It is safe and easy for Vegan women to successfully carry a full term pregnancy, raise a healthy child and properly nourish herself on a Vegan diet. Women who had a Vegan diet throughout their pregnancies experienced easier labors and deliveries. The women are proven healthier and their babies grow up to be strong and normal happy adults.
There are sufficient ways of getting the required protein and calcium during pregnancy and nursing, there are good foods grown from the earth you can choose instead of eating meat and dairy products.
Health and Growth Require 6 Nutrients:
1 & 2. Energy- “fuel” plays a major role in the construction of the new baby, and also for muscle contractions, hormone production, wound repair, and cells growth. Cell fuel is made up of carbs and oils made from plants and appear as sugars, starches, and vegetable oils in the Vegan diet. A high carb-diet is essential, and is an aid to prevent morning sickness. Found in grains, veggies, nuts, cooking oils and fruits. A pregnant women can acquire enough by eating pastas, potatoes and fruit smoothie’s and not worry about them being to fattening because they are “burned” for energy.
3. Protein-”building blocks” material for making muscles, blood, hormones, hair, fingernails, immune antibodies, and constructing baby. Amino acids are the individual building blocks and are found in grains, legumes, green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
4. Vitamins-protein production and metabolism use active chemical enzymes that help vitamins to keep your vital functions running. When looking for prenatal vitamin supplements read the labels. Be sure that they are not made of bone meal, dolomite, or oyster shell. These substances are contaminated with arsenic, lead or mercury that accumulates in bones and shells of animals.
Two Types of Vitamins:
Water-Soluble Vitamins- These dissolve in water and must be eaten everyday. These vitamins are Vitamin C, B Complex, and Folic acid. Found in green, leafy veggies, citrus fruits, and nutritional yeast.
Oil-Soluble Vitamins- These are stored in the liver and should be eaten a few times a week. These vitamins are Vitamins A and E. Found in squash, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons, and some dark green leafs, like kale and broccoli).
5. Minerals-Earth elements are all required like potassium, sodium, zinc, selenium, calcium, and iodine for the electrical and chemical reactions in the body. Found in green leafy veggies, grains, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and in sea veggies (kombu, kelp, dulse, nori, etc.), which can be added to soup.
6. Water-Pregnancy is a watery experience. The mother requires additional water for the making of blood for herself, the baby and the three to six quarts of amniotic fluid in her uterus. Pregnant mothers should drink water, fruit juices, and vegetable juices at least four to six eight-ounce glasses per day in one of theses three suggested forms. Lead in tap water from pipes can interfere with the development formation of the foetus. Drink bottled water. Found in watery fruits, vegetables, soups, and salads.
Nutrition During Pregnancy:
Protein-material for making the mould for the baby. The amount of protein containing foods should be increased in the final three months (more tofu, greens, legumes, etc.) to help prevent toxemia. Found in grains, legumes, leafy greens, nuts and seeds also known as the protein all stars.
Minerals-”Every cell in the babies body and the mothers body require metallic elements from the earths crust to properly function.” Three minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc are very important to mother and baby. “Many women have cravings for “earth minerals” like iron, zinc, and selenium. These can be found in mushrooms, yeast, and root veggies.”
A. Calcium-is a vital element for both mother and foetus for the function of muscle, blood, and bone. Found in broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnips, celery, romaine lettuce, turnips, and carrots.
B. Iron- for creating new blood for the baby and mother. Excessive iron tablets can cause stomach irritations and can be toxic to mother and foetus.
C. Found in green leafy vegetables, raisins, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, sorghum molasses, and dried fruits.
D. Zinc-is essential for the development of the baby in the womb. Found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, (especially sesame tahini) legumes, tofu, miso, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin C-increases absorption of iron from food into the body. Found in green leafy veggies, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and cabbage. “Pregnant Vegan women should be confident about their diets and their lifestyles, and look forward to the delivery of their babies”.
References: Michael Klaper, M.D. Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet”.