Vegetarian diets, gluten-free ... risks for the future baby?

Vegetarian diets, gluten-free ... risks for the future baby?

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Are you pregnant and follow a veggie or gluten-free diet? However, during pregnancy, it is advisable to eat everything so that the future baby does not suffer from any deficiency. Is it reconcilable? Reasonable ? We take stock.

It is advisable to eat a little of everything during the pregnancy so that the future baby does not suffer from any food deficiency, potentially harmful to its development. However, many women follow a veggie diet or a gluten-free diet during pregnancy without any problem ...

Vegetarian, gluten-free and other diets: what are the risks?

  • Any diet that excludes many foods is at risk of deficiency. This risk is further increased during pregnancy because the diet must provide more minerals and vitamins than usual.
  • In a vegetarian diet for example, whether vegetarian (neither meat nor fish) or vegan (neither meat, nor fish, nor eggs, nor dairy products), a deficiency in iron can very quickly settle down if no precaution does not exist. is taken. Why ? Because iron is mostly present in animal products ... Gold that says iron deficiency says risk of anemia (for you) and premature labor or risk of very low birth weight for baby.
  • Deficiencies in calcium (again, risk of premature labor) and vitamin B12 (risk of malformations of the spine or skull for babies) can also appear, especially during vegan diets (dairy and eggs can provide these nutrients to vegetarians).
  • As for gluten, it is not essential for the development of baby. Which does not mean that the gluten-free diet presents no risk because it excludes many cereal products, sources of vitamins, minerals and energy ...

How to follow these diets safe for baby?

  • Solutions exist to prevent the risk of nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. The main one is to "replace" foods that are excluded from the diet with other sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • In a veggie diet, for example, it is advisable to consume plant foods rich in iron such as lentils, sea lettuce and nuts for example. Small flat: iron plant origin is less well assimilated by the body than animal iron. You can, however, improve its absorption by consuming foods rich in vitamin C (eg kiwi, citrus fruits) in the same meal.
  • Another example, if you want to follow a gluten-free diet during your pregnancy: replace cereals "excluded" by other grain products naturally gluten-free (eg rice, quinoa) or products "gluten-free" trade (ex. : bread and cake without gluten).

The right attitude to follow in early pregnancy

  • If you follow a particular diet, it is very important to report it immediately to the doctor following your pregnancy. He can give you advice, prescribe dietary supplements if necessary (after a blood test) and even refer you to a nutritionist, who will establish with you balanced menus tailored to your needs and those of baby.

Quick, take a look at our Food and Pregnancy file