Should you remain vegan while pregnant?

By: Health Local Staff Jun 23, 2014
Should you remain vegan while pregnant?

Critics say there is not enough protein in a vegan diet, but doctors disagree.

Recently in the news was the pregnancy of a blogger from Down Under, Loni J. Anthony, who maintained a vegan diet for nine months, giving birth to a healthy baby. Loni gained forty pounds during her pregnancy and dropped over twenty of them immediately following the birth. Her baby was delivered healthy and continues to thrive. So, what’s wrong with a vegan diet while pregnant?

Critics say there is not enough protein in a vegan diet, but doctors disagree. According to ob-gyns at the Montefiore Medical Center in NYC, a plant-based diet should be planned before you get pregnant, but it is possible to supply yourself and your baby with the nutrients needed for a healthy birth.

How can vegans obtain nutrients?
No matter what her eating style and diet, any woman can have problems with obtaining enough nutrients when pregnant. It is easy for any woman to fall short of critical vitamins such as iron, folate, or vitamin D. Doctors recommend that a 140 pound woman consume approximately seventy grams of protein as compared to the regular fifty grams that are normally required.

Vegans may obtain nutrients from a variety of plant sources, but the key is variety. Doctors do not recommend following the path of famed blogger, Loni Anthody, who reported consuming ten bananas a day. Sure, it can be done, but variety is the key to life.

Doctors recommend balance when it comes to the consumption of food while pregnant. Great protein-rich and nutrient-filled plant sources for vegans include nuts, soy, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Any fortified foods are acceptable for consumption while pregnant.

It is also recommended that supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, be taken regularly because it is difficult to get all that is needed through food sources exclusively. Prenatal vitamins are a must and should be taken before conception and during the breast-feeding process. Your doctor can help you decide which vitamins to take and will test your mineral and vitamin levels throughout your pregnancy to ensure you are getting the critical components of a healthy diet.

How to handle post-birth
Vegans find it easy to slim down following the birth of a baby because they are aware of what they are eating and well educated in proper nutrient consumption. Vegans can expect to gain an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy, approximately 25 pounds, and therefore lose the weight accordingly.

Doctors recommend that vegans continue with a health-filled diet following birth, whether or not you choose to breastfeed. It does not matter if you consume meat or avoid it, but it does matter if you are eating smart and choosing the right foods. If you want to stay health before, during, or after pregnancy, keep informed and eat the right foods. Your baby will thank you, and so will your waist line.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at