Can I stay a vegetarian while pregnant?

Our expert tackles the burning question all vegetarian moms-to-be want answered.

photo: YanLev/iStock

Q: I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years, but now that I’m expecting, I’m worried about my diet. Should I eat meat while I’m pregnant? I’m 12 weeks along.

A: It can be completely safe and healthy to follow a vegetarian diet while pregnant, especially if you are lacto-ovo (meaning you eat eggs and dairy). Make sure to include a variety of vegetables and fruits, calcium-rich dairy products such as milk, yogurt and pasteurized cheeses, whole grains, and meat alternatives such as beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds. If you follow a balanced diet and take a daily prenatal multivitamin, you will most likely meet your nutrient requirements for pregnancy. If you’re unsure, consider making an appointment with a registered dietitian.

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