Handy tips if you are vegetarian and pregnant

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A guide to healthy eating for veggie and vegan mums-to-be

Vegetables

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Maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle and providing your baby with all the nutrients they need can be tricky.

Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12.

As these vitamins are mainly found in meat and fish, here are some veggie options which you should try to include.

Good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans are:

- Lentils
- Dried fruit such as apricots
- Dark-green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach
- Wholemeal bread
- Cereals (look out for brands that contain extra iron)

Good sources of vitamin B12 for veggies are milk and cheese and also eggs if you include these in your vegetarian diet. Fortified soya drinks and marmite are also great for a B12 boost.

If you are a strict vegan it may be worth talking to you midwife or GP about whether you should take any supplements..

All pregnant women, regardless of their diet, are advised to take a vitamin D supplement. If you are a vegan make sure you read the label to make sure that the vitamin D used in the products is not of animal origin.

If you're a vegan, you also need to make sure you get enough calcium.

Good sources of calcium for vegans include:

- Fortified soya, rice and oat drinks
- Calcium-set tofu
- Sesame seeds

Your doctor or midwife will be able to offer ideas on suitable foods and also advise you of any supplements they think you should take.

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life
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