giving into meat while pregnant - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 01-22-2009, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I am 12 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child and have just been feeling on the verge of craziness almost since day one of this pregnancy-unable to cope with anything, even cooking, really down, feeling isolated, tired, sick-you name it! I was really getting worried and had a suspicion that eating some meat may help-nothing was ever filling me up. After speaking with my midwife, I decided to try some chicken yesterday and the difference was huge! I feel a bit sad about it, but figure I can always become a reborn vegetarian when I feel up for it. Just curious if any of you have experienced this and how many others there are that gave up the veggie lifestyle while expecting.

thanks for your help!
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#2 of 15 Old 01-22-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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At the beginning of my pregnancy we were traveling abroad and I was having a lot of difficulty finding anything to eat. I was also feeling quite weak so I decided to have meat one time. It was fine and did give me a little energy boost so that was good.

Once I got home, I continued to be veggie. If meat is what works for you right now, then great. Although I would recommend some strengthening dishes in place of meat such as nishime, kinpira, or to eat fish instead of other meats and see if that helps.

Good luck!
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#3 of 15 Old 01-30-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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When I got pg I had been a vegetarian (ovo-lacto) for about nine years. I didn't find that I craved meat or that I felt particularly crazy, but I did have nasty morning sickness for eight months. I never ate meat, but sometimes I wonder if a little fish might have helped with the constant nausea. I think it's really hard to get enough grams of protein on a vegetarian diet during pregnancy (not to say it can't be done). I was also slightly underweight (I have physiological trouble gaining weight) so I probably needed even more protein and may not have been getting enough.

Your body may just be telling you that you need more protein and meat is the easiest way to get a lot of protein in a small quantity of food. You could do a little experiement, though, and try to protein load on veggie sources and see if you feel better as well. You could start out with protein powder in a smoothie, snacks of nuts and hard boiled eggs, and even some of the fake meat products like soy dogs or Quorn roast (which are loaded with protein).

I'll be interested to hear the other responses you get.
Good luck!

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#4 of 15 Old 01-30-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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It sounds like your body was trying to tell you something, and it's great that you're listening. This is not uncommon during pregnancy. Whether it's the protein, the fat or maybe even the iron that you needed, you obviously weren't getting enough of something. Do eggs or fish give you the same relief of symptoms? If not, then I'd stick with the meat.

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#5 of 15 Old 01-30-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post
It sounds like your body was trying to tell you something, and it's great that you're listening. This is not uncommon during pregnancy. Whether it's the protein, the fat or maybe even the iron that you needed, you obviously weren't getting enough of something. Do eggs or fish give you the same relief of symptoms? If not, then I'd stick with the meat.
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#6 of 15 Old 01-30-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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I was a vegetarian for 14 years when I started eating meat with my first pregnancy. I would definitely stick to pastured, hormone and antibiotic free meat, of course, but I really craved animal products during my pregnancies. We are edging back to a vegetarian lifestyle now for health and environmental reasons but still eat a bit of meat from our wonderful local organic meat goddesses. You're not alone!!!
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#7 of 15 Old 01-30-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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me too!

veg for 14 years and my morning sickness was so bad i lost 15 pounds and could not open the fridge without puking.

i totally ate a tuna melt and some of dh turkey deli sammy. i also ate some canned salmon. i really felt like i was going to die unless i ate something and after four months of puking, meat actually looked good.

it doesn't look good now and i'm back on the veg wagon except for an occasional tuna melt.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-31-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post
i totally ate a tuna melt and some of dh turkey deli sammy. i also ate some canned salmon. i really felt like i was going to die unless i ate something and after four months of puking, meat actually looked good.
So, eating meat cured your morning sickness? I really wonder if that was my problem. In fact, I'm still wondering if that IS my problem since I'm having trouble maintaining my weight and staying healthy while bfing.

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#9 of 15 Old 01-31-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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You may have just been in need of more protein. You don't need meat if you don't want it. I have never craved meat, but your body was most likely lacking something that you gave it by using meat. Maybe look into some higher protein vegetarian foods?

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#10 of 15 Old 01-31-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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This is my second veg*n pregnancy, and I have never had a problem getting enough protein. If I feel a protein craving then I make myself a hemp shake or snack on some nuts. There are LOTS of plant based protein sources.

