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If you’re trying to conceive or newly pregnant, you may be looking for recommendations on which are the best vegan pregnancy books.
Compared with just a few years ago, vegan parents-to-be are now spoilt for choice when it comes to books on vegan pregnancy and there’s a book out there to suit whatever your birthing and parenting philosophy may be.
There are books for conservative mamas, crunchy mamas and everything in between, which really is a lifesaver because let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been vegan for years or if the lifestyle is a relatively new one for you, finding out you’re pregnant can easily bring forth all those unfounded fears based on myths about veganism.
While it’s absolutely true that your dietary needs change while pregnant, these books for vegan pregnancy can guide you through this nutritional minefield and give you the confidence you need to know you’re growing your tiny human to the best of your ability.
In this roundup review we take a good look at the top vegan pregnancy books and give you our pick of the lot. But before we get into the reviews, let’s talk about why you should invest in one or more books on vegan pregnancy and what to look for in a vegan pregnancy book.
Why buy a vegan pregnancy book?
As veganism now moves into the mainstream, vegan moms-to-be are lucky enough to have books written especially for them.
If you’ve ever picked up a general pregnancy book (especially some of the more well-known ones that are on their 10th edition) there may be a small section that talks about vegetarian or vegan diets, mostly to say that they are possible but not recommended, or that you have to go crazy with the supplements.
Education is key in having an empowered pregnancy and that’s why it’s beneficial to arm yourself with books on vegan pregnancy as they deal with your specific concerns like general pregnancy books just don’t. You want to be reassured that it’s safe to be a pregnant vegan and to gather all the knowledge you need in order to do the best for your body and your growing baby.
Having a published resource authored by a qualified vegan nutritionist or health professional can also come in really handy when you come up against the inevitable onslaught of questions and judgmental statements from “well-meaning” friends, family, doctors and midwives once they discover you’re vegan.
If you can respond with confidence and address any concerns they may have with information that comes from a credible and well-referenced publication it may help in reassuring them you are making decisions that are healthy and backed by nutritional science.
What’s the best way to use a vegan pregnancy book?
A vegan pregnancy book is a useful resource to have even before you begin trying to conceive. There are several publications that cover optimum nutrition for you and your partner during this phase.
Most people also recommend purchasing your vegan pregnancy books at the beginning of your pregnancy so that you have enough time to read through them and know what to expect in the coming nine months.
It’s important to remember though that each women and pregnancy is different and that pregnancy books – vegan or otherwise – can only give generalized information. They will however, always give a good foundation on what should be expected during pregnancy.
I’m a longtime vegan, do I really need a vegan pregnancy book?
If you’ve been vegan for a while, you’ll hopefully be familiar with the basics on what you need to eat and supplement with to keep you healthy. When you’re pregnant, your body has completely different dietary needs in order to keep you healthy and to grow your baby – and these needs change frequently depending on which stage you are in your pregnancy.
A book on vegan pregnancy, especially ones that also include recipes, will help take all the guesswork out of what you should be eating and which supplements you might need to take, so you can rest assured that you’re doing your best to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
I’ve already had a baby as a non-vegan, how different can a vegan pregnancy be?
Provided that you ensure you take care to eat well and take supplements as needed, a vegan pregnancy is much like any other pregnancy in that it is perfectly normal and safe.
Pregnancy advice given in general pregnancy books will often recommend foods and/or supplements that may not be suitable for vegans. That’s why it’s better to invest in resources that cater specifically to vegan needs.
I’ve already got a vegan pregnancy book, do I need another one?
If you already own a vegan pregnancy book, it still wouldn’t hurt to take a look at any newly released vegan books on pregnancy. Nutritional science is always making new and important discoveries and what may have been considered good advice only five years ago, may now be replaced with new evidence-based guidance today.
In addition, different authors will bring different styles, experience and information to the table. So perhaps your existing vegan pregnancy book is better suited to hospital, medicated births but this time you’d like to try a natural, home birth assisted by a doula or midwife? (1)
As I mentioned before, there’s a range of books on vegan pregnancy to cater for all preferences.
Can’t I just read information online?
There are some fantastic online resources and support for expecting vegan parents but occasionally it can be frustrating to find conflicting, incorrect and/or unreferenced information on popular parenting websites. And if you’ve ever tried going into the mom forums with a question… yikes! You’ve been warned! (Just kidding… kind of).
You may find that having a couple of vegan pregnancy books lying around might also encourage your partner (if applicable) to read them and further support you in ways that you need supporting.
What to look for in a vegan pregnancy book
When starting your search for the perfect vegan books on pregnancy, you’ll first want to consider the tone and style. Do you want a book that gives more general advice? Do you need a book that will guide you in natural pregnancy and birth, or would you like a book that also discusses hospital and medicated options?
