What nutrients do I need to consider while being pregnant and vegetarian or vegan?
There are a few key nutritional requirements for vegetarians and vegans in general, but they become especially important during pregnancy.
During the second trimester you need approximately 350 more calories each day and 450-500 during the third trimester. A great way to add in these extra calories is by upping your typical portions during your meals or adding an extra few snacks throughout your day.
Vegetarians and vegans are especially at risk for B12 deficiency because the large majority of Vitamin B12 sources come from animal products.
Be sure to check in with your health care provider to make sure you are getting enough!
Some other key nutrients to consider include: calcium, zinc, vitamin D, and essential fatty acids.
Many of our nutrient needs increase during pregnancy as we are supporting another life. If you are vegetarian or vegan you will need to ensure you are meeting nutrient requirements, especially for the nutrients mentioned above. In addition, it will be extremely important to take your prenatal supplement regularly, with potential additional supplements for vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Aim to consume a variety of nutrient dense foods and don’t restrict calories, that growing bump needs that extra support.
If you are concerned about your diet during pregnancy or needed help ensuring you are getting the nutrients you and your baby needs while following a plant based diet, consider consulting with someone like myself (a registered dietitian nutritionist) or another health care provider.
I offer a FREE 15-minute health chat, if you want any questions answered. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to set up your free health chat.
Some healthy snack ideas include: