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Vegetarians eating meat whilst pregnant?

(31 Posts)
Rainbow555 Wed 03-Sep-14 08:28:58

I have been a vegetarian for just under 20 years and I am wondering about eating meat. I am not sure if it is a craving as such but I keep thinking about chicken!
Also, I am struggling with fruit and veg and my meat free vegetarian food (at 12 weeks now) so I am eating a lot of carbs and getting sick of them too. I can't help but think that meat could help fill my hunger better.

Just wondering if any vegetarians are thinking the same or has started eating meat

GailLondon Wed 03-Sep-14 08:33:49

Do you want to start eating meat?

Your body might be trying to tell you that you need more iron and that is making you crave meat. If you are reluctant to actually start eating meat, I would recommend some liquid iron supplements (like spatone/floradix) and see if that helps.

StupidFlanders Wed 03-Sep-14 08:37:13

Hi, I've had 5 children and thought the 5th time I might eat a bit of meat because I was very unwell and anaemic (not an issue for the others). I took a bite of lamb and gagged then chicken and didn't feel what I thought I'd feel so gave up. My iron levels stayed low for the fifth but didn't cause any problems (and the low iron wasn't related to vegetarian- I haemorrhaged prior to the pregnancy and hadn't recovered!)

whatdoesitallmean Wed 03-Sep-14 08:41:25

Yep, ex-veggie for years. For some odd reason got terrible fried chicken and cheese burger cravings. After a lot of coaxing from MW and dh, that my body needs it etc, I gave in. And I enjoyed every second of my meat eating frenzy!

Apparently it's normal for veggies who have eaten meat at some point of their lives to crave meat.

ohmychrist Wed 03-Sep-14 08:41:49

There's no reason at all to eat meat. Focus on protein and iron (with vitamin C) in your diet and you'll be fine.

gamerchick Wed 03-Sep-14 08:44:48

Well all you can do is try.. maybe have a little bit of chicken to see how you feel, it may not do it for you. Cravings usually leave after pregnancy.

BinarySolo Wed 03-Sep-14 08:56:11

Not meat but I switched from vegan to vegetarian during my last pregnancy. I occasionally fancy seafood this time round but think I'd be disappointed in myself if I ate it again as it was an ethical decision for me.

Are you eating enough protein? That will fill you better than carbs. Maybe have more tofu, full fat yoghurt and things like quorn?

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Wed 03-Sep-14 08:57:35

Hi there,

I'm 11 weeks pregnant and was pretty much vegan until I became pregnant. I've also recently moved abroad which made veganism a bit of a challenge. In the UK I think I'd be able to get what I need, but here I worry I wouldn't be getting all the nutrients I need for the baby.

Whatever you decide, eating chicken doesn't mean you've betrayed your beliefs, or are no longer vegetarian. You do whatever you like and then if it doesn't feel good, don't do it. You shouldn't feel any judgement about what you decide to eat at any particular meal.

Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy.

MrsPatMustard Wed 03-Sep-14 09:04:04

Am normally a meat-eater but practically became veggie during pregnancy because I barfed every time I went near a sausage! Personally, I think in pregnancy normal rules do not apply , your hormones do weird things to your digestion and your baby puts extra demands on your body. Do what feels right and, if necessary, then resume your usual lifestyle after the baby is born.

gamerchick Wed 03-Sep-14 09:17:44

Yeah I went off meat with my last pregnancy.. just couldn't swallow it. But that first steak after giving birth was the best ever.

It's only a few months and normal service is resumed afterwards.

SeaSaltMill Wed 03-Sep-14 09:21:10

I eat mainly vegetarian since falling pregnant mainly because meat turns me off a bit. Its not so bad now but for a good couple of months I couldn't stomach it!

Missingcaffeine Wed 03-Sep-14 09:21:27

I was vegetarian from age 12-27. Gave up for health reasons (was constantly falling asleep and knackered) and decided to buy free range and only eat meat from good sources. My energy levels and health improved dramatically once I started eating meat. I now have what is nutritionally a far superior diet, but even so, I struggled in early pregnancy. Baby takes all your nutrients for itself, leaving you depleted. I became anaemic despite eating good amounts of meat and supplementing, so heaven knows what pregnancy might do to a vegetarian. My haemoglobin (Hb) was 14.5 pre pregnancy, and dropped to 11 in early pregnancy and I felt awful! When I was vegetarian, the few times I got my Hb checked, it was never above 12.

Saraswati Wed 03-Sep-14 10:25:53

Find some good sources of protein and iron (lentils, pulses, chickpeas etc.) and you'll feel much better. Meat is not the best source of iron and protein and you can eat a very healthy diet when vegetarian although I understand thats difficult in early pregnancy! I had severe sickness until 16 weeks which has eased but is still going at 23 weeks. I ate a lot of carbs at first but found eating things like dahl, made it feel carb like but is actually really healthy. I also ate things like spanish tortilla, full of carb but also egg for some protein. Full fat organic yogurt is good too - really fills you up but not full of sugar and rubbsih.

