Is is safe for my baby to continue my vegan diet when pregnant?
Yes and no. It is quite possible to have a safe, healthy pregnancy while maintaining a strict vegan diet according to reputable organizations such the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That it is of course, you plan to make up for the nutrients missing in a diet that avoids animal products. Many of our patients are vegan or vegetarian.
What kind of problems can arise if I continue my vegan diet during pregnancy?
The biggest issue is a vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B12 and iron are most likely to be an issue, and both are important for your unborn baby. It may be difficult to get enough iron with a plant based diet alone and without vitamins you will not get enough vitamin B12. Adequate vitamin supplementation is essential. Nausea and vomitting in pregnancy, and changes in your cravings may challenge your desire to avoid animal based products.
How do I plan for pregnancy if I am vegan?
See your doctor or midwife before you conceive. They can discuss the proper vitamins and supplements to maximize your chances for a healthy pregnancy.
Are there any advantages to a vegan diet in pregnancy?
While a balanced diet is advised during pregnancy, women who follow a vegan diet are less likely to excess weight gain during the pregnancy.