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Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide Review

Reviewed by The Pregnant Vegetarian - Zoe Keeland

Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide

In the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, Sayward Rebhal begins as she means to go on, starting with the title page of the book. It says: "Your vegan pregnancy will be awesome and don't let anyone tell you differently!"

I thought that was an encouraging start.

At 116 pages, including the bibliography, this is obviously not a giant compendium of everything you could possibly want to know about being pregnant. It is more like a conversation with a good friend who has been there and done that, who will help you cut through all the static and focus on a few important things.

Rebhal covers everything from pre-pregnancy preparations all the way through nutrition for breast feeding. She puts forward the major points, but doesn't bury you in details. Plus she reassures you that yes, you can get all the nutrition you need to make a baby by eating plants. So there!

I liked the point she makes about obgyns not being nutritionists, as I can relate through my own experience. I have found some of their dietary advice to be less informed than that of random strangers. If your doctor is pushing meat, go find another one with a better attitude!

The guide starts with an overview of food choices - good fats vs bad fats, kale calories vs cake calories (but I like cake calories!), what vitamins you ought to worry about getting, etc. She includes plenty of good food sources for vital nutrients, as well as discussing which supplements are worthwhile. I liked her solution to anemia - one teaspoon black strap molasses every morning - simple, and a much nicer alternative to nasty iron pills.

Next she offers solutions and explanations for common pregnancy symptoms. How interesting that drinking more water can help reduce swelling. I'll have to try that - my ankles have started swelling.

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The section I dig the most is the one where she offers tips to deal with the inevitable nosy questions you'll get from non-vegans with no manners. She offers good short answers that will help you shut down the badgering and avoid alienating the questioner.

The one thing I differ with her on is placentaphagy. This is where a woman eats the placenta after giving birth and it is supposed to ward off post partum depression. I am sooo not doing that. I have no well founded argument against it, I'm just grossed out by the idea. Even if the placenta is dehydrated and made into pills. I'm not eating that, you can't make me.

All in all, I think Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide is a lovely supportive book, full of good, sane advice. It's a nice afternoon's read and you won't feel overwhelmed with factoids.

What you will feel is more comfortable with your vegan pregnancy, better able to look people in the eye and say, "Why yes, I am staying vegan during my pregnancy. Why wouldn't I?"

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