Vegan Lifestyle Doesn't End With Pregnancy

by Maggie
(Alexandria, VA)

When one of my family members found out I was pregnant, the first thing she said was, “oh good, now Maggie can eat meat again.”

She, like many other people, view veganism as a diet; for me, it was a lifestyle choice I made years ago and one I wouldn’t change simply because I was pregnant.

In fact, what better gift could I give my baby than a healthy and compassionate start to life?

I had an extremely healthy vegan pregnancy. I gained 35 pounds, had tons of energy, minimal swelling (with a due date in mid-July, that’s pretty impressive!), fantastic iron levels, no heartburn, and no complications like high blood pressure or preeclampsia.

People often asked me if I ever craved meat or cheese. I can honestly say no, I didn’t. I craved dumplings, Nutter Butter cookies, grapefruit, and watermelon… but never once wanted a hamburger.

Each day, I tracked the food I ate to make sure I was getting enough calories, protein, calcium, vitamin C, B12, and omegas. I did yoga and walked throughout my pregnancy.

Come July, I was ready to have a natural childbirth at home.

After about seven hours of heavy labor, I gave birth to a healthy, 8 lb 2 oz baby girl with no complications. My midwife said that because of my vegan diet, my muscle tissue was strong enough to withstand a LOT of pushing, without having any tearing. Bruising, yes (childbirth is hard work!), but no tearing.

My now 10-month old is in the 90th percentile for height and weight and has been sick with a minor cold only once.

Will we raise her as a vegan? My husband and I plan to explain to her the reasons why we live the way we do and instill in her a sense of compassion for all living beings. At home, she will be a vegan. In the outside world, it will be up to her to make her own decision.

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Jun 04, 2012
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Thank You!
by: Cathleen

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. It's funny to think that some people assume we eat vegan diets as "diets," to lose weight, and that we will stop trying to lose weight on those diets when we become pregnant.

Even if you're brought to the vegan world because of a weight loss diet, you likely find that eating vegan is a way of life, not just a means to an end.

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