Getting ready to have a baby is challenging enough without adding dietary restrictions to the mix. For people choosing a meatless regimen, vegan prenatal vitamins are just as important to a healthy pregnancy as it is for those with a more traditional diet. Even so, many mothers-to-be eschew taking any form of supplements, thinking they can handle any issues on their own. In reality, taking a prenatal supplement is a great way to help suppress and prevent many of the problems that a nutrient-deficient diet can have during a pregnancy.
What Are Prenatal Supplements?
Your body needs certain compounds to make everything run smoothly and keep you healthy. This is especially true during pregnancy. It’s not just giving birth that takes a toll on a female’s body, the entire process kicks their physiology into high gear! Without traditional or vegan prenatal vitamins, the pregnancy will sap nutrients from the body and leave little remaining.
One of the more important compounds a baby needs is folic acid. This helps in spine and brain development and stave off certain birth defects. Iron is also essential for oxygenating blood and preventing premature and small births. For women, calcium is already in high demand and the pregnancy will actually strip it from bones in order to create the baby’s own skeletal structure. A good prenatal vitamin will be able to replace these essential compounds.
Why Take Vegan Prenatal Vitamins?
No one wants to have a complicated pregnancy, and prenatal supplements help to prevent issues before, during, and after the big event. There are a number of reasons why choosing a vegan supplement for pregnancy, too, especially if you follow a meat-free lifestyle. Here are some reasons why you’ll want to start stocking up on prenatal supplements while you plan your pregnancy.
1. Because Vegans May Need Multivitamins Anyway
Choosing an entirely plant-based diet means you’re going to be missing out on a host of essential vitamins and minerals, not just those needed for making a little human. For example, eating a lot of vegetables can fill your body with phytates and polyphenols, components found in grains, nuts, black tea, and red wine.
These make it more difficult for your body to absorb iron, which may contribute to some forms of anemia. Supplements not only fortify that iron intake but they also provide the necessary materials to increase iron uptake! Other vitamins that can be lacking due to a plant-based lifestyle include:
- Vitamin B12 for low energy levels and neurological functions
- Calcium strengthens bones and helps regulate heart rhythm and mussel contraction
- Zinc increases immune system effectiveness and apoptosis or cellular death
- Vitamin D for immunodeficiency, cardiovascular support, and brain health
Multivitamins help close the nutritional gap that often occurs in vegetable-exclusive lifestyles. Choosing the right vegan prenatal vitamins will help take care of many of those deficiencies as well!
2. Because Most Multivitamins Are Not Vegan
It may seem counterintuitive, but a lot of vitamins contain animal-sourced products. Most vegans understand they need to regulate the food that they eat, and that their diet requires some additional nutritional support. They don’t realize that some of those supplements are actually breaking their diet!
Often, vitamin manufacturers will include such things as gelatin and magnesium stearate as fillers, both of which can come from pigs, cows, and chickens. The wonder ingredient lanolin mainly found in creams and salves comes from sheep’s wool, and a popular colorant carmine (also called Red-4) is made from crushed insects! Choosing certified vegan supplements will ensure that appropriate alternatives are used.
3. Because You’re Planning to Get Pregnant or Discover You Are
The “pre” in “prenatal” means before, which is actually the perfect time to take them! If you’re ready to start a family, talk to your gynecologist first to develop a plan. The doctor will more than likely suggest taking supplements in addition to cutting out more unhealthy behaviors including excessive drinking and smoking. Taking vegan prenatal vitamins before you even start trying is a great way to build up reserves for the challenges your body will soon face.
As soon as you get a positive result from a pregnancy test, it’s time to search for prenatal vitamins, too. Getting ahead of the game is essential so you don’t deprive the soon-to-be-someone of any of the vital nutrients it needs. You’ll also require some supplements yourself since the pregnancy has already begun to sap your strength and reserves.
A Vegan-Friendly Pregnancy
Having a baby is going to take a lot out of you. Your body will be stressed, as will the child you’re nurturing. While a well-managed vegan diet will provide you with all of the nutrients you need, it’s a much bigger task to fill those nutritional gaps when pregnant. Using a vegan prenatal supplement will take that pressure off, allowing you to enjoy your pregnancy and your preferred diet along with it!