Going vegan during pregnancy

by Aleksandra
(UK)

I have one big and important question and can't find an answer.
What if became vegan at 22 weeks pregnant?

I was vegetarian, I was raw vegan as well but in pregnancy everything starts to change! I start to eat meat, milk products, other unhealthy food, like fast food and now I just woke up and I feel so guilty about that.

I'm eating food which I know what I will never give to my baby or bigger child. So If I will start everything again?


An anonymous user also posted a similar question:

Dear Vegan Momma,

I am currently a little over four months pregnant and strongly considering a vegan diet. For the past few years, I have been following a vegetarian or pescetarian diet. I was vegan for a few months a couple of years ago, but needed more information and did not stick with it. I have a few dilemnas:

In your opinion, is going vegan now, as long as I am super careful, a valid option? Or is it best to wait until my baby is born, or even following breast feeding?

What is your approach to eating with a partner who is not at all vegetarian? He is open to a lot, but I do not like to push vegetarianism on people... I think that the decision always should come from them and what they truly feel is best. But I do not want our different eating habits to affect our closeness.

Any other information that you have would be wonderful

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my questions!

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Nov 26, 2014
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Becoming vegan halfway through pregnancy
by: Anonymous

I have just learned the benefits of a vegan diet and my family and I are wanting to transition to one. I wish I'd learned sooner because I am already halfway through my third pregnancy.

My question is: Is it safe to make such a radical change in diet during pregnancy? I am currently far from vegan since I eat both meat and dairy products and, unfortunately, far too many processed foods. Any input, preferably with sources, would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Nov 26, 2014
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Yes! You can go vegan when you're pregnant
by: Cathleen

Hi ladies!

Many women accidentally arrive at a nearly vegan pregnancy because they either can't stand the smell/flavor or dairy and meat or because they follow common advice from doctors to stay away from certain foods during pregnancy.

I see no reason that you could not switch to a vegan pregnancy, no matter what you are eating now. I believe it to be the most healthy option for everyone, including babies, senior citizens, adults, and pregnant women. When you're carrying a baby you do want to make sure you're doing the very best with your diet that you can so I highly recommend checking out some of the nutrition pages on my site to make sure you're eating enough of the most important foods.

Some people experience things like looser stool and weight loss when they switch to a plant-based diet, but it's usually the body adjusting to its appropriate levels of weight and elimination. Of course, pregnancy is not a time to be focused on weight loss, so this is definitely something to monitor with your doctor.

And speaking of which, I'm not a doctor or nutritionist so these are just my opinions based on my experiences and what I've read. Your midwife or obstetrician would always be the best person to ask about making dietary changes because they know the most about your current health.

As far as a partner who isn't following the same diet... I agree that you can't force something into someone. My husband was not a vegan for many years into our relationship. I just vowed to respect his decision, but I also did not cook anything with animal products. Occasionally I'd tell him a few poignant details about the animal industry. One that stuck with him was, "did you know pigs are smarter and more aware than dogs?" He might have been petting our precious puppy at that very moment ;) and it caused him to stop eating pork. He only became a vegan after he started having digestive issues and read about factory farming himself. It's hard to turn your back on facts.

One of my favorite sources for vegan nutrition information is the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. They have a short page on some vegan pregnancy tips: http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/ffl/newsletter/question-of-the-monthdecember-2014

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Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified health care professional before making a diet change.