News

Health policy: is there compulsory counseling for pregnant vegans?


Dietary recommendations: mandatory advice for pregnant vegans?
Expectant mothers have to pay special attention to what can be on the menu during pregnancy. This is especially true for women who eat vegan. A CDU politician is now even demanding nutritional advice for pregnant vegans.

Vegans have to make sure they have enough nutrients
Vegan nutrition has been a trend for years. More and more people live meat-free for moral and ethical reasons. For many, however, the health aspect is in the foreground. Typical diseases of civilization such as obesity, diabetes or high blood lipids are rare among vegans. However, people who completely do without animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and milk products have to be more careful to absorb all important nutrients in sufficient quantities. This is particularly important in pregnancy, since the growing child has to be taken care of.

Pregnant vegans should consult a gynecologist
Nutrition and health experts have long been advising to find out which foods contain the most nutrients and how vegans can prevent vitamin B-12 deficiency. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) has recently renewed its nutritional recommendations for vegans. As stated in the DGE position "vegan nutrition", a vegan diet "for pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, children and adolescents" is not recommended. The president of the professional association of gynecologists, Christian Albring, recently said to "Spiegel Online": "A vegan diet during pregnancy is not impossible, but very difficult." He advises pregnant vegans to discuss the chosen diet with the treating gynecologist to advise.

Nutritional advice for expectant mothers is required
The CDU member of the Bundestag, Gitta Connemann, has now demanded that expectant mothers should receive nutritional advice that takes place as part of the general preventive medical check-ups. According to "Spiegel Online", the deputy said: "The CDU will not prescribe to pregnant women or young parents what they eat and when. But pregnant women and young parents need to know that choosing a personal diet can pose risks to the health of unborn babies and young children. ”From the politician's point of view, this advice could be given to gynecologists, general practitioners, paediatricians, midwives or even nursery staff and Kindergartens are provided. According to Connemann, who is washed up on a farm, parents-to-be need information. They wanted the best for their offspring, but: "Here they can quickly find the wrong track due to health trends."

Required intake of vitamin B12
Pediatrician Burkhard Lawrenz also considers nutritional advice for pregnant women to be useful. The spokesman for the Prevention and Early Therapy Committee of the professional association of pediatricians fear that health problems will occur more often in newborns if more and more women eat vegan. In his view, many lack concrete knowledge of what a healthy diet looks like. The doctor thinks that some people would take a critical look at the vitamin B12 intake that is necessary for a vegan diet because they perceive this as a medication. Vegans should know where they get the necessary protein and vitamin B12 from, especially for expectant mothers. According to “Spiegel Online”, pregnant vegans have to take vitamin B12 daily via a dietary supplement. Because if there is a deficiency, the unborn child is at risk of serious developmental disorders.

Be careful with iron tablets
In addition, experts also recommend taking vitamin D, folic acid and iodine. "This recommendation also applies to pregnant women who eat meat," explains ecotrophologist Edith Gätjen. They also often have a vitamin D deficiency, for example. According to the report, iron supplements may also be necessary, but this should be handled with caution. Recently, researchers from Imperial College London reported in the journal PLOS ONE that iron tablets can damage DNA. (ad)

Author and source information



Video: Plant-Based Pregnancy. Nutrition For Vegan + Vegetarian Moms-To-Be (December 2021).