Being pregnant and bringing another human being into the world is a beautiful and wonderful thing. That is why it’s no wonder that so many mothers-to-be decide to switch to a vegan diet (diet based on vegetables). Many might tell you that is not a good idea, but if you’re already vegan it’s not going to be a problem. Even if you’re not, the baby is not going to mind some raw fruits and veggies as long as you’re taking in enough nutrients that you both very much need. So, therefore what can you do in order to have a healthy vegan pregnancy?
KEY TIPS TO CONSIDER:
GETTING THE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Every mother-to-be has to increase her vitamin and mineral intake because of the pregnancy. This is especially important if you’re on a vegan diet. However, you shouldn’t worry, since there are plenty of nutrients in fruits and vegetables that you can easily get.
PROTEINS: Every expecting woman needs more protein than ever because this essential nutrient helps with building cells and making hormones of your baby. You can easily rely on legumes, whole grains, soy, nuts and seeds to get your daily intake of proteins.
CALCIUM: Calcium is essential for building the baby’s bones, heart, nerves and muscles. It is so important that if you’re not eating enough calcium for the both of you, the baby is going to borrow it from your bones. So, your daily intake of calcium should be 1,000mg and you can rely on vegan foods to get the amount. There is plenty of calcium in green leafy veggies, soy milk, tofu. Consult your healthcare provider before taking supplements.
IRON: Since your blood volume increases by almost 50% during pregnancy, you have to consume more iron in order to produce more red blood cells. You’re going to need about 27mg of iron each day and you can solve this problem by taking supplements. Also, iron can be found in beans, soy products, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, spinach and kale.
Besides these three essentials, you are going to have to increase your intake of vitamin B12. This vitamin is important for brain development and it can be found in fortified soy milk, fortified cereals and fortified meat substitutes. Also, vitamin D is another nutrient both of you are going to need. It can be found in various types of bread and cereals but you can also opt for supplements after consulting your healthcare provider.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISING
No matter what your diet consists of, you should exercise regularly. Exercises will keep your mind and body healthy, as well as your baby’s developing mind and body. Also, since pregnancy can sometimes drain your energy, especially if you lack nutrients, physical activity will make you feel better and give you that extra boost of energy. Also, it will relieve constipation, back pain and swelling in your feet. Not to mention how it can help relieve your stress as well.
So, to get yourself started, you can rely on some light exercises at home with some stretching. However, you can even try something new, like golfing. Golfing will get you outside in the fresh air and warm sun, while it will bring all those health benefits of exercising. For that extra flexibility, you can try doing yoga under the care of an experienced instructor. Not only will yoga help you keep stress levels under check, but it will keep your body well-stretched.
HANDLING YOUR CRAVINGS
It is normal to experience various cravings throughout pregnancy. This is all due to the changes in hormones and you might find yourself craving for even non-vegan foods. If that’s the case, you can simply rely on your favorite meat substitutes rich in protein and they should certainly help with cravings.
Finally, every woman is different, so is every pregnancy. However, there is not much difference in going through pregnancy while being vegan. You simply have to pay attention to consuming enough nutrients and vitamins so your baby can grow and develop in a healthy way. Eat regularly, watch your nutrients intake, exercise regularly, consult with your doctor and you will surely have a healthy vegan pregnancy.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO VISIT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR MORE