Is it bad to be vegetarian while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Is it bad to be vegetarian while pregnant?” and will discuss what nutrients are essential in a  vegetarian diet while being pregnant.

Is it bad to be vegetarian while pregnant?

Maybe, it is bad to be vegetarian while being pregnant. Pregnant women should eat a well-balanced, nutritious vegetarian diet. If it doesn’t, it’s likely to be deficient in certain vital nutrients. The risk of low birth weight or birth abnormalities is increased by vegetarian diets that are deficient in essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, DHA, and iron.

When You’re pregnant and vegetarian, what nutrients should you be especially mindful about obtaining?

When you’re pregnant and following a vegetarian or vegetarian diet, you should be aware of the importance of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

Protein

Why: This crucial vitamin helps build cells and generate hormones for your developing baby, so pregnant women need more protein than ever before. Vegetarians who consume dairy and eggs may already be getting all the protein they need from other sources (are you wanting omelets and yogurt now that you’re pregnant?). Veggie-based proteins are an option if you’re concerned about your protein intake or if you’re vegetarian.

Protein requirement: Per day 75 grams

Vegetarian pregnant women should consume the following protein sources: A diet rich in legumes, whole grains, soy, nuts, and seeds.

·         Peas

·         Chickpeas

·         Various types of beans such as black, navy, kidney, and pinto.

·         Quinoa

·         Whole wheat, bulgur, and buckwheat couscous

·         Oatmeal

·         Whole-grain pasta

·         Cereals and bread made with whole grains are healthier options.

·         nut butter

·         Pistachios, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, and pine nuts are also included.

·         Soy milk

·         Tofu

·         Miso

Calcium

Why: The third trimester is critical for the development of your baby’s bones, muscles, heart, and nervous system, so make sure you get enough calcium while you’re pregnant. If you don’t provide him with enough nutrients from your diet, he’ll try to obtain them from your bones, increasing your risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Dairy products aren’t the only way to meet your daily calcium needs, but there are plenty of other possibilities. Taking a calcium supplement may also be recommended by your doctor as an additional layer of protection.

The recommended daily dosage is 1,000 mg

The following foods are excellent sources of calcium for vegetarians who are pregnant or breastfeeding:

·         Cheese made with yogurt milk

·         Vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll

·         Soy milk

·         Orange juice

·         Tofu

Iron

Why: Pregnancy causes a 50% rise in blood volume, which necessitates an increase in the amount of iron in your body. What’s wrong with you? Anemia, if left untreated, may lead to premature labor and low birth weight in the mother and baby.

Pregnant vegetarians alike need to be aware of their iron levels, even if they don’t eat meat. Pregnant women and meat-eaters alike find it difficult to receive the nutrition they need from their diets.

After the 20th week of pregnancy, your practitioner may prescribe that you take an iron supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamin (or earlier, if routine testing shows your iron stores are low). It’s also a good idea to eat foods high in iron.

These foods are excellent sources of iron for vegetarians who are expecting a child:

·         Beans

·         Edamame

·         Plant-based foodstuffs

·         Oat flour

·         Barley

·         Quinoa

·         Bulgur

·         The seeds of a pumpkin

·         Frozen or canned fruits

·         Collard greens, kale, or spinach

·         Seaweed

Vitamin B12

Why: Vitamin B12 and folic acid work together to ensure appropriate embryonic brain development, as well as the generation of red blood cells and the construction of genetic material. Neural tube abnormalities and premature labor have been related to a deficit.

Even though B12 deficiency is very uncommon, vegetarians commonly lack this vitamin since it can only be found in animal products. To make sure you don’t receive too much of a good thing, check with your doctor or midwife to see whether you need more B12 or folic acid supplements.

Per day, you should take 2.6 mcg.

Pregnant vegetarians should take the best sources of vitamin B12:

·         Soy milk enriched with vitamin B12

·         Cultivated grains

Vitamin D

Deficiencies in this essential vitamin may lead to tooth decay and bone fractures. Congenital rickets (a disorder that causes the bones to become soft and fragile, resulting in poor development and skeletal abnormalities) and bone fractures in neonates have been associated with severe deficiency.

The following foods are high in vitamin D and are safe for pregnant vegetarians to consume:

Soy milk, bread, carrots, almonds, cereals, and orange juice are all good sources of vitamin D but they aren’t quite enough to meet your needs. Fortunately, a dietary supplement may provide you with the nutrients you need. A vitamin D level test and a prescription for a supplement may be obtained from your doctor.

If you become vegetarian, how will you know if there is a problem?

Having a healthy pregnancy and child is entirely possible if you:

·         Focus on the nutrients listed above for a well-balanced pregnancy diet.

·         Every day, take your prenatal vitamins. 

 ·         Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor will keep a close eye on you and make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need to be healthy.

Other FAQs about Vegetarians that you may be interested in.

Can vegetarians eat gelatin?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Is it bad to be vegetarian while pregnant?” and discussed risks associated with a vegetarian diet while being pregnant.

References

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/is-it-safe-to-eat-a-vegetarian-diet-while-pregnant#2
https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/diet/eating-vegetarian-vegetarian-during-pregnancy/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.