“So, you’re going back to meat now, right? Obviously you have to, don’t you? For the baby?”
When Alex and I first started revealing to our family and friends that we were expecting, most of them were simply excited. Others, however, were both excited and concerned.
I think the concern simply came from a place of truly caring and not being educated on the subject of vegan pregnancy. Nobody meant any harm by it. They just didn’t know that a healthy vegan pregnancy could be achieved.
When I told my OBGYN about my lifestyle at my first appointment, I wasn’t sure how she’d react. I already knew that there was no way I could go back to animal products, but I also wanted the full support of any medical staff that I’d be working with for the next nine months.
I was so relieved when she was not only okay with me being a vegan, but she seemed thrilled about it. She assured me that I could absolutely have a healthy, happy vegan pregnancy and carry a healthy, happy baby. My doctor told me something along the lines of “you’re already mindful of what you’re putting in and on your body, so that’s one step ahead of most first time mothers. You’re already mindful. Also, I can skip over most of the foods you have to avoid, because you’re already not consuming raw fish on sushi, unpasteurized cheese, deli meat, etc. You’re starting out ahead of the curve.”
And with that, we made my pregnancy plan and discussed what the next nine months would look like for myself and baby.
It’s not that I lucked out with the only OBGYN in the world who would support a vegan pregnancy. Did you know that it’s actually the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that a well-planned vegan diet can be healthy and nutritionally complete for all stages of life, including pregnancy?
Keep in mind that there are healthy ways and unhealthy ways to be vegan. Oreos, Dr. Pepper, and most French fries from your favorite drive-thrus are vegan. What’s important is balance and focusing on the intake of nutrients.
With all this in mind, I set out to be an example of a healthy vegan pregnancy. I wanted to show the world and those who had been skeptical that veganism is totally a healthy option for this, and every, stage of life.
Prenatals & Other Nutrition
I started taking these prenatals before getting pregnant because pregnancy was something we hoped for in our short-term future. It’s never too early to start preparing your body for pregnancy. I loved the taste of these prenatals and never missed a day. It felt like I was eating candy.
Unfortunately, about three months into my pregnancy, I couldn’t handle the texture of the Garden of Life prenatals without gagging any longer. Pregnancy woes. I had to make a switch to these Deva prenatals. While I prefer the Garden of Life gummies overall, these Deva prenatals helped me when my stomach couldn’t handle the others. I will say upfront that these pills are huge and do not feel like you are eating candy.
Yep, the same stuff I used during my prep for my first bikini competition has been serving up solid nutrition throughout my pregnancy. My doctor wholeheartedly approved of me drinking Shakeology every day of my pregnancy.
I actually had a hard time gaining weight initially because of feeling nauseated 24/7, so my OBGYN asked me to double up on my shakes. She didn’t have to ask me twice.
Fight the Nausea/Morning Sickness
You’ve probably heard of preggie pops as a quick fix for morning sickness. These would work almost instantly for me and I enjoyed the flavors. My only complaint is that the sour started to wear on my mouth and would become bothersome. I had to look for something less tart/sour.
I haven’t seen this recommended anywhere else, but Jolly Ranchers worked to settle the nausea for me. The fruit punch flavor was especially soothing to me for whatever reason. No science here, just my personal experience.
My first BIG craving once getting pregnant was mac and cheese. I had to have it. So I ordered 12 boxes of it online, haha. This is my favorite vegan mac and cheese. It reminds me of the blue box I frequently ate growing up. My body and baby wanted comfort foods, so that’s what they got.
I so wish I had invested in this pillow from day one because it’s been a true godsend. I’m usually a stomach sleeper, but that obviously doesn’t work well when your bump starts to show up. This pillow helped me adjust to the much more comfortable, much safer side sleeping. It also keeps you off of your back so that you don’t put too much pressure on important veins that are carrying blood to your developing baby.
I included this pillow as a vegan essential because it’s free from down.
Last, but certainly not least, I’m including my favorite vegan and cruelty-free body butter. I’m 26 weeks today and haven’t noticed a single stretch mark after using this religiously. Honestly though, that’s just a bonus. I got this body butter to help ward off the itchiness that I was experiencing as my breasts and stomach stretched quickly. This argan butter gave me relief and I do believe the hydration has helped me keep the stretch marks at bay so far.
I hope these products help you if you’re looking for vegan pregnancy essentials.
Is there anything I forgot on this list? What would you include?