Monday, January 17, 2011

My Vegan Pregnancy: Part 1

Well, first things first, I'm PREGNANT!
We are so excited after a few months of expensive trying.  That's another post that I'll save for later though.

This is my first vegan pregnancy, because it wasn't until my daughter started eating solids that we decided to go vegan.  I'm going to sound really irresponsible and say that quite frankly, I'm not concerned... bum bum bum bum of ominous music...

The thing is, when you're pregnant you need to eat healthy and be aware of getting a bit more of certain nutrients.  To me, a healthy vegan is the perfect person to do this.
Breaking it down:

  • You should really  take a prenatal vitamin (even though I'm not a fan of getting your vitamins from pills).  This isn't a vegan thing at all.  In fact, vegans usually get more of their vitamins from their food than most omnivores I know.  No matter what your diet, unless you are really well versed in nutrition, this shouldn't be skipped.  For me, it's not an issue becaues I am breast feeding, so I never stopped taking prenatals after I had my daughter.  I've been on prenatal vitamins for 2 years.  so that's taken care of.

  • Omegas, protein, folic acid, and calcium are particularly important and should be consumed in food form as well. 
    • Omegas- since I have a toddler, I'm already conscious of adding omega-rich foods to her diet, and since beginning trying for another I've been adding these things to my diet as well. Our favorites are avocado, hemp seeds, and walnuts.  
    • Protein- Based on my own diet before and after going vegan, I would guess that I get more protein now.  Who knows...  I do know that I eat a good amount of protein from soy, legumes, grains, and vegetables.
    • Folic Acid- The prenatal vitamins have a good amount of folic acid, but it is also found in dark green veggies, which I eat daily.
    • Calcium- Since I am also breast feeding, this is especially important because both breast feeding and pregnancy drain your body of calcium.  I eat tofu, drink enriched soy milk, eat sesame seeds just about daily (I keep a jar of raw sesame seeds on the counter and add it to foods all the time), and eat broccoli.  I am also taking an extra calcium supplement because I have bad teeth anyway and I need all the help I can get to keep them from falling right out of my head.

  • In early pregnancy, you should try to eat balanced meals while avoiding the foods that you have aversions to so that you don't get sick.  This one is what I'm so excited for.  With my first pregnancy, my aversions were all meat, but especially chicken, eggs, and fish.  Basically, I needed to be vegan.  My weird aversions were coconut milk and anything containing coconut milk and spinach.  I can't explain either of those, but they both went away happily because they are two of my favorite things.  I had some peanut curry quinoa last night and I think that's the last time I'm having coconut milk for a while.  Sad, but that's how it goes.  I haven't had the spinach aversion this time, so we'll see how that goes.
There's also the stuff about avoiding lunch meats, soft cheeses, hot dogs, sushi, etc that I don't need to worry about.  Nice.

So I'm only 4+ weeks along so far, and I'm just starting to get my "morning sickness."  Just like last time, mine seems to be worst at dinner time.  I'm having cravings, but they are funny: carrot sticks, tahini dressing, and Daiyadillas (quesodilla made with Daiya cheddar shreds).  Other than the Daiyadillas, it's pretty healthy stuff, not the brownie madness I had last time... although I could go for some brownies right now, and I did plow through some mint Newman's O's with pretty impressive speed and agility.

That's my part 1.  As I progress I'll update with my experience as a pregnant vegan- a pregnant, breast feeding, vegan at that!


  1. Yay!!! Congratulations!!! Im so happy for you adnit sounds like you are well on your way to a very healthy vegan pregancy.

    Im always so scared I will crave nasty things (like animals, eggs or milks!) when I'm pregnant. Ive made my husband swear that if get cravings for non vegan things he will guilt trip me about the foods that are being used to build our unborn child. LOL...but Im not preg for now, so i shouldnt worry.

    How is your 2 year old taking the news or does she understand at all?

  2. Thank you! I've just been craving Daiyadillas, but with no desire to put cow's milk cheese in them. I have been having a weird hot dog craving, but I think I'm going to make tofu-pups in a blanket and just be gross.

    My baby girl is only 1.5 years old, so while I'm sure to some extent she knows what's going on, and I've talked to her about it, she can't tell me how she's feeling. On the bright side, we talked to her about it when we started trying to conceive, and that's when she latched onto a baby doll and became very interested in other babies. She pets them and kisses them and tries to hug them, so I think we're in for good times.

  3. Congratulations! My pregnancy with my daughter, now five, was vegan, and I followed the same general plan you outline above. Everything worked out great for us.

    I hope your morning sickness subsides soon, but in the meanwhile, you might try candied ginger, ginger tea, or a strong ginger ale.

  4. Jessica, that's funny that you mention candied ginger. My mom just called today and asked me to look up a recipe to make candied ginger because she still hasn't mastered Google. I have been on the peppermint tea, but I have some ginger too. I'll try that.

  5. Hey Erin,
    You don't know me, however, we are both signed up to do the vegan bake sale in April. I am also pregnant. I think we are pretty close in our due date. I wanted to have a vegan pregnancy but felt that I wasn't getting enough protein. Perhaps you would be willing to help me out, answer some questions. I also noticed your name on the flyer for HypnoBirthing. Are you going to offer a class between now and septemeber 3rd? I mean, I can always read the book, but I would also like to have dialogue with somebody. This is my first baby ever and after reading the first couple pages of the book, I knew that this method was for me. Okay, this is getting long. Please email me at