My Vegan Pregnancy

When I became pregnant with Judah, I had been a vegetarian for around 10 years. All those around me were massively concerned about me getting the right nutrients - I can remember his father making me sit down and eat a plate of broccoli for the iron content.

During my pregnancy with Judah I craved meat and went back to being omnivorous, only reverting back to vegetarianism when he was around one year of age. I was cooking meat and it turned my stomach and I knew I couldn't eat it again.

This pregnancy I have been vegan from the beginning (having lost a stone before pregnancy due to this) and have not had any cravings at all! I firmly believe this is due to the good diet that I eat, I am a healthier vegan than I ever was a vegetarian. My only real craving has been for rosemary and tea tree oil, which I sit huffing like some deranged woman whenever I get the chance! I have been crunching Love Hearts again this pregnancy, it's the only thing I've found that works for heartburn.

I worked on my feet in my last pregnancy and this caused me to stop working at 30 weeks - this time teaching pregnancy movement classes and chasing a toddler has been much better for my body. We have a fairly active lifestyle and are always out and about at parks or on outings in nature.

In early pregnancy I experienced quite a bit of nausea and only wanted to eat curries, loaded with spinach which has great iron content! The thought of any protein turned my stomach for a long time, but when I felt up to it falafel and hummous were the one! As well as vegetarian sausages and chunks of soya which you can add to meals like pies. I have been obsessed with marmite (good for b12 and nausea in pregnancy) and eating marmite and banana sandwiches for lunch. Dom makes the most amazing roasts which are full of butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes and mushrooms, all our meals are heavily loaded with vegetables!

Many pregnant women are slightly anemic (as I am) so I have been taking an iron supplement. Iron deficiency can sometimes be a concern if the woman is at risk of postpartum haemorrhage - the situation can become more dangerous if she loses too much iron with her blood. Interestingly I found a study that associated mild anemia with good birth weight, no incidences of stillbirth, lowest induction and operative delivery rates and better maternal and perinatal outcomes. The body in most cases will always provide the best nutrients to the baby and if anything leave the mother lacking, so I wonder if mild anemia could be attributed to superior placental function? 

The only thing I have to complain about this pregnancy is being big - measuring large here! Such a malnourished vegan baby! ;) and varicose veins, which I can attribute to my hypermobility more than anything, as my ankles struggle to cope with the weight of my body and the pressure is put on my legs.

I feel really great and can't wait to start my vegan breastfeeding journey too!