Post # 1
Before getting pregnant I was a vegetarian and I made it until week 8 when I gave in. I was getting really, really sick and could hardly eat anything but for whatever reason a turkey sandwich was what I needed. I have no idea why!! I hadn’t had a turkey sandwich in YEARS. Anyway, I felt like I had to take what I could get at that point so I did it and since then I haven’t had any other meat but I’ve had turkey sandwiches nearly every day, so weird.
I’m in the home stretch of the first trimester (12 weeks now!) and I’m *hoping* I’ll be able to get my regular appetite back in the second trimester. My husband is a vegetarian as well, so he is fully supportive of me trying to go back to it but I already have family members hounding me by saying I need to give it up for the baby. I’m pretty sure I eat more protein as a vegetarian though than I did before I ever was one to begin with and I eat way healthier since I started being one in general. Just curious if any other bees stuck with it throughout pregnancy or if any doctors advised them against it. If you didn’t stick with it what was the reasoning?
Also if you have any recipe ideas for amping up protein intake that would be great too 🙂
Post # 3
@bloodgo1: As a fellow vegetarian, I’m commenting to follow. I find this so interesting – I know of two women (one who had been a vegetarian for 8 years, one for closer to 15) who started eating meat during their pregnancies, and stopped again after birth. Neither of them were overly happy about eating meat (the 15-year vegetarian was actually very disturbed by her crazy urges for animal products), but they both went with it at the time. I am a little concerned that this will happen to me because just the thought of eating any type of meat makes me feel ill, but I know there is no point in overthinking it now – I’m not even TTC, yet alone pregnant.
Post # 4
It’s likely just a random pregnancy craving for some property/taste in the turkey sandwich more than you being deficient in something.
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 19 years, and it’ll be a few years before TTC, but I think that I will start introducing my body to meat, and become pescatarian when we do TTC. My FI is pescatarian for about 5 years now, and he supports whatever decision I want to make, but thinks it’s a good idea to try eating at least fish before pregnancy.
My aunt (only person Veg in my family) was a vegetarian for about a decade I think, and started craving meat during her first pregnancy. She ate meat, and never looked back.
Post # 5
I had been a vegetarian for 4-5 years when I got pregnant and was probably about halfway through my pregnancy when all I craved was McDonald’s hamburgers (those really thin little ones, like in a kid’s meal) and bacon. I was a vegetarian because I didn’t like the taste of meat very much, rather than moral reasons, so I just started eating meat without really thinking about it. My doctor was a fairly old-school kind of guy but was 100% supportive of continuing a veggie diet had I wanted to, as long as I was ensuring I was getting enough protein and the appropriate calories. If you’re a healthy vegetarian (i.e., eating diverse foods, getting sufficient protein, etc), you can definitely have a healthy pregnancy as a vegetarian.
I’ve been eating meat since then though (the last 10 years) although we do eat mostly vegetarian and get nearly all of our protein from legumes etc. Couldn’t give up the bacon again, ha.
Post # 6
I used to be vegan and eat/ate a pretty close to vegetarian-almost vegan diet before I got pregnant (I eat small portions of meat at other peoples houses and cook it for my husband and when I feel like a steak I eat one). This is mostly because of food intolerances more than animal rights/morals. I find the smell of most meat cooking disgusting (I’m now in my. 2nd tri and still find it disgusting). I’m making myself eat some as I am often anemic, but what kills me is the dairy! I have never been one to drink milk since I was a kid and I am craving it! My husband finally bought me a 4 liter jug so I don’t go to the store for milk every two days. Cream-anything at every meal. Normal me would say it’s nasty. The other thing is broth – beef broth, chicken broth, any broth. I’ve started cooking it on a regular basis and again, can’t get enough. My cravings haven’t been for anything too specific and consistent since I got pregnant, and since my stomach seems to be handling it I figure why not?
Post # 7
So I *sort of* had a vegan pregnancy. By *sort of* I mean that I had the same experience as you, which is to say I would crave weird foods (and really specific foods too–like a Dunkin Donuts sausage egg sandwich, and it HAD to be Dunkin Donuts!), and I just let myself have it. Otherwise, I tried my best.
Having said that, you can have a healthy pregnancy as a vegan; you can certainly have one as a vegetarian. (Personally, I think the whole “However will you get your protein!?” is overblown–I’ve NEVER heard of a pregnant woman in a developed country get diagnosed with ‘low protein’ or have medical problem. Protein is relatively easy to get, even as a vegan. I’m also of the opinion that there are far MORE women out there who have insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals because they’re not eating enough plants, frankly. But I digress…)
I personally don’t worry that much about protein in my regular diet, but while pregnant, the rule of thumb for me was to eat at least 2 proteins in each meal (plus 1 protein in a snack). So breakfast could be oatmeal with bananas and peanut butter mixed in and a glass of almond milk; lunch could be salad with garbanzo beans plus tofu or tempeh sandwich on high-fiber bread; snack could be some almonds; dinner could be lentil soup and a veggie burger on high-fiber bread with some broccoli. Add extra fruit and veggies here and there and that’s plenty.
As far as family goes, just smile and nod and say, “Thanks for your concern, but I’m really fine.” If they press, you can either blame it on the baby (“Meat makes me barf these days!”) or say, “I’ve already discussed it with my doctor and we’ve agreed that my diet is fine.” That should put an end to it.