Don't give up your beliefs for a few cravings, you'll regret it afterwards.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 10:30:33

I am a meat eater but during my first pregnancy I totally went off chicken for months. (We are a white meat eating family so only chicken and fish at home). Fish is expensive so basically we went total vegetarian for a few months. I think we all just have really strange cravings during pregnancy. I would just go with it. You might find you don't actually want that chicken when you try it. Or you just just want KFC every day for a while.

PS. During my current pregnancy my craving was mcdonalds and greggs' pies. I never eat them normally! It was during my first trimester btw.

Salene Wed 03-Sep-14 10:59:36

I'm a veggie and had no desire to eat meat in my pregnancy

But my sister who was also a veggie for 20 years like you during pregnancy started wanting chicken so she ate it, 4 years later she is no longer a veggie and happily eats meat.

Just do what you feel comfortable with.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 11:05:40

Actually want to say I've never been in a greggs before this pregnancy. That's how crazy it was. I just know it's a place that sells pasties and sausage rolls. For a time, I went to greggs daily during my lunch to buy either their steak or chicken pie!

Missingcaffeine Wed 03-Sep-14 11:32:14

Most nutrients like B vitamins and iron are stored in your liver for years, so as long as your pre-pregnancy stores are good, then having carby foods lacking in these things for a short period should not make a huge difference. I would definitely recommend taking a pregnancy supplement daily for any pregnant woman though - as that's when these stores get used up really really quickly.

yoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyo Wed 03-Sep-14 11:38:26

I am a veggi and currently pregnant and i could kill for a cheese burger!! grin

I have been a veggie for 5yrs. I wont have a burger as much as im craving it because i think i would actually be sick.

I went for blood tests a few days ago because the midwife thinks i might be anemic confused

KitKat1985 Wed 03-Sep-14 13:19:17

Been veggie since I was 15 (now 29). Not really craved meat much since getting pregnant but occasionally have really wanted some fried chicken or a burger (real junk food cravings during whole pregnancy)! It depends how you feel really. I suspect if I actually ate meat I'd be sick but am satisfying any cravings with quorn based things or similar. Have also been taking pregnacare regularly to keep iron levels up so I don't get anaemic. Also been trying to eat fortified cereals and (free-range) eggs and beans things for the iron / protein. If you really want meat but have ethical issues with it why not try some free-range ethically produced meat or similar as a compromise?

BinarySolo Wed 03-Sep-14 17:12:10

It's total rubbish that vegetarians struggle to get enough iron. My iron level stayed pretty high throughout my 2 pregnancies and I was vegan during the first one.

Meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans are all equally capable of having crap diets that lack certain nutrients.

JennyBlueWren Wed 03-Sep-14 18:58:30

I am a meat eater and very anaemic (including before pregnancy) but have been mostly wanting carbs and fruit. Actually eating less meat.

gamerchick Wed 03-Sep-14 19:05:53

Kinda getting back on point.. The op didn't say she was low on iron she said she is thinking about chicken and the usual foods aren't doing it for her so was thinking the chicken might fill her up better. (Sorry to talk about you in the third OP)

tryingtokeepintune Wed 03-Sep-14 19:23:21

I am normally a vegetarian but during my pregnancies, I craved, craved, craved chicken and during the last one, I particularly craved KFC hot wings. I usually go back to vegetarian diet after my giving birth and stopping breast feeding.

amy83firsttimer Wed 03-Sep-14 19:33:03

Lifelong veggie here and have to say I think you can't crave something you've never had as I've no inclination to eat meat. I've made an effort to include more protein and spinach but eaten normally otherwise. DH is eating more veggie food now than at start of pregnancy as he doesn't want me going to loads of effort doing 2 dinners. Bless him!
I'm also special rare in that my mum was veggie throughout carrying me so second generation if that makes sense.

Rainbow555 Wed 03-Sep-14 20:14:57

Thanks for all the post! It is good to know I am not the only one who has thought about it and decided to do it.
As gamer said, it is that I am struggling to find things to eat and chicken keeps popping up as an option!!
I usually eat lots of quorn but can't stomach it right now. All the suggestions to increase protein are great but I just struggle to eat things, can't do yoghurt or beans or veg etc so I just feel really limited. I know my food aversions change by the week so I am sure it will improve soon. I could try a bit and see as someone said it might not work either!

DH has said he will become a vegetarian if I feel I want to eat meet, like Joey did on friends! Bless him. I have often had meat cravings over the years but never gave in, I live overseas now and it is harder than in the uk.

As an aside, my iron is low but my primary concern was food options. It really is such a mission to buy and cook food!

Thanks again for all the posts good to know I am not alone in this

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