I started blogging because I had a lot of trouble finding any blogs on vegan pregnancy. So, let’s talk about it!
First of all, it’s not as though my pregnancy is that much different than any other. But I did notice that nutrients I don’t typically worry about for myself are a little harder to come by at the levels I need now.
Let’s take protein. In pregnancy, you need 60-70g of it every day. There are a lot of options, but they do usually have less protein than a typical serving of “meat.” Beans, nuts, and tofu are all good, but you need more than you may want to eat. Most vegan meats come just short of what you would reasonably want as well. We discovered, however, that the Field Roast products are actually full of protein. Sausages, frankfurters, roasts, etc. all have more than 20g per serving which is great for a vegan source.
How about calcium? Well, first of all, I hated milk long before I was vegan, so I never would have been drinking that stuff. Luckily, almost all dairy substitutes are fortified (just like cow’s milk). I used to drink a lot of Silk, but I found out a couple years ago that they are owned by a dairy company. So what would be the point of that? Plus, there is some concern over the effects of soy on baby girls.
I switched to Almond Breeze (follow the link, they usually have coupons), and I love it. I used to love the Vanilla, but the baby doesn’t. I drink Chocolate now, and it only has 3g of fat and 45% of your daily calcium needs. So Delicious Coconut Yogurt is also fantastic. It tastes great, and it has 25% of your daily calcium needs!
Luna Bars are another great snack. They come in a variety of flavors, and they’re power-packed. For example, the Lemon Zest has 9g of protein, 35% of your calcium, 30% of your iron, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, and Folate (plus a lot more). Steer clear of the protein bars, though, because they are unfortunately not vegan.
My husband has also been increasing our fruit intake by about a billion with delicious smoothies in the morning. We use bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries in different rotations. The secret to adding nutrients and flavor? Vanilla Hemp Milk. It has great for you things like calcium and B12, but it also has Omegas! Not to mention, it adds that tang a good smoothie needs (trust me, he tried it with almond milk one day, and I took one sip).
Then, of course, there are the vitamins. If you’re trying to get pregnant you should start taking pre-natals long before there’s a baby. We special-ordered mine from Whole Foods, but you can probably get a vegan version at many natural food stores.
So, that’s what I’ve discovered in my first trimester of vegan pregnancy. I’m sure I’ll learn more over the next six months. Most importantly, educate yourself because your OB probably does not know much about the topic. If you know what you’re talking about, they’ll likely be more confident that veganism is ok for your baby.