I am a student midwife in the midst of some confusing research about nutrition. I've recently been presented with some interesting research indicating that vegan and vegetarian diets could be putting women and their babies at risk for nutritional deficiences. On a gut level I don't really believe this to be the case, but after doing hours of research I'm having a hard time coming up with good resources that support the vegan and vegetarian diets in pregnancy and...so I'm turning to the mothering community for help because I know that folks on here are well educated about their lifestyle choices and making the best decisions for their families. So I'm asking for some help in gathering resources.
Please share with me resources (links, books, etc.) that detail the physiology of nutrient absoption and metabolism for vegetarians. For example, its often put out there that vegans have a lower RDI for calcium because the calcium in greens and vegetable sources is more bioavailable than the calcium in milk. Or that free amino acids found in plant foods are more readily assimilated than proteins from animal products. I would really love to have good, solid information on this! Also some thourough exhaustive resources on the optimal vegetarian and vegan diets in pregnancy and post-partum.
I know that food also has strong energetic effects too and there is much more to life than what can be quantified in rational terms, so I would also be very interested in intuitive experiences that people feel moved to share about their choices around not eating animal or meat products. This would really add some depth to my understanding...
Thanks so much folks!