Vegan and pregnant

Eating healthily during pregnancy is important for your own health and the health of your developing baby.

Nutrients

If your vegan and pregnant it’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet during pregnancy to provide enough nutrients for you and the development and growth of your baby.

If you’re pregnant and a vegetarian or vegan, you need to make sure you get enough iron and vitamin B12, which are mainly found in meat and fish, and vitamin D.

Read about Vegan Nutrients

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Iron in your diet

Good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans are:

  • pulses
  • dark green vegetables
  • wholemeal bread
  • eggs (for vegetarians who include them in their diet)
  • fortified breakfast cereals (with added iron)
  • dried fruit, such as apricots

Vitamin D in your diet

Although we get vitamin D from sunlight, vegetarian food sources include:

  • egg yolk
  • foods fortified with vitamin D, including some breakfast cereals and most fat spreads
  • dietary supplements

Because vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, it might be difficult to get enough from foods that naturally contain vitamin D and fortified foods alone.

All adults should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months (October until the end of March).

If you’re vegan, check the label to make sure your vitamin D is suitable for vegans.

From late March/early April until the end of September, most people should be able to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Calcium in your diet

If you’re a vegan, you also need to make sure you get enough calcium. This is because non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods.

Good sources of calcium for vegans include:

  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • pulses
  • fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks
  • brown and white bread
  • calcium-set tofu
  • sesame seeds and tahini
  • dried fruit

Talk to your midwife or doctor about how you can get all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.

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