Recommendations during pregnancy and lactation

In the scheme of servings of VegPlate Mum the optimal amounts of foods to eat are shown in detail, while in the special recommendations is explained how to ensure the right sources of omega-3, vitamin B12 and calcium and vitamin D.

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In addition to this, there are some nutrients that need special attention during pregnancy, regardless of the type of diet: vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian or omnivorous. These nutrients are: folic acid, iron, iodine, which we shall examine below.

Folic acid

This nutrient is important even before the start of pregnancy and through the first quarter, because the deficiency can cause neural tube birth defects in the baby. To all women, folic acid supplementation is recommended at least one month before conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.

Vegetarian women consume on average a higher amount of folic acid than omnivorous women, consuming a greater quantity of plants; however, as a precaution, supplementation is also recommended for them.

The supplementation recommended is 400 mcg per day, which is in addition to the recommended requirements. Some vegan products sold in pharmacies are: Folguard from BioCare Co. (in vegetable capsules) or Vitasorb Folic Acid (in liquid form); Vita Folic from Solgar.


During pregnancy the need for iron is very high, so it is omnivore practice to advise pregnant women to take iron supplements. In a 100% vegetable diet, the amount of iron assimilated with the diet easily reaches that needed (27 mg) and supplementation must be considered only if indicated by the gynecologist.

To ensure optimal absorption of dietary iron, it is also a good idea to associate vitamin C rich foods with iron-rich foods (such as lemon juice in water or orange juice).

Instead, during lactation, iron requirements are much lower and supplementation is necessary only in exceptional cases, or in cases of anemia present for other reasons.


The requirements of iodine during pregnancy and lactation is increased to ensure proper thyroid function for both mother and child, which in the case of pregnancy, is essential for proper development of the central nervous system of the fetus.

The requirement is 200 mcg per day, which can be obtained with the use of iodized salt (1 teaspoon contains 150 mcg). However, if for medical reasons it is necessary to reduce salt intakes during pregnancy, a supplement of algal sources can use, for example, Dima Norwegian Marine Algae by Solgar, made from kelp, providing 200 mcg of iodine per tablet; It can be purchased at the pharmacy.