A (Vegan) Bun in the Oven
So. I’m pregnant. And I’m vegan. I’m no trailblazer; there’s been thousands and thousands of mommas before me who’ve eschewed animal products during their pregnancies. It’s 2014. There are websites, cookbooks, and even celebrity guidebooks to lead you along the glowing, kale-paved path into vegan motherhood, if you so choose to take it. Today, I’m here to share with you my story, and what I’ve learned so far about being a pregnant vegan.



Last weekend at our baby shower. 

One thing you should know about me is that I’m a planner. I’m not a very spontaneous person, and when I make a choice, I’ve spent a long, long time thinking, researching, and pro/conning it all out. And when you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, this is a very, very good thing. My husband and I spent a very, very, VERY long time deciding when, and where, and why we should bring a child into this world. This isn’t a decision anyone should take lightly, and I’m really glad we gave it such deep consideration. Maybe we took a little TOO much time to contemplate parenthood, but I’m really glad we did. After all, the waters of parenthood aren’t just something you can dip your toe into. You have to jump in and start swimming. And you need to be ready and willing to keep up.

One of the best things I did for my baby and myself was to prepare my body for pregnancy, before I actually got pregnant. First off, I found a medical team that understood and supported my vegan diet. I made a pre-conception appointment. I was upfront and honest about my vegan diet. I had a physical, and my vitamin levels checked. I talked to my doctor about vegan prenatal vitamins, and I started taking them. If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, do not, I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to switch care providers to find a doctor or midwife that you feel comfortable with. I wasn’t happy with my initial care provider, but I finally found one that I feel very comfortable with. I can’t imagine going through an entire pregnancy with a doctor I didn’t completely trust.

In addition to finding a medical team I was happy with, I also started staying on top of my health and fitness. I didn’t obsess about my diet and health, but I made, and continue to make, healthy choices for myself. I try to eat a varied, colorful diet full of plants. I indulge occasionally, but I do so intentionally, not out of boredom or stress. I’m not an athlete, but I move a lot. Walking and yoga are my friends. Now, at 33 weeks pregnant, I’m so incredibly glad I started making these choices BEFORE I got pregnant. It’s made it much, much easier for me to stay on top these things during my pregnancy.

Now that’s not to say that my vegan pregnancy has been a glowing ball of effortless beauty. My skin is far from flawless, my hair is still frizzy, and I’ve started growing this ugly hair out of my chin. Thank you, hormones! But I’ve surprised myself. I’ve really enjoyed being pregnant. Aside from the first trimester morning nausea, I’ve had it really easy. My feet still fit in my shoes, my energy levels have stayed pretty high, and I’ve even managed to cook, test, and write recipes for all of you beautiful people. I feel pretty lucky. But you know what? I know a lot of vegans that would attribute their high energy levels and pregnancy glow to their vegan diet. But I’m not going to do that. I honestly don’t think that being vegan is the reason that I’ve had an enjoyable pregnancy so far. Maybe it’s had a partial impact, sure, but it isn’t the sole reason I’ve been feeling good. I think it’s a combination of diet, exercise, stress reduction, good sleep, and genetics.

Not I’m not saying that I wouldn’t recommend being vegan during pregnancy. I HIGHLY recommend it! A healthy vegan diet is good for you, your baby, and all those animals you’re not exploiting. But what I am saying is that it’s probably possible, although not my experience, to be a healthy, fit, calm vegan, and still have a very challenging pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different. If you go into your pregnancy expecting it to be a glowing, glamorous experience, and you think all you have to do is drink kale smoothies and do sun salutations every day, you may end up very disappointed. But I’m also not saying you shouldn’t do those things. Do them because kale-banana-pineapple smoothies are delicious. Do them because stretching feels really damn good in the morning.



Pregnancy isn’t always so glamorous. Sometimes ya just gotta have a good cry, and eat a big bowl of tofu pad thai in bed. 


So without giving you any guarantee that these things will give you mounds of energy or a dewy glow, I present to you my top five tips for vegan pregnancy. These are things that I’ve enjoyed during my pregnancy. They may work for you, and they may not. But anyways, here they are:


  1. Invest in a fancy blender. If you don’t already have one, splurge on yourself and get a fancy high-speed blender. When you’re pregnant (and breastfeeding) you need to be consuming extra calories, and I’ve found that it’s easier for me to get these calories in the form of smoothies. If you’re already a smoothie person, then you already know exactly what I’m taking about. It’s also a great way to sneak in some extra protein and healthy fat, by adding scoops of chia seed, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and nut butter to your smoothie.
  2. Protein, protein, protein. Let’s face it. We vegans are constantly asked about our protein. And we’re constantly listing off all of the protein-rich foods that we eat. So this one is easy… Just make sure you’re actually eating those protein rich foods you’re always talking about! My favorite protein buddies during my pregnancy have been lentils, hemp seeds, and sprouted tofu. Yours may be completely different, but just don’t forget about them. You want to put some vegan muscle on that baby, after all.
  3. Fiber is your friend. Pregnancy naturally slows down your digestive tract to allow your body extra time to absorb nutrients from the food you ate. Which, uh, can result in some not-so-fun digestive issues. But remember, you can count on our ol’ pal fiber to keep things moving. If you’re an herbivore, you probably already eat plenty of fiber, but this is a good one to keep in mind.
  4. Get in a good position. Let’s face it. Pregnancy can get uncomfortable. That adorable child inside your uterus can put a lot of pressure and pain on the rest of your body. So let gravity work with you and your baby, instead of against you. Find some stretches, sleeping, and sitting positions that help you feel comfortable and take the pressure of your back and legs. The ones I use on a daily basis are sitting cross-legged on the floor, doing pelvic rocks (aka cat/cow pose), and sleeping with a pregnancy body pillow. You may like something different. Do what feels right for your body. Just, you know, check with your doctor first before dangling upside down from a trapeze if that’s what you’re tempted to do.
  5. Smile and nod. Yes. It’s true. When you’re pregnant, people are going to give you a lot of advice. They may judge you, question you, or make you feel like you’re doing everything completely wrong. This may be especially true for vegans, since so many people don’t fully understand how we get all of our nutrients. For the most part, though, I’ve found that people are mostly just curious and are eager to share their advice with you. Look at me, I’m eagerly sharing my pregnancy advice with you right now, and you’re probably not even pregnant! Smile. Nod. And then do whatever the heck it is that you want to do.

Today I’m celebrating my 33rd week of pregnancy. I ‘m getting ready to meet my son in just a few weeks. My heart is full of love, anticipation, and peace. My belly is full of baby, peanut butter, and avocado. I’m pregnant. I’m vegan. I’m happy.

Obligatory silhouetted belly shot. Bonus points for being in the ocean. 


  • Kandi DeCarlo

    It’s nice that you are a planner, Beth! But when that baby comes a lot of your plans will fly out the window. Just enjoy the ride!!!

    • Beth DeCarlo Jospeh

      Looking forward to the wild, crazy ride ahead, Kandi!

  • This Vegan Girl

    Congrats on your beautiful pregnancy! I love reading about happy vegan pregnancies. ❤️