Contrary to popular misconception, people who eat plant-based diets do not need to start consuming meat and other animal products to have a healthy pregnancy.
What is veganism?
Vegetarians eat plant-based diets and may or may not also consume dairy, eggs, and fish. Veganism is more of a lifestyle than a diet. In addition to avoiding meat, dairy, eggs and fish, vegans also avoid using animal products or products that cause harm to animals including leather, wool, fur, silk, honey and cosmetics that are tested on animals.
Many surrogate mothers continue to live a vegan lifestyle throughout their pregnancy.
Tips for a Healthy Vegan Pregnancy
Eat a whole lot of variety!
The more varied your diet, the more you are covering your nutritional bases. Focus on fresh whole foods and avoided processed foods that lack nutrition. Pregnancy is not the time to be a pasta only vegan.
See a nutritionist.
Anyone who is planning to become pregnant and is vegan should seek the support of a nutritionist that has a thorough understanding and respect for plant-based diets. You can choose from online dietary consulting and local in-person guidance. We love Healthy Bright Beginnings where food expert Lisa not only provides guidance for preconception and pregnancy but also helps new parents introduce whole foods to their baby.
Find a support primary care provider.
A doctor or midwife that is supportive of your vegan diet will make your entire journey easier. Not only will you be more comfortable discussing your dietary choices with your care provider but they can also be a resource for ensuring you’re getting the nutrients you and your baby need. Your care provider can help you monitor your weight gain and your baby’s growth.
Take a high-quality prenatal vitamin.
It is recommended that all pregnant people take a prenatal vitamin. Your doctor or midwife and your nutritionist can recommend an appropriate prenatal vitamin for you. Oh She Glows has a great post about prenatal supplements!
Neither Surrogate Mothers or Intended Parents should be concerned about a Surrogate Mother following a vegan diet. There is no reason that a pregnant person cannot get all of their nutrition through a plant-based diet. With the right support and knowledgeable care, you can have a safe and healthy surrogate pregnancy as a vegan.
Check out my visit to Calgary’s Heart’s Choices Cafe and Market as part of my Proud Picks Series!