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Vegan and pregnant

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If you’re a vegan and pregnant making sure you and your baby are getting those ever important nutrients during your pregnancy can be tricky at times. Like vegetarians, you need to ensure you’re getting enough iron, omega-3, zinc, vitamin E and calcium, so check our page “vegetarian and pregnant” for sources of these nutrients. However, a vegan diet also tends to contain lower levels of other important nutrients, which vegan mums-to-be must ensure they’re getting for the health of themselves and their babies.

What else does a vegan diet lack?

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium (we’ve included this again, because vegans don’t eat or drink dairy products so cow’s milk is obviously not a solution to any deficiency you may experience).

What can I eat to ensure I get enough of these nutrients?

  • Vitamin D: Fortified cereals and if you can get some sunshine, sitting in it for 10-15 minutes a day can be a great source of vitamin D.
  • Vitamin B2: soybeans and products made using them, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, spinach and almonds.
  • Vitamin B12: enriched soy milk, fortified cereals and tofu.
  • Calcium: dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, sesame butter, broccoli, sea vegetables, tapioca and other similar grains.

Vegans often end up taking supplements as it can be quite hard to get the full RDA (recommended daily allowance) of some nutrients, such as vitamin D, even if they are very careful. But not to worry, because many mums take supplements and they aren’t harmful to you or your baby.