Can Pregnant Women Be Vegetarian?

Life without eating meat or being vegetarian is a choice. Vegetarians strongly believe that this diet can make the body more fit and healthy. But what about pregnant women? Is there a vegetarian diet effect on the fetus? During pregnancy the body’s need for nutrients increases, including proteins for fetal growth and development. In addition, pregnant women also need an additional 300 calories per day. “As long as the protein requirements are met, pregnant women may be vegetarian. Only the condition is that the food must be very varied so that it can complement each other,” said Dr. Achmad Mediana, SpOG, from Kemang Medical Care Hospital, when contacted by Kompas.com .

He added, many of his patients decided to continue to adopt a vegetarian diet, but remained healthy through pregnancy. “The important thing is to plan properly so that the body does not lack nutrition. Please also know that the body also processes, if there are nutrients that are lacking, the fetus will take it from his mother’s body,” he explained. One of the most important nutritional elements during pregnancy is protein because it plays a role in the formation of blood cells, albumin, enzymes, hormones, replacing cells, and much more. Compared with vegetable protein, according to nutritionist Dr. Fiastuti Witjaksono, animal protein has a complete amino acid.

For pregnant women who include being vegan vegetarians or not consuming all kinds of meat and eggs, including processed egg products, he recommends that pregnant women replace amino acids from animal protein with various types of food. “The substitute can be obtained from a variety of nuts and seeds. This must be fulfilled every day because, if not, it can interfere with fetal growth and development,” he said. Meanwhile, calcium can be obtained from foods made from soybeans, green leafy vegetables, or soy milk. However, if the mother feels unsure of the health of the prospective baby, Dr. Fiastuti recommends that vegan vegetarians change their diet so that they continue to consume milk, eggs, and fish.

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