Vegan Pregnancy – Common Questions

A 15 year vegan recently wrote me concerned about whether a vegan diet was healthy during pregnancy. In her words, “Everything I have read says that getting the right nutrients is the most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy baby….Vegans (non-credentialed) are quick to tell me that everything will be fine…Non-vegans (Dr’s) are quick to tell me that my diet could be a problem.”

My (edited) response:

The most common nutrition concern is not having enough folate (or folic acid) at the time of conception and the first few weeks of pregnancy, but this is rarely a problem for vegans who normally get plenty of folate in their diet.

If you follow the guidelines here, you should be fine. I would especially recommend the article Pregnancy and the Vegan Diet by Reed Mangels that is linked from that page.

You should also check out this page of real vegan children.

The one exception is if the mother has neglected her own B12 intake for a long time before getting pregnant. Here is what you should know about B12.

One Response to “Vegan Pregnancy – Common Questions”

  1. Alex Says:

    Yes that is exactly the issue, non credentialed folks will say things and then be slammed if something goes wrong. Of course there is a backlash against pharma companies which is understandable, but there need not be a total backlash against nutrition and science.

    It seems that any movement not just vegans needs to not just blindly follow a philosophy. People have despite or love the vegan movement, both may love or hate what they perceive to be a fad “yoga,natural birth,vegan,etc”, others who hate it may group everyone who is a vegan as just a fad. Being honest is important for instance sure in natural childbirth there is double or triple the risk of danger which many midwives don’t tell, but if your health that risk is low, so it’s up to you to decide (ie, 0.1 vs 0.3% for example not the actual statistic).

    Many vegetarians have become scared and ended when they had children, you can’t blame them for uncertainty. Of course its a gender thing too, its women who are the ones who have to watch their diet, plan,worry,exercise,visit the doctor, and even watch diet while breastfeeding. It does any movement not just vegan a great disservice if they ignore facts and act like everything will just “naturally” turn all right.

Leave a Reply