Gestational diabetes. If you’re experiencing gestational diabetes and need to get your inner sugar monster under control. All the natural fats on GAPS will keep you satisfied and help stabilize your blood sugar.
- Digestive issues. If you’re one of the many women who’ve had ongoing digestive issues like heartburn or constipation that become unbearable while you’re pregnant, following the Full GAPS Diet can be soothing to those symptoms.
- Food sensitivities. If you’ve got food allergies or sensitivities and already avoid a bunch of foods, adding in the healing agents of the GAPS Diet, like broth and natural fats, may end up expanding your food choices during your pregnancy.
There’s a misconception out there that you shouldn’t do the GAPS Diet while pregnant. I hope these guidelines give you confidence to decide if it’s right for your pregnancy!