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RaMa Mama Doula Share: Pro's and Con's of a Vegan Diet During Pregnancy...

When it comes to pregnancy and what is "best" for each mother, there are a lot of different opinions. However, research has shown that there are many health benefits from eating a plant-based diet while pregnant or not pregnant. Plant-based diets are associated with lower risks of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Fruits and vegetables can actually protect both the mother and baby from complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. They can also reduce the risks of childhood diseases like asthma, eczema, diabetes, and even some cancers.

The worries surrounding vegan mothers mainly come from the idea that the diet may lack vital nutrients and therefore cause birth defects or low birth weight. As long as the mother is getting enough protein, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, calcium, DHA, and iron, then there should be no problem at all. In order to get enough protein, she will need to eat beans, tofu, whole grains, and lots of veggies. Vitamin B12 can be supplemented or found in nutritional yeast and other natural products as well. Vitamin D comes from sunlight, so going outdoors daily is crucial - otherwise supplements work great. Calcium can be received from spinach, collard greens, kale, and other greens. DHA, or Docosahexaenoic Acid comes from meat, but vegans can get it from supplements or from seaweed and algae, which are much healthier for the body than meat. Finally, iron can be received from beans, dark greens, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. Just like a lot of vegan animals in the wild, there are plenty of natural sources of minerals and nutrients, but it does take conscious eating routines to make sure you are receiving everything that both mother and baby need to thrive in health and wellness.

There are so many benefits of eating a plant-based diet while pregnant. Tune into your own body and listen to what it needs. If it is craving something more, then eat something more. It is most important to stay open and flexible for the wellbeing of both mother and baby. Sometimes this means eating outside of the comfort zone. The best thing to do is to do your best. May your journey into a healthy and vibrant pregnancy be revealed to you when you are ready to receive. Blessings!

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