Melanie McGrice

Melanie McGrice

Vegetarian diets have become increasingly popular for improving health – but can a vegetarian diet improve the likelihood of a safer, healthier pregnancy?

Yes, it can. Vegetarian diets have been shown to improve fertility and promote a safer pregnancy. In saying this, there are also some health risks that may increase your risks of experiencing pregnancy complications.

What are the benefits of following a vegetarian diet for your pregnancy?

Number One…

Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat. This may reduce your risk of carrying excess body fat and can assist in weight management, which is important when beginning your pregnancy journey. This is because achieving a healthy weight may reduce your risk of miscarriage and gestational diabetes having adverse effects on you and your baby.

Number Two…

Women who follow a vegetarian diet prior to and during pregnancy tend be at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Cholesterol, which is often found in animal products, can harden the arteries which may increase the risk of high blood pressure.

Reducing cholesterol intake and blood pressure may reduce risks of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy. (Preeclampsia is a characterised by high blood pressure during pregnancy and can impair nutrient status of your growing bub).

Number Three…

Vegetarian diets may reduce inflammation. Inflammation around your womb and ovaries may cause difficulty conceiving so by following a vegetarian diet, you may improve the quality of your eggs and increase chances of falling pregnant.

Are there any risks?

Nutrient deficiencies – A vegetarian diet that isn’t properly managed can lead to several nutrient deficiencies such as iron, zinc, vitamin D and many more. When you’re trying to conceive, it is extremely important that you are properly nourished with essential nutrients to help your baby grow and develop.

Insufficient energy consumption – Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in energy, which although may be beneficial for weight management prior to pregnancy, insufficient consumption of energy may cause your menstrual cycle to cease temporarily which isn’t ideal when you’re trying to start a family.

In addition to this, during pregnancy, your baby needs energy to thrive, so it is essential that you consume an adequate amount of food to ensure your bub is nourished.

Take home message

Vegetarian diets are definitely an option to improve your fertility and embark on a healthy, safe pregnancy journey. Find out how to safely follow a vegetarian diet prior to pregnancy by visiting Nourish with Melanie and watch ‘Vegetarian fertility diet secrets’.


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