But what about pregnancies/breast feeding while on a plant-based diet? Is it possible to get all the nutrients you and your baby need?
You better believe it.
So, here's a chart of all the vitamins that you need, plus a range of sources that you can get those:
As you can see from these lists here, there are multiple places to get the nutrients you need without having to resort to meat and dairy.
Dr. John McDougall (another of my favorite doctors), used to work in Hawaii as a general practitioner. During his time on the island, he delivered over 100 babies. As a practitioner 38 years ago, the advice he would give to each of his pregnant patients was to eat a "well-balanced diet" including an emphasis, as he says, "on four servings of dairy products and three servings of 'protein' (meat, poultry, fish, and eggs) daily." He talks about the low-income immigrant patients he had from Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino families that were still eating traditional rice and veggie-based diets. Those pregnancies? "Largely uneventful." :D
Since then, Dr. McDougall has changed his tune, and is one of the biggest advocates of plant-based diets. He states that over the past 40 years, many doctors have persuaded expectant mothers to eat that "well-balanced diet." And as a result, he says, "pregnancy has become synonymous with sickness." Nine months of misery: Fatigue, indigestion, constipation, and fat. At least 1/10 of pregnancies are diagnosed with preeclampsia, and 1/20 develops gestational diabetes. You can read his full article here.
All expectant mothers should use the following chart as a guideline when planning their plant-based meals for the day:
|Whole Grains, Breads, Cereals 9 or more servings|
Serving = 1 slice of bread, 1/2 bun or bagel,
1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta,
3/4–1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
|Vegetables 4 or more servings|
Serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables
Choose at least one dark green vegetable daily
|Fruits 4 or more servings|
Serving = 1/2 cup cooked, 1 cup raw,
1 piece of fruit, 3/4 cup fruit juice, 1/4 cup dried fruit
|Legumes, Soy Products, Nondairy Milks 5–6 servings|
Serving = 1/2 cup cooked beans, tofu, or tempeh;
8 ounces fortified soymilk or other nondairy milk;
3 ounces meat analogue
|Nuts, Seeds, Wheat Germ 1–2 servings|
Serving = 2 tablespoons nuts or seeds,
2 tablespoons nut butter, 2 tablespoons wheat germ
*Be sure to include a reliable source of vitamin B12, such as many prenatal vitamins or fortified nondairy milk or cereal.
Below is a great source for you to check out as you plan your plant-based pregnancy. Remember to stay clear of oils...for the same reason as you would normally. It's fat. What you need are nutrients. For your Fatty Acids, the best thing you can take is Ground Flax Seed. Just had a small handful to your cereal in the morning;)
Herbie Parents on Facebook. These people know plant-based pregnancy and plant-based kids inside and out. You have a question about being a plant-based mom? They have an answer.