Are You a Vegetarian and Pregnant?
If you’re a vegetarian, you may wonder how your diet will affect your pregnancy. Don’t stress – keeping your vegetarian diet won’t harm your baby, as long as you carefully plan your meals to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients and protein that your baby requires to grow healthy and strong. If you are a strict vegetarian, or you’re a vegan, you may need extra supplements to meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
Pros of a Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet
Although your carnivorous friends may not understand why you’re choosing to keep your vegetarian diet in pregnancy, there are many benefits to your herbivore eating habits. For one, vegetables are a healthy part of any diet. Most fruits and veggies are naturally low in fat and calories, and they’re quite filling. Vegetable sources of protein are usually easier for your kidneys to handle, and they may prevent constipation – a common pregnancy symptom. A vegetarian diet also prevents tooth decay and gum problems, which can often affect pregnant women. Vegetarian eating also lowers your risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, cancer, and other health problems.
Cons of a Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet
Vegetarian pregnant women have more of a challenge in pregnancy. They have to work harder to get all the nutrients that their unborn baby requires. This means, you have to follow an effective meal plan, and you may need to eat vegetables that you may not necessarily like. The more foods that you omit, the harder it’ll be for you to get the nutrients required for a healthy pregnancy. Fortunately, dietary supplements can help fill in the gap that your diet leaves.
Another concern that affects pregnant vegetarians is weight gain. Vegans and vegetarians may gain their pregnancy weight very slowly. Not gaining the adequate weight can have negative consequences for your child. So, vegetarians may need to eat more food than normal, or eat foods that are higher in fat.