HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY VEGAN PREGNANCY
Be vegan, Get Pregnant. I reached out to you all on Instagram and have collected some FAQ about how to have a healthy vegan pregnancy and my own personal experience. After we got pregnant with Harlow I was very cautious and worried because I always feared I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby to term and we had a very cautious start with her (you can read our story with lo on our blog).
I totally believed I would be the type of pregnant person to eat smoothie bowls for breakfast, salads for lunch and a nice a green meal for dinner but unfortunately my body had different plans for me and my pregnancy.
With Harlow at around 8 weeks I developed severe food aversions to everything and anything green–or any veggie for that matter. I was so scared I was going to harm my baby by not being able to eat healthy, whole foods. I made an appointment with my doctor because how on earth was I going to have a healthy pregnancy as a vegan if I weren’t able to eat anything healthy? He quickly assured me that baby would be fine and would get all nutritional requirements from my body and it’s stores.
I could stomach mandarins, salt and vinegar chips and french fries. Some of my favourite ladies I follow on Insta are vegan and they would have these amazing beautiful healthy pregnancies and I was sitting here with a fry in one hand and a chip in the other and I envied their ability to eat nutritious foods for their babies. It wasn’t that I had no appetite for healthy foods, it’s that they made me completely and utterly sick. I would throw up at the thought of them. For Harlow’s whole pregnancy Tim couldn’t even mention the word Freshi because it would automatically trigger an emetic episode.
At around 18 weeks with Harlow I was better able to stomach veggies and could eat somewhat of a normal meal most of the time. I made sure to take my prenatal vitamin at the end of each day right before bed and drink water and just sent good energy to her because it was so out of my control. I think during my first pregnancy is where I really learned to not be so hard on myself and let go of the mom guilt that was already starting.
Now Arrow’s pregnancy, ahhh did I ever have plans for this one. This pregnancy was going to be way better than Harlow’s. I was going to eat healthy, whole foods the entire time and it was going to be so different than the first time around. It turned out it was–I was 1 million times more sick than I was with Harlow. I was debilitated for 4 months where I too only ate french fries, mandarins and salt and vinegar chips. The food aversions to my normally favourite foods were worse than they had been the first time around and lasted till about 24 weeks. I ended up needing medication because I just could not manage.
Both pregnancies taught me so much. I ended up with two healthy, babies (Harlow’s pregnancy did result in a placental abruption but with no known cause). The babies got exactly what they needed from my body exactly how my doctor assured me they would.
I believe educating myself on how to raise healthy vegan babies was so crucial in establishing a confident ability to feed and raise my babies vegan but unfortunately you can only do so much during a pregnancy when your body isn’t allowing you to make choices for yourself.
Did your doctor support your vegan pregnancy?
Yes. 100%. He isn’t a vegan but he is very well educated and knows it is entirely healthy/safe for my babies.
What would you do if your doctor didn’t support a vegan pregnancy?
Personally I would probably find a new doctor. Studies have shown over and over how being vegan is extremely healthy and safe and there is no reason why you can’t have a successful vegan pregnancy.