Joy Asks for a New Tom Brewer

My friend midwife Joy, is looking for a researcher to replace Tom Brewer whose dietary writings have helped we midwives keep birth normal by encouraging pregnant mothers to eat well. With his wife he wrote, "What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know." This is a letter from Joy to the birth community:

We need some kind of academic-minded midwife or doctor to conduct some new research to support the validity of the Brewer Diet as a useful tool for preventing a whole host of pregnancy and birth complications, including pre-eclampsia.

Some women I have encountered recently have experienced enormously and profoundly painful experiences with pre-eclampsia, including some who have lost their babies in the process. And some women I have talked with have experienced deeply wounding responses from various childbirth educators or midwives who didn't accurately understand or use the Brewer Diet, who sometimes blamed these women for their own tragedies, and who get the blame for the potentially life-threatening delay in getting the medical help that their clients needed. As a result of this hurt and sense of having been betrayed, these women are pretty angry about the Brewer Diet.

Some of these women seem to be young professionals, some of them seem to be in scientific research fields, or very conversant in the modern scientific process. At the very least, they are coming from a completely different model of healthcare in childbearing than I am coming from (as described in Robbie Davis Floyd's "The Technocratic, Humanistic, and Holistic Paradigms of Childbirth"). In any case, over and over these acquaintances defame Brewer and his philosophy because there is no "peer reviewed, IRB supported research" coming out of the Brewer camp.

I went through nursing school in the early 70s, and have spent my whole career in the natural childbirth and homebirth trenches. I have a wealth of knowledge in my own field, but this new trend towards needing new research to prove the same old thing over and over again with each new decade, and disregarding anything written or proved more than 5-10 years ago, makes absolutely no sense to me. So I can't speak the language of these women, let alone make a good enough case for what I believe regarding the Brewer Diet.

The reason that I think this is so important is that lives are being lost in the name of the cause of PE being allegedly unknown, research is being funded that is going the wrong direction, and women are being misled and neglected and mis-treated into life-threatening circumstances. And all the while they are tossing Dr. Brewer's name and his reputation and his work aside as if it were so much rubbish.

So we desperately need someone to find whatever "peer reviewed, IRB supported research" is out there regarding the Brewer Diet. And we desperately need someone to conduct new Brewer-friendly research that would satisfy this new thirst, this absolute demand, for documentation with a more current date. I am assured that there is money available for funding such research, if I find the person to do it.

We are all getting older, and more and more of our mentors, peers and heroes are aging and dying, and that will only continue to be the case.
My deep desire is for us to find some new leaders to be in place and carry on the task when we are all gone.

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