For even the most dedicated and knowledgeable vegan, the thought of a plant-based pregnancy can be confusing, controversial, and even downright daunting.
When a woman becomes pregnant, it can be hard to navigate the world of misinformation out there, not to mention unsolicited comments from otherwise well-meaning friends and family.
Thankfully, just as people can lead healthy, thriving lives as vegans, a varied vegan diet rich in plant-based whole foods can give growing fetus and mother alike all the calories and nutrients needed to nurture both throughout the pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, and are thinking about leading a plant-based pregnancy, there are plenty of books available that outline information about getting all your necessary nutrients from vegan foods.
Below is a quick reference of the books covered in this article. For more details, you can click the links or scroll down for more details…
All You Need to Know for a Healthy Pregnancy That Fits Your Lifestyle
When you find out you’re a mom-to-be, you might find yourself with a lot of questions.
Do I need to consume more protein?
Am I getting enough nutrients for the baby?
How do I defend my choice to remain a vegan during pregnancy to friends, family, and co-workers?
The Everything Vegan Pregnancy book serves as a comprehensive guide to all aspects of maintaining a healthy vegan pregnancy, including topics like foods to eat and avoid, how to get the necessary nutrients for you and your baby, all the way to defending your choice to naysayers and finding a vegan-friendly hospital for the birth.
A wealth of information for moms and dads to be, the book also includes 150 nutritious recipes for parents who want the best for their future child.
The book is written by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., RD, LD, FADA, a trusted and knowledgeable source on vegan nutrition who also serves as the nutritional advisor for the Vegetarian Resource Group, nutrition editor and columnist for Vegetarian Journal, and nutrition instructor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Reviewers appreciate that this book fills in the gaps left by other pregnancy books and that it’s a fairly easy read, which is a bonus when you’re tired and busy preparing for baby.
Some users note that if you’ve been vegan for a very long time, you may not find any new information in this book, but it’s extremely helpful if you’re a new vegan or are planning to go plant-based for your pregnancy.
Over 200 Recipes to Keep You and Baby Happy and Healthy for All Three Trimesters (and Beyond)!
Having a base knowledge of the nutritional needs during pregnancy is important, but when you’re busy preparing for the arrival of your little one.
Sometimes you just want a list of approved recipes to choose from to take a little of the effort and guesswork off your plate.
This pregnancy cookbook focuses on vegan nutrition during pregnancy and includes important information about the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your diet right alongside the recipes for those nutrient-packed dishes.
With everything in one convenient book, you can spend more time building your nest and less time compiling research materials.
The recipes included in this book are delicious and easy, and include things like maple-cinnamon breakfast quinoa, spicy southern jambalaya, white bean and orzo minestrone, and raspberry lemon cupcakes.
Even better, many of these recipes freeze well, so while you’re nourishing you and your baby during pregnancy, you can tuck extra servings in the freezer, so you have home-cooked heat-and-eat meals on hand while you’re busy caring for your newborn.
The best part is that these recipes aren’t specific just to pregnancy – while they deliver what you need to grow a healthy human, they also happen to be great options for family meals long through childhood, too.
This cookbook is written by Lorena Novak Bull, a registered dietician with 15+ years of experience who specializes in vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan lifestyles.
Preparing for the arrival of a baby involves a lot of time and effort.
In addition to preparing your family for the baby, there’s also preparing the nursery, stocking meals for those first few weeks, and everything else on top of that like work and personal commitments.
Because of this, it can be useful to have a pocket guide on hand where you can simply look up quick answers to pressing vegan pregnancy problems instead of carving out time to sit and read a whole book.
This simple guide includes no-nonsense nutrition information, strategies for efficiently preparing meals, finding cruelty-free antacids and other products for pregnancy symptoms, all the way to how to throw a completely animal-friendly baby shower.
To maximize time and get the most information out of a busy mom-to-be’s reading time, the guide is written in a light, easy-to-read tone that feels more like a conversation than a pregnancy book.
Reviewers appreciate author Sayward Rebhal’s light tone and the fact that the pocket guide made them laugh, and also provided comfort for the vegan journey ahead.
They noted it was helpful to get guidance on what to expect from naysayers, and how to best combat them in a productive way.
However, reviewers do note that the guide is most helpful if purchased toward the beginning of the pregnancy – if used, later on, buyers might be disappointed that they already know a lot of the content in the guide after reading about plant-based pregnancy over the first two trimesters.
A Gutsy Guide to Becoming One Hot and Healthy Mother
Some pregnancy guides can take on a too-gentle, almost condescending approach, treating pregnancy more like a delicate condition than the act of growing a human.
This installment of the Skinny Bitch book series, however, is not one of those books.
Authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin are merciless in their investigation of the food we eat with all its chemicals, hormones, and other bad-for-baby ingredients.
They take gutsy stands on topics like best foods for mom and baby during pregnancy, skincare products to avoid, choosing baby foods and other products carefully, and an entirely real, truthful picture of what to expect after birth.
The main gist of this vegan book is understanding that big corporations, like the ones that control food and cosmetics, are more concerned with getting your dollar than keeping your child healthy, so it’s up to you as the parent to make good choices on their behalf.
Luckily, you’ll be able to use the information in this book to help you inform those decisions and make you and your baby as healthy as possible.
Amazon reviewers appreciate that this book is brave and honest – the authors don’t mince words, and many reviewers felt that the information in this book prepared them well for pregnancy, birth, and life “post-push.”
If you appreciate raunchier humor, this will be an enjoyable as well as informative read for you, but if you find yourself easily offended, or with somewhat thin skin, the authors’ writing style may come off as abrasive.
A Month-by-Month Guide to Health and Nutrition
Written by Vegetarian, mother, and osteopathic obstetrician-gynecologist Holly Roberts, this book is an authoritative, logical guide to what to expect during each month of pregnancy and how to achieve maximum health during pregnancy through a vegan lifestyle.
Roberts offers practical and spiritual advice for women who are either wondering how safe a vegan pregnancy can be or who are fielding lots of questions and comments from friends and family regarding eschewing animal products during pregnancy.
The book leaves no stone unturned, and Roberts uses her experience in delivery to cover everything from protein requirements for pregnant women to labor pains and nursing.
She weaves a spiritual, almost yogi vibe into her writing, combining scientific fact with things like “maternal intuition” and “wisdom from a higher source.”
This book is a perfect choice for women looking for a pregnancy guidebook that includes some spirituality, soul-searching, and helps to dispel the myths and worries of the somewhat mystical nature of pregnancy, vegan or otherwise.
Many reviewers on Amazon note that this book is organized in a clear, logical way that makes it easy to read.
Some parts of the book are in question-and-answer format, so you don’t need to waste time on questions that aren’t applicable to your life, or that you’ve already researched.
This book is especially good at laying out nutritional requirements for pregnancy in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand way that can be quickly put into practice.
Help for a Compassionate Pregnancy
The choices a woman makes during pregnancy as far as food, cosmetics, and even her mindset can be some of the most important decisions she will ever make, as those choices will have a direct effect on the health of her baby.
Luckily, it is just as possible to have a healthy pregnancy, birth, and child on a diet powered by plants as it is on a diet that includes animal products – some of these vegan books might even argue that a plant-powered pregnancy has a leg up on the competition.
By purchasing and reading one or all of the books on the above list of recommendations, you can be one step closer to a happy pregnancy and a healthy vegan baby.