It is incredibly important to eat healthily and take care of yourself when you are pregnant. After all, you have another human being inside of you that are counting on you for those nine months of pregnancy. People assume that being vegan will affect pregnancy in a negative way. As long as you pay close attention to your diet and the vitamins that you are supplementing with, you can very easily manage pregnancy and can still be vegan. Let’s take a closer look at pregnancy and nutrition and how it affects being a vegan who is expecting a child.
Make Sure You Hit All Your Nutrient Needs
You can still be vegan, there are a number of vitamins and nutrients that you need in order to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. For instance, folic acid is something that is incredibly important during the first trimester. It prevents conditions like spina bifida. You also want to make sure that you’re getting enough iron. Anemia can negatively affect your baby. It can also cause you to feel more run down and nauseas than you already are. Also, improper nutrition has been cited as a cause of premature birth.
Shifting Your Diet
If you’re craving foods that are outside of your typical vegan diet and you feel comfortable, feel free to indulge once in a while. If you are planning on sticking to your vegan diet strictly, you’ll want to make sure you’re working certain food groups into your diet. You’ll need plenty of protein from beans, soy, etc. Your prenatal vitamin probably has a good dose of iron and B vitamins, but you can also get these things from natural sources like green, leafy vegetables. Calcium won’t come from milk and dairy products for you but get your fill from citrus fruits.
Don’t Let People Make You Feel Guilty
People who don’t understand your vegan lifestyle may criticize you while you’re pregnant. Even if you haven’t asked for their opinion, they may express to you that they are worried you’re not giving the baby what he or she needs. You can simply let them know you are paying close attention to your diet and making sure you’re eating all the major nutrients that are needed during pregnancy.
If you have questions about how you can manage a vegan lifestyle while you are pregnant, you can speak to your OBGYN or a nutritionist. A professional will be able to help you design a meal plan that works for you during these nine months.