Is a Vegetarian Diet Safe During Pregnancy? Foodie Blog Time

(6-minute read)

If you are pregnant, congratulations! If you are not with child, please remember that SHARING IS CARING!

Can you and your unborn baby safely benefit from a vegetarian lifestyle? Additionally, how are you going to satisfy those midnight cravings for sausage and pepperoni pizzas and cheeseburgers? Besides, your doctor told you to down a gallon of milk a day … are you harming your baby by going for a totally vegetarian pregnancy? 

Those are just a few of the sensible questions concerned mothers-to-be have about the effects of a vegetarian diet on pregnancy and delivery. The good news? It is relatively easy to enjoy a pregnant-conscious diet that meets all your demanding needs at this amazing time of your life. 

– You Had Better Be Hungry 

Vegans and vegetarians are usually slim and trim. They generally have little body fat. Does this sound like you? If so, get ready to get hungry. You are going to have to eat a lot of vegetarian food if you do not include milk, eggs, and dairy in your diet.  

One way to increase your caloric intake is to focus on those vegetarian foods which are higher in fat. You may also try eating 6 or 7 times a day, ingesting foods that are low in bulk. Focus on dried fruits, nuts and nut butters, bean products, soy, and other high-fat foods. 

In your 2nd trimester, you need between 300 and 350 extra calories per day. Your body also requires 450 or so more calories in your 3rd trimester than your normal non-pregnant daily allowance. If you believe you are gaining too much weight too quickly, replace some of your fatty foods with legumes, grains, and fruits.  

– Omega 3s Are Vitally Important 

Omega 3s are essential fatty acids that your baby and your body need desperately during pregnancy. If you are a true vegetarian or vegan, and not a pescatarian (fish-eating vegetarian), you are going to need to get sufficient omega 3 fats into your diet somehow. The human body does not produce this EFA that studies have found are so important for your child’s visual and mental development. 

If fish is out of the question (salmon and sardines are extremely high in omega 3 fatty acids), begin eating flax, walnuts, pinto or kidney beans, canola oil, broccoli and leafy green vegetables. This is a very important component for you and your baby’s health, so consult your doctor if you are concerned you will not be getting enough omega 3 fatty acids in your pregnancy diet. 

– Excellent “Pregnant Vegetarian” Resources 

This brief article provides nowhere near the total information you need to enjoy a healthy vegetarian-based pregnancy. The following resources are highly regarded by previous purchasers who went through a successful vegetarian or vegan pregnancy. 

The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook: Whole Foods To Nourish Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women – And Their Families – This 429-page paperback written by naturalist and vegan author Cathe Olson covers everything the pregnant vegetarian needs to know about successfully delivering a healthy baby on a plant-based diet.  

Your Vegetarian Pregnancy: A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition – This paperback is also available as a digital download for instant access. The book is 400 informative pages long, written by 25-year vegetarian, osteopathic obstetrician-gynecologist Holly Roberts. From protein considerations to the importance of Vitamin B1, the author walks you through all stages of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery, and post-pregnancy as a vegetarian. 

Oh yeah, about those meat-based pregnancy cravings? You need to satisfy them with a lot of … willpower! 

Pregnant or not, take extraordinarily good care of yourself.