We are happy to announce that we will have another addition to our family of 3! This will be our second child and we couldn’t be happier! With our first we weren’t following anything close to a plant-based diet. We basically followed the average American diet, but perhaps even a little better than the average. I say better because we were poor college students who never went to fast food restaurants AND we had home-cooked meals for dinner and packed sack lunches everyday.
When my husband and I decided we were ready to have another baby, I started researching to see if it was ok to be on a Plant-Based diet while being prego. I had the hardest time finding good info, so I thought I would keep you updated on my pregnancy and let you know the little tid-bits of knowledge that I gain about it while I go through this pregnancy. Keep in mind that I am NOT a Dr! These are just some of my own personal experiences and thoughts.
First of all, I want to let you know that when I told my OB Dr that I ate a plant-based diet, he didn’t have any problems with that. To be honest, I was nervous to tell him because most of the time when I tell Dr’s they look at me funny and usually have a thing or two to say about it. I went ahead and told him and he had no issues with it.
One big question that I had for a while was if it is harder to get pregnant when you are plant-based or vegan. To be honest, I’m not sure. We tried to get pregnant for a year before being blessed with the exciting news that we were in fact pregnant. So, just so you know, you can still get pregnant while eating this way. I’m not sure if the year of waiting was just the Lord’s timing for us, or if the diet made some kind of a difference somehow, but we are pregnant so it all worked out. My Dr told me that a change in diet shouldn’t affect you being able to get pregnant as long as your body isn’t going through the major changes right then (such as the change in diet or weight loss). I had been plant-based/vegan for about a year and I had lost some weight, but had been at that steady weight for about 6-7 months when we started trying to get pregnant.
A perk of being Plant-based while pregnant: I don’t have to worry much about what I’m eating and if it’s ok for the baby. It’s great! During my last pregnancy I had been eating lots of tuna sandwiches( that’s what I was craving) then I found out a few weeks later that that wasn’t ok. I also found out like 20 different other things I wasn’t supposed to eat. It’s nice when someone starts to spout of things you need to stay away from when you’re pregnant, and you’re able to say “I don’t eat that” to pretty much everything. So that’s been one nice perk about this lifestyle during pregnancy.
Perk #2: Let me start off by telling you a semi-embarrassing story. My last Dr told me that I was ok to gain about 30 lbs. I actually ended up gaining about 40 lbs, but they never seemed concerned or anything. When this new Dr asked me how much I weighed before my last pregnancy and how much I weighed at the end, he made a funny face. It was one of those moments that you didn’t realize you should have been embarrassed until after the other person reacts. Whoops!lol Long story short, this Dr told me that the goal is to only gain around 20-25 lbs (I know every Dr is different, so listen to what YOUR Dr says for you!). The good news is that I think it’ll be a lot easier this time around to do that! So far I have gained between 1-2 lbs, whereas, with my last pregnancy I had already gained like 5-10lbs. I remember reading that pregnancy e-mail update that said “now you should gain about a lb a week for the rest of your pregnancy” and I was like What?!? I wasn’t supposed to have already gained this much?? Whoops.
Don’t get me wrong, I am eating when I am hungry. I snack between meals, and I am getting enough food for me and this baby. I just don’t think that I will have the issues of gaining as much as last time because the fat content in the food that I eat now is so different. Before, I used to eat some kind of a cookie or sweet treat( like 3 cookies or more, or brownie ice cream sundaes with homemade chocolate fudge on top) after lunch AND dinner! Now, my husband and I eat just one cookie and only after dinner. That alone will probably help a ton!
The only con I can think of as of right now: I actually crave LOTS of non-vegan things. Especially cheese and dairy desserts. That’s pretty bad. No, I don’t just go out and get them, thankfully. But it has made it harder the last little bit to have motivation to eat my salads that don’t sound good because I’m nauseous.
Anyway, I hope that somewhere along this journey that something I say can help someone out there!