There have been several stories in the news recently that have led people to discuss whether vegan and vegetarian diets are safe in pregnancy. Eating a varied and balanced diet during pregnancy is important for both you and your baby. Vegan and vegetarian diets can be safe and healthy as long as mums-to-be make sure that they are well balanced and contain enough iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which are mainly found in meat and fish.
Eggs, peas, beans and soya foods such as tofu are good sources of iron and protein and are good choices as meat replacements. It is also important to eat at least four portions of calcium-rich foods a day. If you avoid dairy products then this can be found in dark green vegetables such as kale and spinach as well as in dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
Our midwife Amanda explains:
'A vegetarian or vegan diet in pregnancy can be a healthy option but it is important to ensure it is varied and includes all the food groups. You should plan your diet carefully to make sure that it is balanced and that you get enough calcium, iron and vitamin B12. All pregnant women are advised to take vitamin D and Folic Acid supplements in addition to their regular diet.'
So as long as your diet is balanced and includes a range of foods from all food groups then being vegan or vegetarian in pregnancy is perfectly safe. If you have any questions about your diet and pregnancy then don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor of midwife.
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