An expectant vegan mother has publicly vented her frustrations about her husband urging her to eat meat, and her online rant has gone viral.
The woman, who called herself ElizabethForever, asked other Mumsnet users on March 17 whether they thought her husband should be encouraging her to postpone the vegan diet in exchange for improving the health of their unborn child. Her complaint has already attracted more than 230 replies from the online parenting forum.
“I am in the very, very early stages of pregnancy and since we found our dearest husband (DH) keeps making hints that I should be eating meat to keep the baby healthy,” ElizabethForever said. “DH has upset me by suggesting I go against something which is obviously a huge part of my life but I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable to be upset or if hormones are making me think more of it?”
She said her reluctance to eat meat stems to her lifelong commitment to live off food that does not include any animal products.
“I have been a vegan my entire life. My parents are vegans and my siblings are. My husband is mainly vegan as I do the food shopping and cooking,” she said. “I have never stopped him eating the food he wants to eat however anything containing animal products [is stored] in the garage (we have a fridge/freezer out there).”
Supporters said it would be fine provided the mother keeps an eye on her nutrition levels.
“I am a lifelong vegan, I had 2 pregnancies and breastfed two babies as a vegan, they were both vegan until my DD reached 14,” WFTisgoingoninmyhead shared. “Make sure your milk substitute is fortified with calcium and, if you can’t stomach plenty of marmite, take some B12, you will be fine. To the person claiming animal products won’t make a lifelong vegan sick, you are very wrong.”
Which nutrients are found to be deficient in kids with autism? Really quite a few – omega 3, vit A, vit D, magnesium, calcium iron, B12, zinc and folate – all important brain foods! https://t.co/5AS53vAzwi #Autism pic.twitter.com/8VuDU4qXY0
— Lucinda Miller (@LucindaNatDoc) January 20, 2019
Some suggested the woman should consider the child rather than herself.
Others recommended seeking advice from a medical professional.
“I specifically asked my doctor and midwife if I needed to eat meat or take supplements during pregnancy,” lovelygreenjumper said. “I was told by a number of medical professionals that actually, as a vegetarian, and someone clearly thinking about the nutritional value of what I ate, in all likelihood my diet would be far healthier than the average meat eater who doesn’t worry too much about eating fruit and veg.
“They told me to take folic acid for the first 12 weeks (as they do for meat eaters) then just to eat a balanced diet. I’ve had two very healthy pregnancies.”
— Joel Kahn MD, FACC (@drjkahn) March 15, 2019
ElizabethForever agreed to consider whether the vegan diet would impact on her child’s health and has decided to speak with a health professional.
Here’s what happens to babies’ brains when moms are vegetarian and don’t know they are B12 Deficient:
Cerebral Atrophy. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
On a Spectrum from mild to severe. Like Autism. pic.twitter.com/L6ZObyWjJE
— Sally Pacholok Movie (@SallyB12Movie) October 8, 2018
“I have never had any problems with my iron levels etc but I have never been pregnant before,” she said. “I will speak to the midwife … about getting the right nutrients.”
— American Pregnancy (@APAPregnancy) October 20, 2017
According to the American Pregnancy Association, women should avoid eating meat from delicatessens, soft cheeses, some types of fish, and unpasteurized milk while expecting a child.