Any Vegetarian/Vegan mamas out there who are pregnant and breastfeeding or have been? Have some questions... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I am breastfeeding my 21 month old and about 7 weeks along in my pregnancy. I have been vegetarian for many years including through out my first pregnancy and all through nursing. Had a great pregnancy, birth and healthy child. It seems that most sources recommend eating as if you were having twins when pregnant and breastfeeding all though I notice quite a variation in protein suggestions with some sources suggesting 80-100 grams a day and others as much as 120-140 - which seems high to me. Wondering what others are going by as far as protein consumption and would also like some meal/snack ideas for getting those extra calories and protein in. I am mostly vegan but not strict. Sometimes I eat cheese but rarely other dairy products or eggs.

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#2 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 05:46 PM
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I do not have any children personally, but I am a vegetarian and a certified doula. There is a website that has a lot of great ideas for high protein vegetarian meals. This is the link...


There is a lot of debate over the safety of tofu and soy. I will let you decide if you want to eat either of these. But, I would still recommend eating a food that is high in protein (broccoli, beans, lentils, quinoa, etc.) at every meal, or at least twice a day. Greek yogurt is also pretty good. And of course, lots of nuts! (Provided, of course, that you're not allergic!)


To decide if you personally are getting enough, I would suggest just listening to your body. If you are not tired, and your nursing child is still acting like he or she is nourished, I wouldn't be too concerned.


Hope this helps!


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#3 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 11:24 PM
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When I was pregnant I ate two servings of cottage cheese a day to try and stay on top of protein. I wouldn't do that any more. When I was tandem nursing my bioson and adopted daughter I didn't do anything special.


I am currently learning about chia seeds. They're high in protein. You can add them to lots of stuff. Make a gel--mix 3/4 cup water with 1 tbsp chia, let set in fridge overnight, add as much as you like to a smoothie. Add almond butter to a smoothie.

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#4 of 12 Old 02-12-2012, 07:10 AM
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When pregnant, I ate bean burritos a lot.  I craved them.  Didn't really up the amount of anything else terribly much.  


When pregnant with dd1 I was counting protein and it might be good to remember that EVERYTHING has small amounts of protein in it (so fruit, raw veg, etc) and it adds up.  I'd try to make sure I was choosing small stuff with the higher amounts, which actually made quite a difference overall.  

While nursing I crave and eat eggs a lot so that isn't very helpful for you.  Ditto the suggestions of adding seeds/nuts to things that you can.        

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#5 of 12 Old 02-18-2012, 07:23 AM
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My husband has been vegan for over 20yrs and I think this baby feels that I have no desire for meet or dairy, all my cravings consist of fruit and veg and I'm loving vegertarian chicken nuggets with jalenpos and steamed vegies on the side. I have constantly thought of going if not vegan then vegertarian and seeing as i haven't had any meat in over 6months I might even stick with it after baby is born..

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#6 of 12 Old 02-19-2012, 07:36 PM
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I was vegan through 3 pregnancies and breastfeeding as a vegan for about 8 years.  Now I eat some eggs from my daughter's pet chickens, but I'm still mostly vegan.


Some ideas for extra protein:


Make a chocolate milk shake for breakfast:  Mix raw cashews, soy milk (the highest protein vegan milk), peanut butter, pitted dates, and cocoa powder in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  You might need to add extra milk or nuts to make it a thick, creamy consistency.  Add a generous handful of ice cubes.  Blend again.  If you like it sweeter, add more dates, sugar, or stevia.  Eat it with something high in vitamin C and you have lots of absorbable iron too.


Refried beans, fried potatoes and chile.


Red beans and rice.


Peanut butter mixed with ground flaxseed in equal proportions with apple slices to dip.


Make a cashew cream sauce.  Pour it over garlic sauteed in olive oil.  Add some peas.  Serve over whole wheat (or regular pasta.)


In baked good substitute almond meal for up to half the flour.


Hope that helps.  Have a happy pregnancy!



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#7 of 12 Old 02-20-2012, 06:00 AM
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Some good tips in here. Dovey, that smoothie sounds awesome. Will try it tomorrow. I am vegan and pregnant with my 3rd child (other two are older now). Lately, I've been craving hummus and bean dips. They make a good protein boost in a wrap or just snacked on with fresh veggies (or tortilla chips). Cheers.

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#8 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 05:39 AM
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My favorite snack this pregnancy has been Greek yogurt mixed with high protein granola (Bear Naked has a really good high protein granola) and black berrries (my number one craving this pregnancy). I can easily get 20+ grams of protein with just that, plus it's yummy!


Mmm, this thread is making me hungry. :)

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#9 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 06:18 AM
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I am not vegan, but I had hyperemesis gravidarum during the course of my pregnancy and had absolutely no tolerance for meat or eggs and could only do diary for the second half of my pregnancy.  So I spent much of my pregnancy on a vegan diet for that reason.  First off, my son was absolutely fine so don't worry about it.  Second, I found nuts worked well for me.  Peanuts and cashews are easy to throw into a stir-fry and taste great in them too!  Wheat berries, quinoa and beans worked well for me too.  I'd also highly recommend this:  You can really vary it a lot (it is often served a number of different ways.)  You can make it hot or not as well (I actually had an easier time eating hot foods during my pregnancy, which made no sense to me but I went with whatever worked.)

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#10 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 06:21 AM
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I love hummus with rice crackers, baked beans on whole grain toast, smoothies with soymilk and protein powder (soy is safe, folks!, a variety of seeds throughout the day (e.g. pumpkin seeds, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds), burritos with refried beans, soup with white beans, lentil soup, tempeh sandwiches, and rice pastas with cashew cream sauces. Yum!

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#11 of 12 Old 02-21-2012, 11:50 AM
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I use 1 cup almond milk, to eggs raw, 4 T nutrional yeast, handful of walnuts, 2 bananas or an apple or prunes etc, and stevia in blender. want cholo milk throw in coco powder or carob.  at lest 80 hear maybe more grams protien. I'm ovo veggie as I can't do dairy. makes me very ill. If you do dairy then add in that protien grams to for that.

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#12 of 12 Old 02-22-2012, 06:44 PM
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Lots of great suggestions on here. I have had 2 very healthy pregnancies as a vegan. I suggest lots of bean dips, hummus with navy beans blended in. Also, cook a batch of quinoa and add it to your foods during the week. I love using it for tabbouleh salad for lunches, and adding it to chili. Hemp products are great. Hemp seeds mixed with coconut/soy/almond yogurt and granola is a great protein-filled breakfast. I love making a smoothie with frozen bananas, nut butter of your choice, chocolate hemp or almond milk, and a big ol' scoop of hemp protein powder. Ditto on the suggestion for nuts- I made some trail mix to snack on through my pregnancies with lots of nuts and seeds. For breakfasts I also love Sunshine brand breakfast style patties on a flax english muffin. Delicious! Good luck. Vegan pregnancy/breastfeeding is nutritious and easy once you get the hang of it!


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