Once of my concerns when I announced my pregnancy was how others would take to my veganism. I had already been vegan for two and half years, and I had not intention of going back to my omnivorous way when I found out I was expecting. I had just read Skinny Bitch: Bun in The Oven and knew I was going to stay vegan. Here are some benefits that I found to my plant-based pregnancy.
1. I didn't have to worry about what not to eat in the prohibited food list. Shellfish? Not a problem. Here's a list of items you shouldn't eat, all of which are excluded from a plant-based diet: (Source: WebMD)
- Hot dogs
- Luncheon meats
- Unpasteurized dairy foods
- Rare meat
- Raw oysters
- Sushi (Although I did eat lots and lots of avocado sushi rolls!)
- Unpasteurized eggs
- Raw cookie or cake dough
- Homemade eggnog
- Large fish (such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel)
3. Cooking isn't hard either. I opted for lots of veggies and rice. Although I wasn't perfect by any means, I usually brought my lunch to work and drank a smoothie on my way there. Dinner was no different than before I became pregnant.
4. My diet has saved me from gaining too fast. I did have an embarrassing appointment with the midwife where she gave me "the talk" about juices. I had no idea how much sugar was in a teeny tiny can of pineapple juice and I was chugging it for a few weeks there. That's when I gained 7 lbs. in one month. Otherwise, it was pretty steady.
5. People actually applauded my veganism during pregnancy. No one that I knew was overly concerned that I wasn't getting the nutrients I needed or that my lack of dairy would equal missed calcium for my baby and I. Luckily, I'm surrounded by super supportive people who all understand why I went vegan in the first place.