Vegan Pregnancy (Safety, Benefits, Risks)
Pregnancy is a “one in a lifetime” event every woman wants to experience. Imagine you are adding a new member to your precious family.
But there are things that you should be aware of that. Pregnancy is one of the most sensitive happenings. Everything that has contact with the carrier will affect the baby, too. Such as foods you are eating, things that you drink, etc.
We are going to discuss vegan pregnancy. As you know, vegans believe that they should not eat animals because they harm them and their ecosystem. This belief is traced back to ancient India, and most Indian philosophers thought they should avoid hurting animals.
A woman’s body needs everything during pregnancy. The fetus needs high protein, vitamins, iron, etc.
Meat is one of the primary resources of these items. Vegans can’t it core, so it may cause many questions for our vegan women such as “Is vegan pregnancy good for the baby?”
“Can a vegan diet while pregnant cause harm to the fetus and ourselves?
Stay with us on Hipregnancy so we can answer your questions about vegan while pregnant.
Also Read: Ketogenic Diet For Pregnancy
Vegan pregnancy’s benefits (+ 3 significant advantages)
Vegetarianism has emerged as one of today’s society’s most popular dietary choices.
This approach to diet is becoming more prevalent in today’s society due to its enormous health advantages and environmental benefits.
Consequently, many individuals, including pregnant women, have begun to use this approach.
It is a common misconception among those who work in the medical field that adhering to a vegetarian diet deprives the mother of essential nutrients like folic acid, protein, and calcium, all of which are essential for the growth and development of the kid.
However, this is not the case. A kid may get all the nutrients necessary for healthy development from a diet mainly composed of plant foods; the only exception is vitamin B12, which is seldom found in plant-based meals.
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Let’s take a more in-depth look at the reasons why a vegan diet while pregnant is the best choice for women:
1. Reduced risk of some neural tube defects and brain tumors
Red and white meats are one of the primary nitrate resources. The high nitrate value can cause a Reduced risk of some neural tube defects and brain tumors.
A vegan diet while pregnant can reduce the amount of nitrate in our bodies and save us from this dangerous disease.
2. Reduced risk of gestational diabetes
One of the other vegan pregnancy benefits is that it reduces the risk of gestational diabetes.
A vegan diet that contains high fiber, such as veggies, fruits, and all kinds of grains — and is low in saturated fat may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain. (Read more about a list of foods to eat with gestational diabetes)
A vegan diet during pregnancy may help women with gestational diabetes to have much fewer cesarean sections and minimize the quantity of insulin their bodies need throughout pregnancy.
3.Reduced risk of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a disease usually caused during pregnancy that comes with high blood pressure and causes severe organ damage. If you look at the various types of research, you will see vegan mothers who have good prenatal care and are supplemented with high protein and vitamin resources have only one developed preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is associated with weight gain and high-fat foods.
A healthy diet is one of the benefits of vegan pregnancy.
Now, up until this point in the essay, we have learned that adhering to a vegan diet while pregnant is not only safe as long as a medical professional monitors the mother, but it also has the potential to be of great benefit to the developing fetus as well as the mother.
Also Read: sprouts during pregnancy
However, it is essential to keep in mind that a vegan diet, just like any other diet, may produce deficiencies in the body of the pregnant mother and the baby, as follows:
Vegan pregnancy risks (Deficiencies)
A vegan diet while pregnantshould be very well-calculated and well-planned. If not, it may cause loss of essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D, calcium, iron increase, etc., which may cause low birth weight and congenital disabilities.
- Vitamin B-12:
You cannot find this vitamin in plants, so supplement. Vitamin B-12 is included in all standard prenatal supplements.
You should eat plant-based sources of iron, including foods, such as beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. You must take supplements, especially in the second half of your pregnancy.
The second half of pregnancy is much more important than the first half of pregnancy because the fetus needs a lot of blood and iron. (Read more about iron rich foods for pregnancy)
Rich sources of calcium to include in a vegetarian diet for pregnancy are brown and white bread, sesame seeds, dried fruits, fortified unsweetened soya and peas, spinach, collard greens, and kale.
- Nutrients such as zinc and iodine:
These nutrients are found in some vegetables, foods like plant-based drinks, and prenatal supplements.
Pregnant women need about 70 grams of protein daily in the second and third trimesters. Red meat is one of the primary protein resources, so women who have vegan pregnancies need to be supplemented. Plant foods with high protein sources include beans, tofu, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Vitamin D:
Sunlight is one of the leading vitamin D resources. You may need a supplement if you don’t get enough vitamin D from the sun.
- Omega-3 fats:
EPA and DHA are two omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for baby’s brain, eye, and nervous system development. Pregnant ladies on a vegan diet have low blood levels of these fatty acids. Consuming foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, and edamame can help them gain more omega-3 fatty acids.
As you can see, women with vegan pregnancies should be prudent. Now, one of the main questions is, “So what should we eat if we have a vegan diet during pregnancy?”
Stay with us so we can explain it in our vegan pregnancy guide.
Also Read: Detoxing While Breastfeeding
Vegan pregnancy grocery list
You should be aware of what nutrients are essential for your vegan pregnancy:
- Tofu, seitan, and tempeh:
Products made from soy are an excellent source of protein and may be used in many places where meat is traditionally used. Another choice is to consume mock meats, which, despite their resemblance to natural beef, should be avoided due to their high levels of fat and salt. As mentioned before, high levels of fat and salt during pregnancy may pose serious health risks to the mother and the unborn child.
