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