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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vegan Pregnancy: First Trimester

If that title doesn't make it totally clear, yep, I'm having a vegan baby :-) And if anyone has been wondering where I've been for so long, I simply have been taking a break from the blog. Mostly because my stomach has been so fickle...I can't even imagine trying to develop new recipes right now. But what I can share is some of the vegan-friendly resources I've discovered during these first few months of pregnancy!

One of my first pregnancy-related purchases was DEVA Vegan Prenatal Multivitamin & Mineral. I like their regular multivitamin, so I figured the prenatals are probably good too. Nutritionally, they have you covered on pretty much everything except DHA. Unfortunately, they're not the most pleasant vitamins to take. They are not coated like the multivitamins, so they are not as easy to swallow. In fact, sometimes they'll get stuck in the back of my mouth because they've started to dissolve and get sticky. The taste is a little funky too. Like many prenatal vitamins, they can also make nausea/morning sickness worse. I don't blame DEVA though -- It's a common problem with taking prenatal vitamins. I've found that taking them with the largest meal of the day seems to help a lot with the nausea.

If anyone knows of a better vegan prenatal multivitamin (must be coated), please let me know in the comments. These were the only vegan prenatal vitamins I could find locally (I prefer not to order online unless I really need something), but I'm open to other brands if there's something better out there.

During my first prenatal appointment at the birth center, I was told to start taking DHA as well. I couldn't find a lot of vegan DHA options locally, but the NOW Foods brand was affordable and is vegetarian/vegan. So far so good! These "softgels" are fairly small and easy to swallow. No weird taste. I would definitely recommend them.

(My disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietician. These are just the supplements I am taking in addition to my usual vitamin B12 supplement. Ask your doctor/midwife/dietician/nutritionist if you have any questions about which supplements to take.)

And finally, The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, LD, FADA has been a handy resource for vegan-related pregnancy concerns. While it doesn't go into a lot of details about body changes or cover week by week development, I do think it's worth adding your personal library. No one pregnancy book is going to have everything (I have a stack of pregnancy books!), but I do find myself referring to this one often for the nutritional information.

Other good sources for vegan pregnancy nutrition info:

Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD
Vegan for Life by Jack Norris, RD, and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD

Websites / online articles:
Pregnancy and the Vegan Diet
Vegetarian Diets for Pregnancy

Please feel free to share any other resources in the comments!



  1. Congratulations again! I used those same prenatal vitamins during my vegan pregnancy and found them easier to take than some of the others that I'd tried. My pregnancy/birth went without a hitch and I received excellent care at the birth center. You'll be in good hands there. If you need any support or just feel like hanging out with a fellow vegan mama please just let me know!

  2. Thanks! Things are going a little better with the vitamins as of the last week, so I think I'll be able to keep using them :)

  3. Congrats. I have a vegan friend who recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Whatever you believe you can do, you are right. The idea of taking vitamins as a vegan, vegetarian or carnivore pregnant mum seems a bit funny somehow. Years ago, when such supplements did not exist or were not widely accessible, women were still having healthy babies.

  4. A vegan friend of mine recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl. This is her first child. Seems funny somehow that vegans, vegetarians and carnivorous mums-to-be take vitamin supplements to supposedly increase chances of having a healthy baby. Years ago, when such pills did not exist or were not widely available, healthy babies were still being born. Whatever you feel is the right thing to do is the right thing for you. Thoughts are powerful energy. Listen to the heart. Know divine grace is always unfolding.

  5. I don't think everyone has to take supplements, depending on how well planned their diets are. For me personally, it's nice to know I'm getting enough vitamins/minerals, even when my appetite was low. I actually lost weight during the first trimester...kinda freaked me out, haha. But I'm healthy and doing great, so that's what counts :)

  6. Well to clarify, I do think vegans should still take a B-12 supplement, because it's hard to get enough from just fortified foods.