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Any vegan parents out there?

(5 Posts)
blackkitty1234 Sat 21-Nov-20 02:37:09

Hi there

My DH and I have been vegan for over six years and now I am 6 months pregnant. I'm starting to panic about her diet and she's not even out the womb yet. I just want to be prepared. I know veganism can be healthy for children if done properly but I don't know what I'm doing. I myself tend to eat quite unhealthily (I'm vegan for the animals, not my health) and I make up for any shortfalls with supplements. I've been taking a pregnancy supplement plus a DHA algae based supplement throughout my pregnancy. I can see all babies need to supplement with vitamin A,C, and D from six months as per the NHS guidelines but I am guessing I will also need to top my baby up with B-12, iodine, and possibly DHA also while focusing on foods rich in iron, calcium and protein? But this also feels like a lot of supplements. If you've had your baby be vegan from birth, how did you use supplements? Which foods did you adopt as your staples, etc.

Thank you 😊

OP’s posts: |
LeGrandBleu Sat 21-Nov-20 04:06:56

Hi @blackkitty1234 there is a vegan board with plenty of parents www.mumsnet.com/Talk/vegan

You can’t compensate for a crappy diet with supplements because good nutrition goes way beyond a list of vitamins and minerals. Tu oh should maybe start to reflect on what diet you would like your child to grow with and consider that she will eat what she sees you eating and since malnutrition is rampant amongst vegans, maybe abandon the junk vegan diet made of 50-shades- of- beige, processed and fried food( or food like substances) and take advantage of this last trimester to maybe embrace the VEG part of VEGan.
Buy vegan nutrition books, and understand that your staples will need to be beans chickpeas, tofu, a whole rainbow of colours for veggies, whole grains and seeds.
Malnutrition will affect the brain development so you should start educating yourself now.
A good vegan diet requires a lot of planning.

Thatwentbadly Sat 21-Nov-20 07:31:30

I’m not vegan but we don’t eat meat and my girls have multiple allergies including dairy and egg so I hang out on Facebook vegan weaning/parenting boards for information.

One of the biggest things to remember is what is a healthy diet for an adult is not a health diet for a child as they have different requirements.

blackkitty1234 Sat 21-Nov-20 12:57:04

LeGrandBleu

Hi @blackkitty1234 there is a vegan board with plenty of parents www.mumsnet.com/Talk/vegan

You can’t compensate for a crappy diet with supplements because good nutrition goes way beyond a list of vitamins and minerals. Tu oh should maybe start to reflect on what diet you would like your child to grow with and consider that she will eat what she sees you eating and since malnutrition is rampant amongst vegans, maybe abandon the junk vegan diet made of 50-shades- of- beige, processed and fried food( or food like substances) and take advantage of this last trimester to maybe embrace the VEG part of VEGan.
Buy vegan nutrition books, and understand that your staples will need to be beans chickpeas, tofu, a whole rainbow of colours for veggies, whole grains and seeds.
Malnutrition will affect the brain development so you should start educating yourself now.
A good vegan diet requires a lot of planning.

Oh, I didn’t even know there was a vegan board, will head over there now. Thanks. I guess my concern is even if I give her a healthy diet (which I fully intend to do), there are still key nutrients that need supplementing or so I think. Just wanted to get it right.

OP’s posts: |
LeGrandBleu Sat 21-Nov-20 18:53:17

You did well in enquiring. Even with the healthiest, well designed , revised by a dietician diet, you need to supplement.
I bought a zillion books, use nutritional analysis websites to monitor all my macro and micro nutrients, have regular blood test, and was severely malnourished, dangerously so when it comes to omega 3 (and by the way, you also need EPA , not only DHA).
You see, the micronutrients in a food on paper , be it a vitamin or a mineral , doesn't always translate into your body being able to extrapolate that mineral or vitamin and storing it.
On paper , I was eating more than 800% of ALA - the plant omega 3- which " should" be converted by the body into EPA and DHA. The conversion is inefficient so you need more. Turns out, my body converts a big 0, and I was so low on omega 3, I had cognitive issues.

At first , when I became vegan, I was only taking B12, now I have a full cabinet of supplements, which I have added one by one, one blood test after the other. Sometimes, when I open that door, I think how can this be healthy.
I have a genetic condition which I try to control by diet and this is why I became vegan, to turn the fate and control specific cellular growth pathway, so I really have done my homework with books, and even online courses on nutrition , and my personal experience, is that one MUST supplementing with a vegan diet.
The what, how much and when is not something you should ask solely on a social forum @blackkitty1234 , you should have at least one consolation with a dietician .

A food is not only made of vitamins and minerals. It affects hormones and gut microbiome. You are building your own microbiome now which you will transmit to your child during birth. What you are eating now, will affect the species, and even without going into such tiny details, what you are eating now, will affect your child's food preferences, and of course diet in the womb is key to optimal development.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4924183/ and this one on pregnancy only which you should read.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6470702/

You care which is what any mother would do, so focus on your baby's wellbeing which can't come from a bottle of supplements alone.
Talk with your partner about making the changes as a growing family.
When a baby is born, a chapter closes - the carefree world of a couple - and a new one opens - being responsible for the health and care of a new being. In your case, this new chapter should start now.

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