While pondering that, here are some other things to look out for:
Author’s credentials and references cited
This is an important one. Of course, there’s nothing like having been there and done it yourself, but if the book you’re looking at is just an account of one vegan mother’s experience and opinion, pass on it.
As I mentioned above, every pregnancy is different and every person is different. What worked or didn’t work for one person during one pregnancy may not be the same for you.
That’s why purchasing a vegan pregnancy book either authored by or backed by a vegan nutritionist or health professional, who has researched the topic heavily and cites their references, will give you better guidance on which to make informed decisions.
Level of information
Some of the vegan pregnancy books available give a general overview of information that would be best suited to someone who is relatively new to veganism.
Others assume a certain level of knowledge and go further into the details. We’ll let you know in the reviews what you can expect in terms of the level of information.
Supplement and nutritional information
It’s really important to make sure that any book on vegan pregnancy you choose is up-to-date with the latest guidelines on supplement and nutritional information for pregnant vegan women.
Again, this is why it’s vital to look at who has authored and endorsed the publication you’re considering to make sure their advice can be trusted.
Some of the vegan pregnancy books on our list contain recipes. You may find this useful especially if you’re wondering what you should be eating to hit all your nutrition targets at certain periods.
Taking a look at recipe suggestions may even help with issues such as food aversions or cravings.
Pre- and postnatal information
The postnatal period is an often overlooked but extremely important phase that should be included in any good pregnancy book. Try to find a vegan pregnancy book that provides pre and postnatal guidance.
The Reviews – Best Vegan Pregnancy Books
Now that you know why you should invest in some vegan pregnancy books and what to look for, let’s check out what’s available.
We start off our reviews with this pocket-sized guide…
Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide
The author’s writing style and tone in the “Vegan Pregnancy and Survival Guide” isn’t to everyone’s liking; however, its pint-size makes this a great little resource to carry around with you if you’re a first time mom and a newish vegan.
Some readers have reported that this book includes incorrect information and that the author isn’t qualified.
Aside from this, it’s concise and to-the-point and also gives you tips on things like how to host a vegan baby shower and introducing your new baby to your pets – you’re not likely to find information like that in a general pregnancy guide book!
This book would be most useful for expecting vegan moms who plan on having a hospital birth as there isn’t much information given on alternatives.
- FAQ chapter is useful for first time vegan moms
- A small pocket guide that you can carry around with you
- Is better suited to beginner vegans
- Not a lot of in depth information
- Author is not a qualified nutritionist
- Contains incorrect information
- Assumes you’ll be having a hospital birth
The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: All You Need to Know for a Healthy Pregnancy that Fits Your Lifestyle
With its gentle and supportive tone, the “Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book” is great for vegan beginners or those new to pregnancy. It contains simple and easy-to-remember nutritional information, as well great advice for dealing with those that question a vegan diet during pregnancy.
It also gives a general overview on pregnancy (what not to consume, pregnancy symptoms), labor and delivery, as well as how to breastfeed.
The book contains a recipe section, which a lot of readers enjoy, but there are a few that have reported that the recipes seem to be missing steps and that while they are “technically vegan” they aren’t the most healthful options.
Other issues are that there seem to be some inconsistencies with specific daily recommended values in the book, it doesn’t talk much about alternative or natural birth options and there is a lack of scientific evidence as to why it’s possible to be vegan and pregnant.
- The author’s tone is very non-judgemental
- Is a good general overview of pregnancy and veganism
- Covers advice on how to deal with people who question your diet
- The recipes are missing steps and aren’t overly healthy
- Doesn’t deal with alternative birth options; hospital births only
- Lacks detail in the science behind why a vegan pregnancy is possible
Your Complete Vegan Pregnancy: Your All-in-One Guide to a Healthy, Holistic, Plant-Based Pregnancy
If you’re looking for a book that focuses heavily on the eating aspect of a vegan pregnancy then this could be the one for you.
“Your Complete Vegan Pregnancy” contains 50 vegan recipes that promise to be satisfying and nourishing, and have been created especially to address the nutritional needs of pregnant women.
In addition to the recipes, it guides you on how to obtain the right nutrients and minerals for your own body and your growing baby right through all three trimesters.
It contains the expert advice of author Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, who is a nutrition advisor for the Vegetarian Resource Group, nutrition editor and columnist for the Vegetarian Journal, and co-author of the American Dietetic Association’s position paper on vegetarian diets.
Dr. Mangels is also an instructor in the nutrition department of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – so she’s definitely got the credentials to author a book on vegan pregnancy!
