I am really big on research. So needless to say, I have been doing a lot of ready in the past 17 weeks. One of the first books that I picked up off of amazon is still my favorite by far. So the first book I am recommended for expecting vegan parents is Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide by Sayward Rebhal. It is a wonderful straight to the point guide book. She covers everything you want to know about nutrition, supplements, morning sickness, aces and pains and of course awkward social situations that may come up as a result of being a pregnant vegan. A lot of the book is in short paragraphs and list, which I really appreciate because it is easy to reefer back to things you want to reread. This book will save you hours of googling. I will be buying a copy for all of my girlfriends that decide to get pregnant.
The Knocked Up Vegan Book Club (Book One): Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide
As I have written about before, I am really big on smoothies. I have one everyday for breakfast. This morning my wonderful boyfriend surprised me with a vegan mango lassi smoothie.
As vegans we are used to people always asking us, "where do you get your protein?". When you get pregnant you get a fun new question to answer to which is, "where do you get your iron?". There is a myth that most vegans are iron deficient (at least that is what my doctor told me). This puzzles me because most of the vegans I hang with eat tons of leafy greens and legumes, which are both great sources of iron. The fact of the matter is however, once you become pregnant your iron needs do go way up. You have twice as much blood in your body so you need extra iron to make more hemoglobin. Iron is also extremely important in growing your baby and placenta. Pregnant women usually need 27 milligrams of iron per day.
As you can see from the chart there are lots of great plant based ways to get your iron. One great idea that a friend shared with me this weekend was adding a hand full of spinach to your smoothies in the morning. It may turn your smoothies green (which I find fun) but you can't even taste it. I also keep hummus on hand at all times for snacks. Plus! who doesn't love rice and beans for dinner. These are just a few things I do but make sure to talk to your doctor about what is right for you. They might recommend a supplement just to be sure you are hitting that 27 milligrams mark.
*Chart found on babycenter.com
Drinking water is super important, especially when you are pregnant. In the 15 weeks I have been knocked up my body can't seem to get enough water. I am so thirsty all the time! Which makes sense because your body is working over time to create a new life. So it only seems right that your body needs some extra fuel to keep it going. My doctor recommended that I drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water (juice and soda don't count) everyday. Drinking water can help with morning sickness, dizziness, fatigue and it can help prevent stretch marks, urinary tract infections and gestational diabetes (all common during pregnancy). So there is no good reason not to be getting your 8 to 10 glasses a day.
The problem that I was having was that I was just getting sick of drinking plain ol' water. I was thirsty, I knew I needed it but I was just so tired of it. So here are a few ideas to spruce up your water. It is a amazing how much easier it is to drink water when you are actually enjoying it. I bought a small pitcher that I keep at my desk while I work. I make different flavors of water every day. These are just a few of my favorites.
I love smoothies! Ever since I have been pregnant I can't seem to get enough of them. They are fun, filling and easy to drink on my drive to work. Plus, they are a great way to mainline vitamins and nutrients! Every morning I whip one up with hemp protein powder, flax oil, soy yogurt, assorted frozen fruits and some walnuts for good measure. This is an easy way to make sure I am getting my protein, probiotics and omga-3s all in one.
Here is a free baby shower bunting banner that I designed for a friend at work. This file is set up to be printed on 13 standard 8.5"x11" sheets of paper. Enjoy!
Like a lot of girls growing up in Northern California listening to Black Flag, Minor Threat and the Circle Jerks I have always bleached my hair platinum blonde. This was a bit of a problem when I first found out I was pregnant. Harsh chemicals and developing life forms do not mix. Most dyes, not just bleach, contain harsh chemicals and when applied directly to the scalp can enter your blood stream, which is also now your baby's blood stream. This can be especially harmful during your first trimester when your baby is developing.
This is where you call in the experts your doc. and a knowledgeable hairdresser. I first consulted with my doc. and she pretty much told me what I expected. Bleach when applied directly to the scalp is bad for the above mentioned reason(it can get into your blood). Highlights, that do not touch the scalp, can be an option but there is still a small risk involved. Most women choose to wait until the second trimester to highlight their hair, when there is much less risk involved because your baby has developed and is now just growing. The best and safest option is to forgo all the chemicals and go with a semi permanent that has no ammonia or peroxide. This option is safe at any stage of pregnancy. So I talked to my wonderful hair dresser and she confirmed that this was the safest option. Since I could not use ammonia or peroxide there would be no way to lighten my ever growing dark roots. So good bye Marilyn hello Betty! I went from almost white blonde to a medium brown to match my roots.
Make sure you choose a hairdresser that you trust and that knows what they are doing. The woman I go to is the mother of two so she knows whats up. You always need to let them know you are pregnant and what your needs are(no ammonia or peroxide) because some semi permanent dyes still have the harsh chemicals. Also make sure your hair dresser knows about your cruelty free lifestyle and is willing to work with you to find products that fit your morals. I live in California so most people are pretty understanding. If you live somewhere else you may have to call around a bit more.
As far as home dying I can't really speak too much to that. I tend to err on the side of caution and go to a professional. Keep in mind that some semi permanent dyes still have the harsh chemicals. If you do decide to dye your hair at home make sure you are using semi permanent with no ammonia or peroxide. I would even call a salon or beauty supply store and ask for recommendations. Again lightening will not be an option. You are limited to your shade or darker if you choose this route.
At the end of the day as hard as it was to give up being blonde I felt like I made the right choice with the least risks possible. Talk to your doctor and they will help you make the right decision for you.
My name is Christina and I am one knocked up vegan. At the time of this post I will just be reaching the beginning of my second trimester, or at least that is what the app on my phone tells me. I live in a small beachside town near San Francisco, CA with my boyfriend and our two rescue dogs. We are both vegans and looking forward to raising our first vegan child. This blog is to share my experiences with other vegans getting ready to become parents. For a lot of us we are (or will be) the only vegan parents we know! So this is my way of reaching out to all of you out there. We can go through this together!