Before going to the subject of this post, I’d like to thank everybody who let comments on my post about keep going with the blog or giving up, it was very important to me to read your thoughts and I’ve decided to keep posting, even if I’m not to do it frequently
Now, the pregnancy. I usually avoid writing personal stuff here but I think it is important to share vegan pregnancy experiences and I’m close to the end of the second trimester (already!) so I think it’s time to write about the first three months.
I know I’m not the first (and even less the least) vegan pregnant in the world but I still feel that information is never too much. I think it’s not a big deal to be vegan and pregnant, I have to say, I don’t feel special or anything, but I think it is pretty cool to know that this new life is growing in a vegan environment (for now, my belly and all I eat). I also think that the fact that I am having my first pregnancy away from my country, family and friends is more outstanding than the fact that I am having a vegan pregnancy.
My pregnancy was very well planned and expected. Because of this I had plenty of time to prepare my body and my mind, what I think it was pretty good. I was taking folic acid since last year and in the beginning of 2011 I started to take Solgar Prenatal Nutrients. I was already eating healthier (more vegs and fruits) but I was still drinking soda, coffee and eating a lot of sweets (you know I have a sweet tooth!).
I spent my first pregnant month (that one I have no clue I was pregnant) practicing to play with Purification in South America and then traveling and playing. After that I stayed with my family in Brazil for another 2 weeks and I had the chance to share the news with them and with my closest friends in person (and this was priceless). Also, I could go to see my gynecologist (who is also an obstetrician) and this was very important to me cause she has being my doctor since I was 19 years old. She was very relax with the fact that I am vegan and she said I was doing everything right.
I came back to Europe and was luck enough to have the only obstetrician I know in Dublin taking care of me. She and the maternity staff are being amazing and she also gave me tons of security about being vegan and pregnant. My blood exams so far are great (she pointed out that B12 rates are lower in pregnant women and that she would go through my exams to see if I needed more supplement or not – and I didn’t need it until now). And she said something that I remember every day: “Can you imagine how many vegetarian women give birth in countries like India and they’re completely fine? Don’t worry, we in West Europe are not used to this but you’ll be fine. You’re probably healthier than the majority of the ‘normal’ pregnant women around”.
And here I am. Taking care of my pregnancy not like a vegan mom-to-be but as a very conscious mom-to-be. I’m eating more vegetables and fruits, I’m not drinking coffee (this was my personal choice) and I’m trying to avoid sugar (this is being hard and I’m still eating sweets and chocolate in a regular basis, but I’m having more raw sweets and using just brown sugar at home). One thing that I really want to stress here is that this has being my personal experience. Every pregnancy has its own characteristics and I’m really blessed that I am being capable to keep vegan and healthy until now. But if you are experiencing healthy issues, seek for professional help (try to find doctors and nutritionists who actually have some knowledge about veganism) and do the best for you and your baby.
All I want is the best for me and my baby and I want him to have love and respect since the early beginning. For animals, for other people, for the world.
PS. Three important things I forgot to mention:
* I didn’t suffer with morning sickness and this was for sure the best part of my first trimester;
* I didn’t suffer with any constipation, probably cause the vegan diet is full of fibers and I started drinking more water too;
* I had a lot of gas and this was pretty bad. I also think it was due to all beans and broccoli that I eat, so if you’re suffering with this you could change some foods. What helped me a lot were some teas, such as fennel and a organic tea from Yogi called Stomach Ease (they also have Mother to Be and Nursing Support options)