Healthy Vegetarian Diet During Pregnancy

pasta dish on white ceramic bowl

Table of Contents

If you are a pregnant vegetarian, you should get ready to answer all the questions you were asked when you decided to become a vegetarian:

  • Where do you get the necessary protein intake?
  • How about calcium and iron?
  • Taking any food supplements?

It is possible that you will get to ask yourself the same questions. However, by understanding how pregnancy changes your dietary needs and by learning how to face them despite your vegetarian diet, you can gain the necessary confidence to enjoy your pregnancy, get rid of worries and to reassure others that you and your baby will be just fine.

Protein Intake

Do not worry, you will not need to replace your hummus with a cheese and meat sandwich. In fact, experts say that babies born by vegetarian mothers are just as healthy as the other children are. This can possible if the vegetarian mothers are very careful about their vegetarian diet and learn to create daily menus so as to accumulate all the necessary elements for a healthy fetus development.

In addition, specialists have discovered that it can be more difficult for a vegetarian mother to gain weight. Doctors recommend a pregnant woman weight gain of approximately 11 to 16 kg during pregnancy, and this will require 300 extra calories each day.

Cereals, vegetables, nuts and seeds, dairy (for lacto vegetarians) and starchy vegetables can be excellent sources of calories during this period. A pregnant woman’s weight gain during her pregnancy is closely related to the baby’s birth weight, just as the baby’s health depends on his weight at birth.

One way to increase the number of calories is to add oil or other sauces to your food. Try to eat highly caloric foods such as nuts or peanut butter. Eating little and often during the day can also help you gain weight.

Calcium And Iron

Vegetarian mothers who introduce dairy products and eggs in their diet should have no problems accumulating the necessary calcium and iron during pregnancy.

Food Supplements

Extreme vegetarians however, who take out of their diet all animal products, might have to work a little more in order to get enough protein and they are most likely to need certain food supplements. An extreme vegetarian’s food needs are more complex, so experts recommend consulting a nutritionist, early in the preconception period.

The health of a mother and her child is influenced not only by the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy, but also by her preconception diet. Thus, a healthy diet before pregnancy will be a good source of nutrients for the baby during pregnancy, since the fetus is most likely to develop nutritional problems in early pregnancy, when he is developing most rapidly.


Overall, a vegetarian mother can have a beautiful, healthy pregnancy, should she learn to cleverly adjust her body and her baby’s needs to her beliefs and follow a healthy vegetarian diet during pregnancy.