Is it is possible to have a healthy vegetarian pregnancy, or healthy vegan pregnancy? What can mom do to get all the nutrients needed, and to protect fetus? We have read some health articles, and now we have got some ideas for you!
Healthy vegetarian pregnancy: is it possible?
The short answer is absolutely yes. According to studies, there is no increase in major birth defects or other serious health problems when mom is on a plant-based diet. Such kind of diet may be quite healthy, and can provide all the nutrition needed for pregnant women, but only in case of appropriate planning.
The reason is pregnant women who do not eat animal foods are at a higher risk for deficiencies in certain nutrients. First of all, they may get much less iron and vitamin B12, that are extremely important during pregnancy.
Tips for vegan and vegetarian moms
- Take vitamin B12 supplements. Unfortunately, there is no vitamin B12 in plants. But but you can eat tofu, soy milk, and some cereals to get more of it.
- Try to get more iron from foods, or in supplements, too. Thus you will avoid anemia, as far as pregnant women need double of it in comparison with others. Among foods high in iron are green leafy veggies such as spinach, as well as beets, raisins, beans, peas, and lentils. In addition, you may eat fortified cereals.
- Eat more foods containing vitamin C. It will help increase iron absorption.
- In fact, usual prenatal vitamins contain all the vitamins and minerals needed, no matter if you eat meat or not.
- Think of vegetarian diet advantages for pregnant. For example, in the first trimester it is linked to a lower risk of excessive gestational weight gain. Also, eating plants may reduce risk of complications, including gestational diabetes.