Fiber and protein-rich plant foods such as beans, peas, and lentils may be abundant in these foods. It is possible to make it simpler for your body to absorb nutrients by thoroughly sprouting, fermenting, or boiling foods. In plant-based pregnancies, getting enough fiber is very necessary.
- Nuts and seeds:
The vast majority are excellent suppliers of iron and zinc. Consume one to two Brazil nuts daily to fulfill your body’s needs for selenium. Chew on walnuts and hemp, chia, or flax seeds to get alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an important omega-3 fatty acid. (One of the essential vitamins for a baby’s development is omega-3.)
- Fermented or sprouted plant foods:
Ezekiel bread, miso, tempeh, natto, pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha are good sources of probiotics and vitamin K2, respectively. These nutrients are simple for your body to assimilate into its system.
- Nutritional yeast:
Besides being high in protein, this topping often contains vitamin B12 and tastes cheesy taste to the food you prepare.
- Whole grains, cereals, and pseudo cereals:
In addition to being high in fiber and B vitamins, consuming these foods may also give a small amount of iron and zinc, which are among the essential nutrients for pregnant vegan women. Teff, amaranth, spelled, and quinoa are just a few examples of grains with high protein content.
- Fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables that are purple, red, and orange, in addition to leafy greens, are richest in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, which is helpful for pregnant vegan women.
- Calcium-fortified yogurts and plant milk:
Consuming a vegan diet that includes these items will make receiving the necessary calcium while pregnant much simpler. Choose varieties that do not have any added sweetener wherever it is feasible.
Best vegan prenatal vitamins
You may find it hard to find the best vegan prenatal vitamin, as plenty of vegan prenatal vitamins are available.
Here are some of the best options you can take, but it is recommended to consult your doctor before trying them, as your doctor must know what you take to help you support a healthy pregnancy. Let’s see what vegan prenatal vitamins you can take.
- Future Kind Vegan Prenatal Multivitamins: These prenatal vitamins contain vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, iron, choline, zinc, and DHA and can be taken twice a day during preconception, while pregnant, and lactation.
- Mykind Organics Prenatal Multi: This vegan prenatal vitamin is a blend of nine organic fruits and tastes like berries. Moreover, it contains 800IU of vegan vitamin D3 and 600mg of folate.
- Best Nest Wellness Mama Bird Prenatal AM/PM: This prenatal vitamin is a rich source of choline and is designed to be taken twice a day.
- Premama Prenatal Vitamin: Iron, choline, folate, and algae-based DHA are key ingredients in this vegan prenatal vitamin. The positive aspect of this option is that is easy to swallow and flavored with peppermint oil.
Pregnant vegetarian meal plan
Here are some food examples that you can include in your vegan meal plan while pregnant. Let’s see what you can eat as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.
- Chia pudding made with soy milk and topped with nuts, fruits, and seeds
- Breakfast burrito made with roasted mushrooms, scrambled tofu, and pesto in a whole wheat tortilla
- Spinach-mango-oat smoothie
- Pancakes topped with plant yogurt, peanut butter, fruit, and a touch of maple syrup
- Homemade vegan blueberry-rosemary scones served with plant yogurt, nut butter, fresh fruit, and a glass of fortified orange juice
- White bean pumpkin soup topped with pumpkin seeds, puffed quinoa, shredded red cabbage, and a drizzle of coconut milk
- Quinoa, roasted peppers, diced avocados, black beans, and sunflower seeds on a bed of greens, topped with lemon-basil vinaigrette
- Veggie sushi rolls, wakame salad, vegan miso soup, and edamame
- Whole grain pita chips with salsa, guacamole, black bean dip, and roasted kale chips
- Spanish-style tortilla de patatas made with chickpea flour, onions, English potatoes, and black beans served on a bed of greens and diced peppers
- Stir-fry with tempeh, rice noodles, bok choy, peppers, baby corn, and vegan teriyaki sauce
- Fully loaded veggie burger with a side of carrot coleslaw and red cabbage
- Red lentil dahl with spinach, broccoli, carrots, and served over wild rice
- Baked sweet potatoes topped with tomato sauce, white beans, avocado, corn, and sautéed collard greens
- Whole grain penne pasta with tofu- or seitan-based tomato sauce on a bed of arugula
- Popcorn topped with nutritional yeast
- Homemade muffins
- Roasted chickpeas
- Chia pudding
- Fresh fruit with nut butter
- Hummus with vegetables
[ 1: healthline ]
Do vegans have more miscarriages?
Since food options for vegans are limited, you may think that the chance of miscarriage in vegans is higher. Although the possibility of nutrition deficiencies is higher in pregnant ladies following a vegan diet, no scientific evidence supports that vegans have more miscarriages.
Vegans can receive the nutrients through non-animal-based foods and supplements containing iron, protein, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D to support the baby’s growth. As a result, if you are vegan, there is no need to panic. Just follow your doctor’s guidelines and enjoy your pregnancy journey.
In the end
During a vegan pregnancy, you should be aware that a lack of proteins in veggies and fruits can harm your body and the baby you carry. You should select the best options to maintain your body.
At the end of the adventure, you will have a little guy/lady in your family. So, we recommend you be careful with your experience.
Thanks for reading our vegan during pregnancy guide. If you had any problems with your vegan diet while pregnant, remember that you can always return to this article.
Thanks for staying with us, and if you have any experience with vegan and pregnant, please share it with us.