Eating healthily during pregnancy is important for your own health and the health of your developing baby.
It's important to eat a varied and balanced diet during pregnancy to provide enough nutrients for you and the development and growth of your baby.
If you’re pregnant and a vegetarian or vegan, you need to make sure you get enough iron and vitamin B12, which are mainly found in meat and fish, and vitamin D.
Iron in your diet
Good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans are:
Vitamin D in your diet
Although we get vitamin D from sunlight, vegetarian food sources include:
- egg yolk
- foods fortified with vitamin D, including some breakfast cereals and most fat spreads
- dietary supplements
Because vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, it might be difficult to get enough from foods that naturally contain vitamin D and fortified foods alone.
All adults, including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months (October until the end of March).
If you’re vegan, check the label to make sure your vitamin D is suitable for vegans.
From late March/early April until the end of September, most people should be able to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.
Calcium in your diet
If you're a vegan, you also need to make sure you get enough calcium. This is because non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods.
Good sources of calcium for vegans include:
- dark green leafy vegetables
- fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks
- brown and white bread
- calcium-set tofu
- sesame seeds and tahini
- dried fruit
Talk to your midwife or doctor about how you can get all the nutrients you need for you and your baby.