I've been seeing an acupuncturist since before I got pregnant and I really like her. I told her I was mostly vegan. I am about 5 weeks pregnant. She felt my pulse the other day and said my blood was not flowing strongly enough and that my baby wanted red meat. I fell for it and had a burger which I have not had in years but now I feel terrible about it for ethical reasons.. I don't want to go back to eating meat because of this pregnancy when I know in my heart that it's not necessary. I asked her if it was iron she was talking about (I was just tested for that so I know I am not iron deficient ) and she said it didn't translate and that I actually needed to consume blood. Does anyone know other ways I can nourish my blood according to traditional chinese medicine?
Hi, Alexis, I've been a vegan for about five years now and know personally from my own diet and lifestyle that eating meat is not necessary to obtain enough iron and other nutrients and wouldn't think it would be necessary for your baby either. Our ancestors went long stretches of time without meat, eating foraged roots, berries, and other plant-based foods. I am in medical school right now and wish I had all the answers to your question, but the truth is, we really don't get a lot of nutrition training, unfortunately, and we certainly wouldn't be taught vegan options if we did. As I was pondering your predicament I did come across this post by Alicia on this website: http://thekindlife.com/blog/post/our-next-book-club-book-is-2
I haven't read the book myself, but maybe it would give you more information.
I'm not sure what your acupuncturist meant by your "blood not flowing strongly enough." Even though I think it is wonderful that you are seeing an acupuncturist it might be worth seeing an M.D. or an D.O. (if you aren't doing so already) to make sure your heart is circulating your blood properly. If you aren't feeling sick though and your blood iron results were normal, you are probably just fine. If you can find a physician that is open to alternative health practitioners like acupuncturists, it could really put your mind at ease to tell the physician what your acupuncturist said and get his or her opinion on the matter.
Another article on blood flow changes during pregnancy: http://www.livestrong.com/article/162107-blood-circulation-pregnancy/
I am not an expert and am just learning myself, but I hope this helped a little. I wish you the best!
I think she's been reading too much Twilight ... we don't need to consume blood. I like acupuncture and think it has a place as a therapy but disagree with that part of their belief system. I think you should stick to your own set of beliefs ... I would keep seeing her for the sessions but would make it clear I didn't want to hear about her thoughts on eating animals. Better still find another acupuncturist that doesn't push suggestions like that on you, I know there are some out there as this has been a topic on here previously, so maybe do a search.
Thanks for the feedback. The acupuncturist didn't say anything specifically about circulation.. in fact I can't even remember the exact words she used. I am not sure if there is an actual medical or nutritional equivalency. I am going to send her an email to let her know that I don't feel comfortable with red meat or other animal product recommendations and that if she could find some plant-based equivalents for things like this then I would appreciate it. If she can't do that, then I might stop seeing her.
I feel really good and eat a very nutritious diet with lots of veggies, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, etc. and pay close attention to making sure I get enough iron, calcium, B12, folate and other nutrients. I also got tested for those nutrients and was good on all of them except I was a little low on vitamin D but who isn't. I also take a prenatal vitamin so I'd be surprised if I was deficient in anything. I am trying to eat more protein.
Hi Alexis, my acupuncturist was the only one who expressed concern with my vegan diet - and now that I'm nearly 6 months in, she's backed off. During the first trimester whenever I told her I was tired, she said it was because I was vegan and I kept telling her, no it's because the first trimester is exhausting.
From what I understand, the energy that they talk about in Eastern medicine doesn't necessarily have a counterpart in Western medicine, but if you feel okay (within the scope of how pregnant women feel) and your md is okay with your tests and bloodwork, there's no need to address a problem that may not really exist.
Thanks Stacey and Alexia. I guess in TCM it is a "blood deficiency" but when I looked that up it can also be taken care of with black beans, beets and red berries. I am also tired but I don't think it is because I am vegan. Right now, I am getting all kinds of weird food aversions. All of a sudden the thought of cooked veggies and ethnic spices (which is what I used to make all the time) makes me gag. So, I am just trying to eat a balanced, healthy diet using foods like homemade juices, smoothies and salads. For some reasons it's all about raw for me right now (even though my acupuncturist has told me to focus on cooked, warming foods). But, I have to listen to my body and eat what it can stand right now! Every day is a little different in terms of what I can stomach.
i'm like that right now too. All i want is fruit. It's cold outside so my body should be wanting warm stuff but it's not. Sometimes i just get tired of tasting cooked vegies. And then i'll do that for a while and start craving hearty cooked stews.
Sometimes i'll do a whole day where i just eat fruit. And sometimes i'll do a day of high protien (kinda adkins diety) and just do a nut day. I'll loose a couple pounds and it gives me a day to really FEEL what my body is craving and needs. I'll crave all kinds of healthy stuff that i never eat so i go to grocery store and buy it all and eat it the next day. Gives me a whole new appreciation for food that i wanta gag when i think about. Lol
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