Growing a Healthy Baby: Nutrition for Conception, Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

January 14, 2011 in Events, Classes & Groups, Fertility, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Food & Nutrition | 16 comments

healthybabyI’m teaching a new 3-hour seminar on February 13th in Berkeley, CA on nutrition for conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. In March or April I plan to offer the same material as an online class, to make it accessible to those of you that don’t live in the Bay Area. I also intend to record the class and put it all on a DVD for those that won’t be able to attend the live seminar or online class.

I’ll be offering this seminar live in the Bay Area every 2-3 months. If you can’t make this one, but are interested in coming at some point, click here to put your name on a mailing list. You can also sign up for the mailing list if you’d like to be notified when the online class and DVD is ready.

I’m passionate about this topic. There’s no time when a nutrient-dense diet is more important (for both mother and baby) than during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you or anyone you know is preparing to have a baby or is currently breastfeeding or pregnant, please tell them about this seminar and class series! I’ve included information about the seminar below.

  • Download a PDF flyer
  • Register online (pre-registration required)


Nutrition for conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding

Sunday, February 13th from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Location TBD in Berkeley, CA
$50 per person • $75 per couple
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED • Registration closes Sunday, February 6th
Visit to register
Click here to download a flyer

EVERY PARENT wants their children to be as healthy as possible. Good maternal nutrition promotes robust, lifelong health and protects children from diabetes, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and cognitive and behavioral problems as they age.

Traditional cultures around the world provide special pre-conception and pregnancy diets to mothers-to-be, and in some cases, even fathers-to-be. For example, the Masai in Africa only allowed men and women to marry after spending several months consuming nutrient dense foods known to be essential to a healthy pregnancy.

Modern research has identified the essential nutrients in foods emphasized by traditional cultures and expanded on their role in both maternal and fetal health. Fat soluble vitamins, like A, D, K2 & E, are necessary for proper growth and development. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is crucial for the brain, especially visual acuity and cognitive function. Folate boosts growth and decreases the risk of birth defects; choline causes a lifelong increase in memory and attention; and glycine, an amino acid, is needed for growth.

Unfortunately, many mothers are confused about what to eat before, during and after pregnancy. In the age of the internet, conflicting information abounds. This 3-hour seminar draws on both traditional wisdom and modern research to cut through the confusion and bring you clear and proven nutritional guidelines that will help you conceive, birth and nourish a healthy baby.

By the end of the seminar, you will know:

  • The most important nutrients for fertility & conception
  • The ideal ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat
  • Essential nutrients for maternal and fetal health during pregnancy
  • Which foods should be emphasized
  • Which supplements you need, how much, and why
  • Which foods should be avoided or minimized


Luming Zhou January 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

Chris, have you read Dr. Ray Peat’s article on fish oil? Peat mentions some important drawbacks of excessive polyunsaturated fatty acids.

A true skeptic should take all sides into consideration before dismissing it.

Chris Kresser January 14, 2011 at 10:34 am
Luming Zhou January 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

I have already read your article, and I agree with most of it. But do you know that Ray Peat’s position is that taking even one gram of fish oil is harmful?

Chris Kresser January 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

Yes I know. I’ve been familiar with his work for years. I just don’t agree with him, and neither does the bulk of the research.

Luming Zhou January 14, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m sorry that I don’t agree with you, Chris. :-(

Dad2be January 17, 2011 at 12:37 am

Hi Chris,
My partner is pregnant and we have done alot on research on nutrition berforehand, but now that she is 18 weeks pregnant she is having a hard time eating meat, fermented foodd, broths,organ meats and all the good things we had been eating before- she even feels a bit ill after eating it. Instead she is favouring carbs, (rice, potato chips) dairy, fruits etc. which she never thought she would. We are a bit confused whether to listen to her cravings (reasonably) or try and force eating these other foods. Any ideas?
Also, any views on raw milk in pregancy?
sorry for the long question, would love to come to your seminar but we live in NZ

Chris Kresser January 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

That’s not an uncommon response during pregnancy. Some protein aversion is normal during pregnancy because urea synthesis is decreased. Raw, full-fat milk and dairy is excellent, and if she likes that then she should eat as much of it as she wants. This rich with fat-soluble vitamins which is crucial. Salmon, mackerel, or another source of DHA and vitamin D is also important.

I’ll be offering this content as an online, 6-week seminar in the near future. Stay tuned!

Dad2be January 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Chris, Thanks for the reply. Things are improving now and the diet is getting back to normal. She takes CLO and fish oil, although we can only seem to get farmed salmon here which probably isnt as good in omega-3. She is drinking raw milk again (from our organic butcherry) but we are still unsure about it as our midwife has warned us against it for listeria. Is there any risk with raw milk, and is raw milk yoghurt any better?
thanks again

Chris Kresser January 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Assuming the raw dairy takes the necessary precautions and has pasture-raised cows, the record shows that there are fewer incidences of disease outbreaks with raw milk is lower than pasteurized milk.

Jessica January 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi Chris,

Just wondering if you might know why supplementing with maca root is my only ‘trigger’ for a menstrual cycle. I had not had a period since December 2007, just after completing my last pack of birth control. Though I maintained a healthy weight (5’5″, 115-120lbs. average), I was diagnosed with PCOS in October-ish 2009, and started eating Paleo shortly thereafter – lots of meat and fat – and supplementing with fish oil, vit D, folate, zinc, probiotic, and iodine. Still no menstruation. This past October (2010) I found some info on maca root’s benefits on the endocrine system. Literally 1.5 weeks after adding it to my morning berries, I got a cycle. This continued through November, but when I ran out of it in December…nothing! I ordered more in January, and sure enough I had another cycle.

How can this simple addition have such a tremendous effect on me, and is it possible that its continued use can eventually correct my hormones?

Thanks for your input…Jessica

Greg February 1, 2011 at 5:53 am

Chris, I wish I could attend this with my partner. In lieu of that, do you have any reading recommendations for prenatal nutrition?


Chris Kresser February 1, 2011 at 11:06 am

Greg: I’ll be producing this as an online class series and/or a DVD in the near future. Subscribe to my blog via email or RSS to be informed when they’re released.

Elan February 2, 2011 at 12:06 am


Maybe you can mention the importance of testing for toxic metals and going through a chelation/detox for mothers long before conception? Especially mercury and lead.

- Elan

Shabnam February 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

When will you have Nutrition for conception,pregnancy & breastfeeding available as a download?I am a practicing OBGYN in Mumbai,India.Today I just got back from a Diabetes in Pregnancy seminar in Mumbai where Dr.C J Yajnik spoke on Nutritional & Environmental Programming of Fetal Epigenome.It was facinating.I am sure you have heard about DOHaD
Cant wait to read what you have to say!

Chris Kresser February 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

Shabnam: I’m hoping for a March/April launch of the online version. Thanks for your interest!

Katherine Morrison April 27, 2011 at 3:03 am

I am so looking forward to this!

Chris writes: “I’ll be offering this content as an online, 6-week seminar in the near future. Stay tuned!”

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