There is a rampant misconception many walking amongst us have regarding pregnancy- Nutrition for pregnant women must include animal products. So before we jump the gun, let us enter the discussion with no bias and only facts backing the claim.
The first source would be that of a scientific paper put forward by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It says that a properly planned plant-based food diet which could be a lacto-vegetarian, vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian, are all appropriate for all the stages of the life cycle, including lactation. What this means is that a plant-based meal will give you all of the nutrients that you will need to develop not just your needs but more importantly, the baby’s needs.
So arguably, it is a safe bet to stick to a plant-based diet to meet the nutritional requirements of an expecting mother.
Plant-Based Food Intake During Different Stages Of Pregnancy
Different stages of the pregnancy require different levels of calorie intake to ensure that the needs of the growing baby are met.
In the First trimester, there is no need to increase the caloric intake. During this time, the symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and constipation can hamper the food intake. Stick to cold foods like tofu or cold cut veggies and fruits to stimulate the heightened sense of smell less.
Having drinks and smoothies, that have both ginger and lemon will help in controlling the sensations of nausea. Having a high-fibre intake such as that of soya chunks, drinking plenty of water and moving around will help in controlling constipation and make the situation more manageable.
To fight the fatigue, have whole grain crackers, cut veggies, and fruits that you can have in a moment’s notice. You can also batch cook in advance and stock up in the fridge; you may reheat the meal in a snap and have a healthy plant-based meal quickly.
The Second trimester is where you will gain about 3/5th of your total pregnancy weight, so be sure to pile up the calories during this time. Remember, pregnancy is not the time to try and lose weight and control calories; eat plenty of healthy plant-based foods and you will feel your baby smiling gleefully in your womb.
The Third trimester is where you will like you are about to pop. Indigestion and acid reflux is a common thing. Have small meals and eat slower than usual. If you are finding it hard to eat, then consume calorie-rich foods like avocado, nuts and seeds.
To Sum Up
Eat a 100% plant-based diet and watch as your baby thrives, healthy and happy! You will have a memorable pregnancy experience!