Pros and Cons of Eating Vegan During Pregnancy

September 28, 2016

When you think of a vegan pregnancy, what health benefits come to mind?

  • Healthy fetus and brain development
  • Disease prevention
  • Avoid or lessen morning sickness
  • Pregnant mother with more energy
  • Stay fit and maintain a healthy body weight

Believe it or not, a balanced and planned vegan pregnancy can effectively help a mother and child in all areas mentioned.

How Important is Prenatal Diet?

A mother’s diet plays an integral role in the development of her unborn baby. Nutrition plays a strong part in developing the baby’s brain while protecting and building the immune system. Not only during childhood but brain development plays a significant part in the long-term mental health of a child.

During a mother’s first and second trimester, it is beneficial to avoid chemicals, processed foods, and other harmful substances because the child’s brain is going through significant development and which will continue until the child is a toddler and contributes to the child’s learning ability into adulthood.

Vegan Pregnancy: The Pros

Vegan mothers can maintain their dietary lifestyle by making sure they’re getting the corrective vitamins and nutrients. It is important that they speak to their physician or pediatrician about their dietary plans during pregnancy.

Are there any benefits to a vegan diet while pregnant? Most people are familiar with vegans who claim to have more energy due to their diet, but what about during pregnancy?

In the video above, one mother shared her experience of a vegan pregnancy saying…

“It was the first experience for me… looking back at my pregnancy, all I can do is just express gratitude to this lifestyle for enabling me to experience an incredible pregnancy, it was my golden age. I didn’t go through all the heavy symptoms that many women go through. I didn’t experience swelling, I didn’t experience morning sickness… I had the strength, I had the energy to exercise and perform all the tasks. I didn’t put on a huge amount of weight at all. There was no fat hanging off me anywhere and I felt so amazing about it.”

In this video another mother shared her experience, she actually converted to a vegan diet after experiencing constant sickness and health problems. What was the result? What happened during her second pregnancy when she was completely vegan?

“My first pregnancy wasn’t vegan or vegetarian until I was five months pregnant… My first pregnancy was pretty hard. The first five months was quite challenging because I didn’t gain weight, I lost weight. I was nauseous all of the time, I had gestational diabetes and I was only 21. So I knew it’s not normal… I had a friend in Lithuania who was a raw vegan for a long time. So I reached out to him and asked him what he thinks… He offered me to try a vegan diet. I quit all animal products and the next day, I was vegan! And I felt good! That’s when I started feeling good! The first time in five months, being nauseous and not enjoying my pregnancy. I started enjoying my pregnancy… My second pregnancy was completely vegan, mostly raw… The second pregnancy was awesome. I loved every second of it. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t nauseous, not even once. The birth was awesome! I can’t wait for my third one.”

Can a vegan diet really help mothers avoid morning sickness?

Absolutely. Morning sickness is the body’s way of protecting a fetus and attempting to cleanse the mother’s body. Many toxins and chemicals that are removed come from meat and dairy. Plant-based foods help fight against toxins. So, basically, morning sickness isn’t necessary! In addition, a vegan diet helps protect against diseases and infections because a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables helps to maintain a healthy weight and is full of powerful vitamins and anti-oxidants.

What Should a Vegan Mother Be Eating During Pregnancy?

Eliza Zied, R.D, author of Feed Your Family Right, in the video above, spoke on several types of foods that “green mothers” should consider, saying…

Pick your protein , this nutrient is essential for your baby’s organ and tissue growth. Choose small portions of beans, nuts, nut butters, quinoa, tofu or soy milk…

Build up your iron. This mineral carries oxygen in the blood. Choose plant proteins like beans, tofu and soy milk. Other sources include fortified cereals, instant oats, potatoes and whole wheat bread.

Boost iron absorption by pairing them with foods rich in vitamin C, including oranges and sweet peppers.

Be aware of B12 , this vitamin helps your baby’s brain and nervous system. Sources include breakfast cereals, soy milk, and veggie burgers…

Zero in on zinc. It supports a healthy immune system. Sources include beans, zinc-fortified cereals, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds. Be sure to discuss a supplement with your doctor if you exclude dairy product or fish…”

Vegan Pregnancy: The Cons

There are several cons that mothers need to be mindful of if they’re learning towards vegan pregnancy.

  1. You have to constantly monitor your nutrients. Many vegans and vegetarians fail to get sufficient protein. A mother may also be missing out omega-3 fatty acids.

  2. Carefully wash produce to avoid toxoplasmosis.

  3. Pregnancy is not the time to dive into a vegan diet. If you haven’t been a vegan before, consider a diet that is 50% vegan diet before you move ahead.

The Bottom Line

A vegan pregnancy has many benefits, but it isn’t something that mothers should move forward with until they’ve done research. Even mothers who are experienced vegans should consult their physicians and dietitians to ensure that they plan their diet effectively.

For more articles like this one check out the Pregnancy & Babies section of your blog.

Hand Picked Related Articles

We Want to Help You Find a Great Sitter or Sitter Job is an online community connecting parents with a nationwide network of sitters, child care providers and nannies for hire, offering the opportunity to find the care that best matches their specific needs.

Need a Sitter?

Need a Sitter Job?

Quickly and easily find a nanny, babysitter and child care jobs in your area, anywhere in the United States and Canada.