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Can You Go Vegan While Breastfeeding?

by | July 9, 2019

When looking to go vegan a lot of questions can pop up about how we may be able to meet our nutritional needs on a plant-based diet. If you are wondering about going vegan while breastfeeding, well you can, and here are a few tips on helping you thrive on a plant-based nutritious diet!

Can You Go Vegan While Breastfeeding?
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Can You Go Vegan While Breastfeeding?

As the American Dietetic Association says, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

Breastfeeding is the one time where our body requires extra nutrition, so we need to be a bit more careful and forward thinking with our nutritional planning if wanting to transition to veganism during this time. 

It is not impossible to go vegan while breastfeeding, nor is it particularly difficult if you have a basic grasp and understanding of nutrition. If you are worried or concerned at any stage, seeking the advice of a vegan dietician or nutritionist could help ease your concerns and make your transition a little easier. 

But basically, eating a whole food plant-based diet will allow you to hit your nutritional goals. You need to include a wide variety of plant foods including legumes, tofu, tempeh, grains, fruit, vegetables, starches, nuts, and seeds. 

A day of eating might look something like this: 

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with soy milk, fresh fruit and cinnamon 

Snack:

A berry smoothie with coconut water, molasses, mixed berries, flaxseeds, ice 

Lunch:

A lentil curry with fresh broccoli, carrot and cauliflower and a side of rice 

Snack: 2 rice thins with smashed avocado, tomato and spinach 

Dinner:

Vegan Gado Gado. Check my recipe for Vegan Gado Gado here.

Next, ensure you take a B12 supplement as well as a vitamin D supplement if you don’t get adequate exposure to the sun or if you have a history of low vitamin D. 

Have your blood work done regularly and monitor your energy levels. If you notice a dramatic decline in energy and overall wellness that does not increase after a day or two, it might be worthwhile taking a trip to your doctor. Or alternatively, seek out the support of a vegan nutritionist at that time to make sure you are eating enough food overall, and also enough of the right foods for your body and activity level. 

It is entirely possible to go vegan while breastfeeding, just take your time, and enjoy the process. 

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Amanda Goss

Digital Writer | Gold Coast, Australia | [email protected]

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