Friday, 12 March 2021

How to have a confident plant-based pregnancy

Doodleheart.co.uk littlepackofvegans smoothie vegan pregnancy nutrition

I'm lucky that I've always been met with positivity when it comes to having a healthy vegan pregnancy, but I know for many this can be a worry. I want to share some of the things I've done throughout both of my vegan pregnancies which reassure me that baby is thriving when it comes to fuelling my body!

🌱 I take a supplement of B12, vitamin D, and a prenatal vitamin (containing folic acid.) I take B12 and D all year round as they're hard to get enough of in any diet, vegan or not. The folic acid is highly recommended during pregnancy, and I also take a vegan omega-3 supplement because I'm both pregnant and breastfeeding.

🌱 To get in plenty of omegas I use a lot of flaxseed and chia seeds. In smoothies, oats, porridge, baking, all sorts! A great tip to thicken up sauces/stews is to add a tbsp of chia seeds - a little bonus of nutrition but you'll never taste it.

🌱 A big focus during pregnancy is on iron, but with a whole foods, plant based diet this isn't hard to come by. I combine vitamin C and iron rich foods (i.e. tomatoes and spinach) to help with nutrient absorption, and if I drink tea with meals I'll only have rooibos as it contains less tannins which can reduce nutrient absorption.

🌱 Seaweed is great for iodine, we try and have a stir fry with nori once a week or so.

🌱 For calcium, foods like tofu, broccoli, pak choi and fortified milks are good sources. I always crave tofu more when I'm pregnant and think this is why!

🌱 There are tons of healthy sources of vegan protein, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh. Try not to stress about that side of pregnancy.

🌱 Eat regularly to maintain blood sugar levels. If you're craving sweet things, like I am, try finding healthier baking recipes that contain goodness as well as hitting that spot.

🌱 Don't feel guilty - whether you're struggling with sickness and only want "beige food", whether you weren't taking folic acid at the beginning of pregnancy, whether you just need to give into a craving some days - it's fine. You've got this and you're doing your best.

I also highly recommend following @hubanhealth on Instagram for vegan pregnancy tips, I'll be sharing a post on my experience working with Rach soon.

Would you feel confident to have a plant based pregnancy?

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