Slideshare vegetarianism and pregnancy


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A vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is made for a variety of reasons but health and nutrition of both mother and child during pregnancy needs some additional consideration.

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Slideshare vegetarianism and pregnancy

  1. 1. Pregnancy & the vegetarian & vegan diet.<br />Key nutrition for healthy development of baby<br /><br />
  2. 2. The Vegetarian diet and pregnancy<br />A vegetarian and vegan lifestyle is chosen for a host of different reasons but the health and development of a baby needs some additional consideration from a nutrition perspective just be sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients for mum and baby.<br />In all cases we recommend speaking to your doctor or health professional who can give specific and tailored nutritional advice.<br /><br />
  3. 3. Folic acid<br />If you are planning to become pregnant you should take folic acid supplements - even if you are healthy and have a good diet. Once pregnant, continue to take the supplements for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. If you take folic acid supplements it reduces the risk of having a baby born with a defect of their spinal cord such as spina bifida. <br /><br />
  4. 4. Protein<br />Protein is absolutely essential for the health of both mother and child. Fortunately, a balanced vegetarian diet usually contains more than enough protein to meet all your needs. Nutritionists say that, during pregnancy, your protein requirements increase by about 11 percent, to about 60 grams per day. <br />Either way, you will get all the protein you need if your diet includes plenty of milk, cheese, eggs, or for vegans soya products (tofu is especially beneficial), lentils and beans. For vegetarians, this won't be a problem, but vegans will need to work harder to ensure their protein intake is adequate. Most individual plant-based protein sources lack all the essential amino acids, and so should be eaten in combination - pulses with grains or with seeds, for example. A dish made with lentils or chickpeas and served with brown rice would be a perfect vegan protein source.<br /><br />
  5. 5. Calcium<br />Calcium is important for the development of your baby's bones and teeth. You will need to ensure that your intake is adequate, especially during the later stages of your pregnancy. This is especially true for women under 19, whose own bone development is still taking place.<br />As a rule of thumb, you should aim to consume at least four portions of calcium-rich foods per day. These foods include milk, cheese, yoghurt, tofu (if made using calcium sulphate as a coagulant), dark green vegetables (kale, broccoli, spinach, etc.), dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Again, vegans might need to work a little harder to ensure their supply, but shouldn't have too much difficulty.<br />To help absorb the calcium, your body needs a good supply of Vitamin D. This can be found in dairy products, and is also produced by exposure to sunlight. If you are vegan, look for Vitamin D-enriched soya drinks or margarine. However, Vitamin D supplements should only be taken with the approval of your physician or dietician, as an excess of the vitamin could be harmful to your child.<br /><br />
  6. 6. Vitamin B12<br />You might need to increase your intake of Vitamin B12 during pregnancy as this is essential for the production of tissue and cells. It is also important if you plan to breast-feed your baby. The recommended daily target is 1.5 micrograms per day. Lacto-vegetarians should have no difficulty in achieving this - a single egg, for example, will meet about 80 percent of your daily needs.<br />Unfortunately, there are few reliable plant-based sources of Vitamin B12. If you are vegan, be sure to include certain fortified foods in you diet. These include vitamin-enriched soya milk and cereals. Quorn and yeast extracts such as Marmite and Vecon are particularly good sources. But check the label, as not all brands of these products contain this important vitamin.<br /><br />
  7. 7. Omega 3 Fats<br />Omega-3 PUFAs are important for maintaining the membranes of cells, perhaps most important is the role of DHA as a major constituent of human eye and brain tissues. The reason that the vast majority of baby milk formulas are supplemented with DHA is to ensure the healthy development of babies. Both EPA and DHA have been associated with cognitive function as well as brain development.<br />Some key facts about DHA:<br />DHA represents 10 to 15 percent of brain total fatty acids.<br />DHA represents 97 percent of brain Omega-3 fatty acids.<br />The European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) Journal 2010, 8 (3) 1461, states:<br />An AI (Adequate Intake) for prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults is considered to be 250 mg per day of DHA + EPA (with the same dose for children of 2 -18 yrs).<br />For children of 7 - 24 months, the AI for DHA is 100 mg per day for visual development.<br />For women who are pregnant or lactating, an additional 100-200 mg per day of DHA is recommended<br />The most common source of omega 3 is from fish, vegetarians and vegans can choose an algal omega 3 supplement such as Opti3 which contains both key omega 3 fats EPA & DHA<br /><br />
  8. 8. Pregnancy & nutrition<br />The prospect of motherhood & the health of your baby can be an exciting but potentially worrying time. If you have concerns about your diet or nutrient content your doctor of health professional can help and give best advice.<br />Being a parent is the most precious gift we will ever receive, look after yourself and look after baby, eat well.<br /><br />