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A Vegetarian Pregnancy

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If you are a vegetarian it may it may be difficult to get enough of the important nutrients your body needs to support the growth of your baby. 

The main nutrients which you are lacking as a vegetarian include protein, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D, which are found mostly in animal foods.  Vegetarian women sometimes feel their decision to keep their diet while pregnant is criticized by their care taker or people in their close environment, but there are ways to add the necessary ingredients to your diet without altering ideology or taste.  Your health care provider may ask you to meet with a registered dietitian who can help you plan meals, and may also recommend that you take supplements.

A Few Tips and Suggestions

If you are a vegetarian who eats eggs and milk, these could be excellent sources for extra protein and vitamin D.  You get vitamin D by exposing your self to sunlight, but since there is not enough information as to the "quantity" of sun light needed, and there are harmful effects of exposure to the sun, this may mean you will need a supplement.  Be careful with prescribed amounts, since your body doesn't dispose of unnecessary amounts, and accumulation of the vitamin in your body can be toxic.

Veggies and a Pregnant Belly

Although eggs and milk have some B-12 and iron in them, the amounts will probably not be insufficient.  You can compensate for the lack of vitamin B-12 with natural ingredients such as yeast. You should be aware however, that yeast infections are more common during pregnancy and many women suffering from chronic yeast infections choose a diet that limits their intake of yeast.  Chronic or recurring yeast infections, or thrush, are most likely a sign that yeast is present in other parts of the body in large amounts.  Such a condition has been linked to mastitis in the postpartum period.  Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue.

Your dietitian may urge you to add a few products to your diet which pregnant women usually avoid, such as fish.  Eating some tuna or salmon could give your body the nutrients which it is lacking.  If this is an option for you, remember there also restrictions regarding fish consumption during pregnancy.  Tuna and salmon, along with many other fish and seafood may contain high levels of mercury and other toxic metals which can be extremely harmful to you and your baby.
Continuing a vegetarian diet during pregnancy is a personal choice.  A dietitian should always be advised if you are considering a vegetarian pregnancy.  You are responsible for providing the best nutrition for the baby growing inside you as it is completely dependant on you for its nutritional intake.  Staying well informed on every issue is very important and can make a big difference in the health of you and your baby.   


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Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Connie , January 09, 2008
For many of us who are vegan we have to choose against what we believe is the right diet, because we are careing for another life that needs most of the nutrients that is hard for us to get. But with this we have a different alternative and we can stay with our comfortable life diet. While still giving our child the nutrients that they need to develope inside us.
written by Tonia33, February 01, 2011
Think of the food you eat as a direct IV to your baby. What would you feed your baby if he/she were here today

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