How to Have a Healthy Vegan Pregnancy

How to Have a Healthy Vegan Pregnancy
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Can you be vegan while pregnant? Definitely! The most important thing to remember when you are pregnant is that you want a nutritious, balanced diet. This is true no matter what your way of eating was before you got pregnant. As someone who follows a vegan diet, you just want to be sure you get all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Consult Your Doctor First

Before you do anything else, talk to your OBGYN about your diet. Let them know that you follow a vegan lifestyle, and would like to continue this way throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor will give you some great advice and point you toward a prenatal that will work best for your needs. Most doctors are just fine with you being on a vegan diet, as long as you take your prenatal and any recommended supplements, and that you get enough nutrition on a daily basis.

Eat Foods From all the Vegan Food Groups

A little trick for making sure you get a balance of nutrients on your vegan diet is to choose foods from each of the main vegan food groups, preferably for every meal if you can.

There are many food groups in a vegan diet, though they are different from the traditional food groups of an American diet.

They include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Protein sources (like tempeh and tofu)
  • Healthy fats (olive oil, avocados)

Take Your Prenatal

Prenatals are essential for every pregnant woman, no matter what diet or lifestyle! Your doctor or midwife can suggest some vegan-friendly prenatal vitamins to take. In most cases, you don’t want to just choose the prenatal on your own. The medical professional who is overseeing your pregnancy will have some good suggestions for you.

Getting These Key Nutrients

Here are some key nutrients to focus on getting while you are pregnant:

Folate – Folate, also known as folic acid, is essential for protecting your baby from certain birth defects, including spinal Bifida. There should be adequate folate in your prenatal.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps iron to absorb better in your body, so you want to be sure you get enough of it through citrus fruits and veggies like broccoli.

Iron – To get iron from vegan foods, eat plenty of spinach, peach, lentils, and sweet potatoes. If you are pregnant in the fall, enjoy some pumpkins.

B12 – Unfortunately, B12 is a little harder to get through food sources when you are on a vegan diet. While pregnant, make it a priority to get enough through your prenatal or ask your doctor about a second supplement for this one.

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