For 2 of my college classes I had to make a food diary of foods I actually ate, and either double my required protein intake or at least "up" it to about 80-100 grams. Both times were very easy for me to do with a vegan diet. (I am actually lacto-veg though)

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#11 of 15 Old 02-01-2009, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your very helpful responses! I have experimented with my meat intake (turkey and chicken) over the past two weeks, and it really seems I am needing a little bit every day for now. I was trying to see if I could skip it every other day or so, but I would feel the empty, helpless, weak feeling I had before. It seemed I was getting an adequate amount of protein, from dairy, beans, meat substitute, tofu, protein powder, etc, but I just never felt full and would feel sick again soon after eating. I don't get it, but maybe after 16 weeks (that's when you are supposed to turn the corner and feel better, right??) I will try every other day again. I was vegetarian for maybe a year and a half, so I wonder if that could also be a reason I seem to be having a more difficult time with it than those of you who have been vegetarian for much longer. Thanks again! I will keep your tips in mind
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#12 of 15 Old 02-01-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I was a vegetarian for awhile. During that time when it was around my cycle I would get very ill and weak. I tried eating higher iron/protein veg. items but it did not help. I finally figured out I felt ok if I had a couple of servings of meat during that time along with the higher iron/protein veg. items. I felt like a horrible cheater and my husband would harass me about it but there was something in that meat that my body was asking for that I was not finding else where. Our bodies are smart and they know what we need!

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#13 of 15 Old 02-02-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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I was veggie for 8 years, had a fantastically healthy veggie first pregnancy with no meat cravings. My older boy was the absolute perfect healthy babe.

My second pregnancy was hard, I craved meat but refused to give into my cravings. Tried supplements etc, nothing helped. I felt awful the whole time. My younger son has had a myriad of health problems since he was born. At 2, we introduced fish into our diet and his health improved. At 4, he now eats chicken and turkey often, he has had the healthiest past 4 months of his life.

My third pregnancy I went veggie again, began craving meat, so this time I listened and added poultry to my diet when fish wasn't reducing cravings. Wow, what a difference! I had a great, healthy pregnancy and my daughter was the text book healthy baby.

So, in my experience, some people's body's aren't suited for a veggie diet, my younger son being one such a person. His health has gotten significantly better since adding meat (fish and fowl) to his diet. He needed the meat when he was utero and I wasn't listening to what my body was telling me.

Listening to what your body is telling you when pregnant will rarely steer you wrong. If you feel better eating meat, it's most likely that your babe is needing the extras meat provides.
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#14 of 15 Old 02-02-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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To the PP:

I am wondering if you have a B12 deficiency. It is really easy to get one when you are a vegetarian, and can usually be solved by taking a good supplement. Perhaps have some blood drawn and see what your levels are at. When I became a vegetarian I began having some of those symptoms, which are also symptoms of depression--caused by B12.

That being said, I started eating meat when I got pregnant. I was just at my daily required protein before getting pregnant, and I was eating everything I could fit in my tummy in one day! I know it is possible if you can do things like the hemp shakes that another poster mentioned. However, I was a new veg (less than a year), and when I was feeling so sick and exhausted, it was so overwhelming to think of having to plan more complicated or unusual dishes to get protein. So yes, it's possible to have a vegetarian or vegan pregnancy and be totally healthy, but I think if you are fairly new to the veg lifestyle, this could be difficult. Don't beat yourself up over it! You can always go veg again later, when you feel more up to it. I eat meat 2-3 times a week now, and get my protein otherwise from dairy products, eggs, beans, tofu, etc.

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#15 of 15 Old 02-02-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Hey mama, you have had great advice and support here. I am not a vegetarian, but we are always 'trying' to eat vegetarian and raw. I am pregnant and it just. isn't. working. for me! Ugh! I actually think I'm making things really hard for myself and that I too haven't had enough protein. I too don't think meat is the only or even best way to get protein, but it seems to help a lot. I have been eating eggs and wish I had some raw dairy (but expensive for us right now). I tried chicken this week and kinda feel weird about it.

To the pp's that said listen to your body b/c it knows best...that is so true!
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