There may be another post like this and i am truly sorry if that's the case but i need help. If i were to get pregnant how would i go about doing that while being vegan because well, i cannot gain weight. Not to mention if i were to get pregnant being vegan and all, how would i be able to gain all the pounds i need, keep both me and the child healthy and what not without eating meat? I've never learned how a vegan mother did it because what if i have cravings for meat? My mother, when she was pregnant with me, had immense cravings for buffalo chicken. I won't be able to eat those kinds of things and i guess i'm worried that i might have a miscarriage, or my child will be underweight when she/he is born.
Advice, experiences, etc. is needed. Also tips on how to be a vegan expecting mother.
my advice is to relax and know it's been done many many times.
I am just entering my eighth month and I have remained vegan the whole time. I was really healthy before I got pregnant, ate whole foods and lots of greens. When my morning sickness kicked in, I had an aversion to every food I had eaten in the last few months. That included most fruits and veggies, all seeds and nuts, most grains, and most beans. I basically switched to pasta, bread, and packaged food. Not the healthiest diet, but I survived and so did my baby. I could only choke down my vitamins about every other day. But I did the best I could.
After the first trimester, your appetite really increases. Gaining weight really shouldn't be a problem since you want to eat all the time. I haven't really had any cravings, but I will admit that every commercial with meat looked so good I was ready to run out and grab every fast food meal I could put my hands on. I never followed through though, because I knew that no matter how much I wanted meat it wasn't healthy for my baby.
I really wouldn't worry about it too much. The biggest challenge isn't really eating enough, it's eating the right kinds of food. Trying to get enough protein for a vegan really ensures enough calories. Nuts, seeds, tofu, seitan and legumes are the best sources and they aren't low-cal foods. I also switched to commercial soymilk for the calories and additional nutrients.
There are a lot of good resources out there, so if the time comes for you, you don't have to go it alone. Read about vegan pregnancy on the internet and grab a few books. Then you'll figure out what works for you. Basically you just do the best you can.
BB ~ Those things that you mention (miscarriages, underweight babies, etc) happen to everyone (not just veg*ns). It is unfortunate, but it is a part of life. I think something that really helps is entering into pregnancy (and trying to conceive) as positively and relaxed as possible. Extra stress is no good. You'll be fine! :)
You just need to make sure you're eating enough calories. If you're getting enough calories, you'll gain weight whether they come from meat or highly processed junk food or fresh fruit and vegs. Concentrate on good nutrition, and if you crave buffalo chicken (or other meat) you can make a veg*n alternative.
I also had a successful vegan pregnancy and now have a healthy 5-yo daughter. In my opinion being vegan reduces your chance of having a miscarriage due to the reduction in your risk of contracting food borne illnesses. It is also safe to not gain weight or to even lose weight while pregnant, so relax. My guess is that you will gain weight anyway. Underweight babies are usually the result of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. and it is not the result of eating healthy food. Your doctor may worry a bit at first, but after you insure him/her that you are consuming sufficient protein they should be fine with it. Of note, I only took a B12/folic acid supplement while pregnant just to be on the safe side.
There's no set number of calories that are "enough" for everyone. It depends on your size and activity level and stuff. And for the record, most people (especially women) don't need 2000+ calories, because most people don't exercise enough to burn that much energy.
That said, 1000 calories is pretty low. I think average women are supposed to get something like 1500 calories per day, but I'm not a nutritionist so you should double check that (plus if you're very active or have a fast metabolism, you'd need more calories). When you're pregnant you need an extra 300-500 calories per day, and if you breastfeed you need extra calories then as well.
To be honest, I don't count calories, and didn't count them when I was pregnant either. I just eat when I'm hungry. As long as you eat healthy food (with a few treats here and there), you should be fine.
1000 calories a day seems too low to me, my kindergartner eats that every day, and he's 6. I would talk to a nutritionist before getting pregnant to make sure you are getting what you need to feed both you and the baby.