Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It can also be one of the most stressful, dealing with various symptoms and changes all while figuring out how to eat to provide the best nutrition for a growing fetus. Pregnancy is a high metabolic and nutritionally demanding phase of life, and this means a bit more nutritional planning and consideration is necessary to meet these drastic physiological changes.
Can you have a healthy and thriving vegan pregnancy?
The answer is a resounding yes if it is under the supervision of a nutritionist or an informed mother. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the nation’s largest organization of dietitians, published a paper on plant-based diets, saying a vegan diet is healthy and nutritionally adequate for pregnant women, so long as there is appropriate planning as women who forgo meat products are at a higher risk of being lower in nutrients, especially iron and vitamin b12. Below are some of the most important factors for women to consider when choosing to have a pregnancy fueled by a plant-based diet.
Micronutrients are the missing link among many who follow a plant-based diet. Micronutrients are essential for any pregnant woman. Vegan women may want to pay special attention to omega 3, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D3, and choline. For instance, The absorption of omega 3 from seeds is very low compared to the animal product. As well the iron has a low absorption rate. Calcium intake for pregnant/lactating 14-18 years old 1300 mg/day and for pregnant/lactating 19-45 years old 1000 mg/day. Vitamin D3 provided by fish, organic eggs, and Ultra 2 from the sun. So it will be hard for a vegan woman to be pregnant in Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway. Folate helps make DNA, amino acids, supports cell division, prevents neural tube defects, and megaloblastic anemia. The recommendation for pregnancy is 600–800 micrograms per day.
Eat enough calories
There’s a common misconception that pregnancy requires double the amount of calories than is normal, that because some people think that during pregnancy there is two-persons to count. In reality, calories must be counted according to the Basal metabolic rate BMR.
It is important to drink enough fluid during pregnancy, especially during the hot summer months. Drinking coffee and drinks including caffeine will make you dehydrated. That is why put that into consideration.
Drinking over 200 mg per day is associated with a significantly increased risk of miscarriage. Mothers should keep caffeine consumption below 200 mg per day. This is similar to the amount of caffeine in about 2 cups of coffee or tea. Breast milk concentrations of caffeine are thought to be approximately 50% of maternal serum concentrations, and caffeine is excreted slowly by and may accumulate in infants. Caffeine can cause sleep disturbances, irritability, and increased bowel activity in breastfed infants.14 Large amounts of caffeine may cause or worsen fibrocystic breast disease.
High alcohol intake (>31 g/day) may have negative effects on the cardiovascular system, including an increase in blood pressure, that because without alcohol the blood pressure is higher among pregnant women. imagine what will happen with alcohol consumption. Alcohol cause activation of the sympathetic system, and an increase in the incidence of atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and hemorrhagic stroke, increase plasma triglyceride levels and in patients with underlying hypertriglyceridemia. The triglyceride elevations can be marked and are associated with the development of pancreatitis.
If you consider the vegan diet or any consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team will support you with a complete nutritious diet to accomplish your pregnancy.