If you are a vegan, you'll be happy to know that you don't need to change your diet during your pregnancy. That means yes, you can continue enjoying your diet of no milk and meat! Your baby receives nutrition from all the food you eat, so unhealthy items such as fries and bagels are strict no-nos! As long as you are consuming the right portion of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbs, it is perfectly fine to follow a complete vegan diet while you're pregnant.
According to Sari Kives, an ob-gyn at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, ON, Canada, “I don’t think vegan pregnancies are more complicated or that you have to worry about any perinatal outcomes due to diet,”
Some safety measures to take:
- Wash fruits and vegetable properly before consuming.
- Do not eat raw grains, or raw sprouted grains.
- Try not to eat under-cooked foods.
- Reduce the consumption of tea and coffee.
- Do not consume alcohol.
- Do not eat raw or unpasteurized honey; raw yeast; raw cookie dough or cake batter; or any outdated/moldy foods.
Good and safe food during pregnancy
Let's take a look at some healthy and tasty food that you can enjoy that will also ensure that your baby gets the nutrition it needs.
Lentils, peas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts are the members of this group. They're an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium— each of which is critical for both you and your fetus. Folate can also help in reducing birth defects in your newborn.
During pregnancy, you're expected to increase the consumption of vitamin A by 10 to 40 percent. One great source of vitamin A is sweet potato. This veggie is rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that becomes vitamin A in your body.
Dark leafy green veggies
Leafy veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium. These can also be a great substitute for dairy products. They also help in preventing you from developing many preventable diseases. Research has also shown a direct correlation between consuming leafy veggies, and the birth weight of your infant.
Almonds, nuts, and sesame seeds
For the development of your child's bones, you need to consume 1000mg of calcium every day during your pregnancy. Since vegans don’t consume dairy, you can get the required calcium from sesame seeds, almonds, and nuts.
Flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts
It is known to all that the best source of Omega-3 is found in fish. But because vegans don't eat fish, you must increase the consumption of flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. The minimum requirement of Omega-3 per day is at least 200mg; and starting from the second trimester, it's crucial for fetal brain and eye development.
Berries contain water, carbohydrate, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and plant compounds. So, these help in enhancing the immunity system of the mother. To provide most of the nutrients needed during pregnancy eat a minimum of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day as part of a healthy pregnancy diet. Whether you use berries to reach that limit or not is really up to you.
A woman needs to consume an additional 350 to 500 calories during her pregnancy. So, for your and your baby’s well-being, it's impeccable that you follow a healthy and well-planned diet. Speak to your healthcare provider when needed, as they can properly guide you in designing the best vegan diet chart during pregnancy.