Since pregnant women need so many more vital nutrients to support herself and the growing baby, how does a vegetarian fit it all into her diet? I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian (for the health benefits but mainly the ethical responsiblity to the humane treatment of animals and the enviroment), but I still am unsure about how to handle the new lifestyle. Already I've cut back the meat considerably, but its that final leap that scares me. If any one can help or has advice, please share....I'd appreciate it.
Being vegetarian or vegan during your pregnancy is absolutley fine! When I told my midwife I was vegan it didn't even phase her, this whole idea that you need to eat animal products to be healthy or to have a healthy baby is ridiculous. You should really check out Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven and Your Vegetarian Pregnancy both are great books with tons of information and will really help answer all your questions. Just remember to find a vegetarian pre-natal vitamin that has folic acid in it and start taking it now and continue through out your entire pregnancy.
Thanks for the book recommendations, definitely will check them out! I'm still hesitant about going at it 100%, but I do know that I want to at least cut back even more so my meals 90-95% of the time are vegetarian, while only eating meat on special occassions or when a bad craving hits. Eventually I would like to phase it out completely, but I know I need to start small so I don't discourage or overwhelm myself. That being said, I definitely need some veg. recipes to cook!
I was vegetarian through my entire pregnancy and it was never an issue for me or my midwife. It's entirely possible to get all the nutrients you and your baby need as long as you're eating a good variety of plant based foods, per all of the vegetarin and vegan nutrion books I've seen. My 8 year old daughter was born very, very healthy and has been vegetarian all of her life and vegan for the last 3 years. For a visual to put your mind at ease, just remember that most of the people in India are vegetarians and they don't seem to be having any trouble keeping the healthy population growing there. :-)
My favorite recipe site on the web is www.vegweb.com. They have veggie version of everything on there.
Good luck with your transition and best wishes for a wonderful and healthy pregnancy.
I was vegetarian during my first pregnancy and it was fine but I think I overdid it on the dairy and sugar. I ended up gaining a lot of weight, had some swelling and got gestational diabetes. Otherwise, I had a healthy baby boy who is now a healthy and very active 3 year old! In the beginning of my 2nd pregnancy, I read "Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven" and decided to go full vegan. I just made sure I got all of the nutrients and took a supplement for folic acid and iron (I was iron deficient but this is not always the case with veg's). Anyway, in this pregnancy, I gained less weight, had no gestational diabetes and no swelling and a very healthy baby girl. I definitely recommend a vegan diet to anybody (pregnant or not). Just make sure you read up on it and get lots of nutrient rich food for you and your baby!
I've been vegan through 2 pregnancies and I'm pregnant again with my third. I'm also breastfeeding while I'm pregnant this time. I feel great! I'm mostly on the Superhero diet. I can't tell you how much better I feel now that I'm eating less processed foods. When children come along, it's easy to get addicted to processed foods because they are fast and easy, but I don't have any energy once I've eaten them. Now that I'm back on a whole foods/vegan macro diet, I feel fantastic. I eat more meals though, which makes sense, because when you eat whole foods, you eat less at a sitting because your body is getting more pure nutrients and it gets filled faster. But I have to re-fuel a little more often when I'm pregnant or breastfeeding. Go for it! Go vegan and listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat. But make it nutritious . Good luck!
Just think of all the antibiotics, hormones and excess cholesterol passing from the meat you ate directly to the baby growing inside of you. That's all it took for me to decide to eat vegan during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I also went organic to limit the baby's exposure to unnecessary chemicals found on the vegan food I consume. Life is hard enough without starting it unhealthy from animal products.
I have been vegetarian (mostly vegan...I've had cheese a few times) during my pregnancy and it is perfectly safe. I find that I don't have a lot of the problems that most women complain about during pregnancy and I feel good knowing that I am putting only healthy, cruelty-free foods in my body. I haven't had any problems getting the right amount of protein or iron. If you do your research, you will find that veg pregnancies are tyically healthier than non-veg pregnancies. What better start to give our babies than a healthy, whole-foods, plant-based diet?