It used to be that vegans were considered weird for their diets and their wholesale rejection of meat and animal products. Now, veganism and vegetarianism have become incredibly popular, and riding that wave of healthy diets is an enormous selection of nutritional diets that you can eat during pregnancy without any fear of shorting your baby or compromising your belief system.
It’s important that when you head in for your first pre-natal checkup you tell your doctor about being a vegan. Let him or her know about your beliefs, and go over the diet you are working with now and see how you can adapt it to better suit your baby. The doctors may insist on prescribing a supplement if necessary, but most of the time all you’re going to need to do is put a few new foods into your diet to help your body deliver the more intense nutritional needs of your baby.
Sounds good so far, right? Well, there are a few troublesome things that might arise from being a pregnant vegan. Vitamin B12 can sometimes be a little hard to come by as a vegan since you’re not eating or drinking anything from the dairy section. To combat this, you should consult your doctor and make sure that your diet is compensating for this natural deficiency. Supplements might be prescribed, or they might just suggest you purchase some soy milk, yeasts, or other foods that are made for those with the vegan lifestyle that are fortified with Vitamin B12.
The great news is that most cereals contain B12, so it might not be a bad idea to stop off at the store and pick up some of your favorite cereal and check on the B12 in the “Nutritional Facts” section of the box. You just might be surprised at what you can get!
Vitamin D is another commonly deficient nutrient in vegans, but it’s not hard to compensate for this. All you need to do is get twenty to thirty minutes of direct sunlight every day and you can forget about the Vitamin D concerns. Your schedule might hurt this however, as you might be stuck indoors most of the time. In these cases, your doctor will be able to assign you a supplement to take that will help you stay on top of your baby’s Vitamin D needs.