- Written by a credible author
- Focuses on the nutritional aspects of a vegan pregnancy
- Healthful recipes included
- Not the best if you need a general overview of every aspect of vegan pregnancy
- Is more of a vegan pregnancy cookbook than a general guide
The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning
The Kind Mama is a great book for all those self-confessed “crunchy” mamas out there.
If you’re looking for a more holistic way to approach pregnancy and parenting in general, there’s great support and advice given in this book not only from the author (actress Alicia Silverstone) but also from medical professionals, OBGYNs, midwives and other experienced moms.
There’s guidance for readers on everything from fertility issues to breastfeeding and some readers have described Alicia’s minimalist approach to childrearing as “a breath of fresh air” when compared to the rest of the mothering/parenting community, which encourages the purchase of a multitude of “must-have” baby items.
Some readers however, got the impression that Alicia’s message was all black and white; either you’re 100% natural or you’re a bad mother. In not being able to follow all of the advice given in the book due to their own personal circumstances, they felt it shamed them for not being able to live up to the “high” standards.
Other readers have defended the book, saying that natural recommendations are given but the author is also realistic about the circumstances that surround pregnancy and giving birth.
- Great section on how to deal with disapproving friends and family
- Encourages minimalism and advises on what you really need to buy for a baby
- Excerpts from medical professionals, OBGYNs, midwives, and seasoned mamas
- Some readers felt like the author is too “preachy” about natural birth
- Relies heavily on the author’s personal experience, much like a memoir of her pregnancy/delivery
The Vegan Pregnancy Cookbook: Over 200 Recipes to Keep You and Baby Happy and Healthy for All Three Trimesters
Here’s another vegan pregnancy cookbook option, this time with a whopping great 200 recipes to choose from.
The Vegan Pregnancy Cookbook explains what kinds of food to eat and how to get all the essential vitamins and minerals you need into each meal.
The recipes are simple and require very few special vegan ingredients, and are also the kinds of meals you will want to eat after your pregnancy has finished.
The only downside is that many of the recipes include tofu. If you are a tofu fan, then no problem, if you’re not, this may not be the vegan pregnancy cookbook for you.
- Huge number of recipes especially for vegan pregnancy to choose from
- Recipes are simple to make with common ingredients
- Nutritional information is included
- Too many tofu recipes
Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet
This ‘Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet’ book is an oldie but a goodie.
It’s been around so long that you’ll be bound to recognize some of the now grown up ‘child stars’ like the Phoenix family, for example, who have been used as case studies on how to raise healthy, happy vegan children.
The author Dr. Klaper (you’ll probably recognize him from the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’) encourages vegan parents-to-be to be inspired and reassured by his compelling and well-documented arguments in support of veganism during pregnancy, lactation and childhood.
This book not only provides helpful food guides (that replace the ‘4 key food groups’) but also concentrates on food sources of nutrients that may be of greater concern to vegans.Readers love the sample menus because they break down the content by calories, protein, calcium, etc. So you know where the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are coming from in a vegan diet.
Due to the age of this book some of the advice on breastfeeding, introduction of solid foods and juices is outdated and now not recommended.
- Great nutritional breakdown and specifics of what is required in pregnancy and for vegan children
- Nice use of real-life case studies
- Example menus
- Credible vegan doctor has authored the book
- Some of the information given is now out-of-date
Our pick from the best vegan pregnancy books
If you only buy one book on vegan pregnancy, then our recommendation would be to choose ‘The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book: All you need to know for a healthy pregnancy that fits your lifestyle’.
Overall, it gives a great general overview of what to expect and how to handle a vegan pregnancy, delivery and feeding of baby once it’s born, and the tone it uses to convey the information is gentle and supportive. It also includes a recipe section, so there’s no need to purchase a separate vegan pregnancy cookbook unless you really want to.
In the end, being pregnant isn’t always an easy experience for everyone. This book is great at meeting you where you are, without judgement and supporting you through the best vegan pregnancy possible for you and your baby.
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About The Author:
Emma is a blogger, life-coach and qualified PR professional and journalist, who also happens to be a passionate vegan, animal and nature lover.
She lives in a small village in France with her husband, daughter and their rescue animals at the Barefoot Vegan Farm and Animal Sanctuary. As a writer, Emma’s work has been featured in other popular well-being and spiritual websites such as Elephant Journal, IVORY magazine, and she’s part of the Huffington Post’s team of regular bloggers. Her writing was also included in the Tiny Buddha book 365 Love Challenges from Tiny Buddha, released in 2015 by HarperCollins.
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- Maria Masters | What Is a Doula and Should You Hire One for Your Baby’s Birth? | https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/hiring-doula