In the end, Mama–you’re going to be the authority when it comes to your child, so learn how to feel comfortable in the driver’s seat NOW by saying “This is MY pregnancy, MY body, MY child, and I will make the decisions here.” Trust me, if you decide to raise your child as a vegetarian you’ll get to do this allll over again when people start asking if vegetarianism is ‘safe’ for a growing child!
Post # 8
I’ve been a vegetarian-with-pescetarian-phases for about 12 years and plan to maintain it through my pregnancy. I do eat beans or lentils almost every day, and have been having fish about once a week. Before I found out I was pregnant I had been planning to stop eating fish again and was thinking of cutting out dairy as well, but now I am not going to mess with that — I know my body needs those calories and healthy fats.
Beans and lentils are great because they are a good source of protein, fiber, iron AND folic acid – I feel like that’s the fertility/pregnancy food jackpot. Plus they are super cheap. One of my favorite things to do is make a big batch of lentil salad and then eat it for lunches and snacks throughout the week.
People also tend to overestimate the amount of protein we need – it’s actually pretty difficult to eat too little protein unless you are on an all-fruit diet. You don’t need to do “protein combining” or any of that bs. just make sure you eat a well-rounded variety of foods and listen to what your body needs 🙂
Post # 9
I was kind of opposite. I am a ‘flexitarian’, meaning I ate meat, but would go days without it, and not even notice. After getting pregnant, I tried to incorporate more meat into the diet (I’m not anemic, but have been in the past). The baby wanted none of it! Even at 37 weeks, I have trouble eating meat, but veggies, fruit and carbs are no problem. My baby will probably be an aquarius, the humanitarian of the horoscope, so I just assumed he/she will be a vegetarian. 🙂
Post # 10
Just commenting to follow! I am a pescetarian who mostly just eats a vegetatian diet and have wondered the same things. I gave up land meat based on my morals and beliefs about animal cruelty, though I don’t voice my opinions or judge people. Well maybe some since eating dogs is common in some countries and to me that will never be okay, but that’s another topic lol. I’d like to know if there are any bee’s who had full on vegan/vegetarian pregnancies. Sometimes I crave chicken and at times beef, but not to the point that I give in. I’m sure pregnancy is a bit different!
Post # 11
I used to be a vegetarian, more pescetarian really since I would occassionally eat fish. I do eat meat now but I cook mostly vegetarian. I’m pregnant and I definitely had some cravings for McDonalds and all fast food/restaurant food. I think I just craved fat and carbs. So I ate that (I never ate that type of fast food before, other than maybe an egg mcmuffin). I had aversions to almost all veggies and fruits early on, which coincided with my morning sickness. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anything you can do but give in to those cravings early on. Especially when thinking of other options makes you want to puke.
I am 28 weeks tomorrow and have been closer to my normal self since about 16-18 weeks (that was when my MS went away). I don’t have the amount of aversions and cravings I had earlier. I had such a bad aversion to my veggie burgers (which I normally LOVE) that only in the past month have I started eating them again. So you probably will have a pretty good shot and eating pretty much the same as you did before you were pregnant once your morning sickness and aversions go away. Some cravings might not go away completely though!
I think you are fine to have a vegetarian pregnancy, if you’re a healthy vegetarian. If vegans can have healthy pregnancies, vegetarians certainly can!
Post # 12
I’m vegetarian and stayed so throughout my pregnancy. No trouble getting enough protein.
Have you tried protein pancakes? They make fantastic breakfasts and snacks. You blend together uncooked oatmeal, eggs, and cottage cheese as a base. Mix in flax, chia, banana, or whatever else you’d like as flavor/nutrition boosts. Cook the batter on a griddle. I still make them – delish! There are a ton of recipes floating around the interwebs.
Post # 13
I’m a mostly-veg pescetarian who just gave birth a couple of weeks ago, and I maintained my normal diet throughout. I really didn’t have any cravings or aversions during the pregnancy, and I ate fish a handful of times, which is the same frequency I would have if I hadn’t been pregnant.
My midwife complimented my nutrition profile and said I was doing a better job with protein than most of her meat-eating patients. My blood sugar was great on the GD screen. The one area where I was borderline low was iron, so I took a supplement, but the amount of fiber in my normal diet helped me avoid the constipation that usually comes as a side effect of extra iron.
Be gentle with yourself, and listen to your body if you feel like you have to have something out of the ordinary – but be confident that if you want to maintain your vegetarian diet, it’s not only safe, it’s great for the baby.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
My cousin’s wife added shrimp into her diet while pregnant. She didn’t crave it but she wanted to add in the extra animal protein for the baby.
Another friend of mine actually did crave meat and like you she wasn’t heppy about it. After she gave birth, the cravings went away and she returned to her normal diet. She felt that if she craved meat, the baby wanted it, and she wanted to oblige the baby.
Post # 15
@bloodgo1: I’m vegetarian and I have wondered about this exact thing! Like, if/when I get pregnant, what if I have random meat cravings?? Should I just do it for the baby and go back once it’s born or no?? Hahaha realllllllly premature thing to be worrying about since we have only been married two months, but that’s how I roll 😉