My Vegan Pregnancy

Vegans Have Superpowers baby, due February 2016! This is my weekly account of a vegan pregnancy and general pregnancy musings/complaints, hopefully it's helpful to you!

First Trimester

I had some pretty horrible morning sickness early on. Basically felt hungover and nauseous everyday and threw up my breakfast on occasion. Lots of fun. From about week 5 it was pretty bad but by week 10 it wasn't as intense. After week 10 it was much milder - not throwing up...yay!

Someone had told me about "Preggie Pops" but unfortunately they were made with non-vegan sugar.
I use YummyEarth Lollipops and kept some in my bag at all times in case I felt the nausea coming on. I was lucky my local health store sells them in bulk but you can get them online from Natural Candy Store.

As you can see I started showing almost immediately!

Everyone kept telling me to drink/eat ginger to help the nausea so I did but I found the lollipops worked better. I really liked Triple Leaf Tea Ginger tea.
I also tried some of the organic ginger ales, none of the ginger ales or beer helped much.
Fresh ginger in food or in tea/hot water helped. I lived on homemade caffeine-free iced tea and soda water (club soda) - sometimes with lemon, lime or grapefruit juice squeezed in - because that made me feel better, plus I drank a ton of water of course!. I really liked red raspberry leaf tea as well, I was told by a Doula that it was fine to drink a few cups a day as it helps to strengthen the uterus. A lot of women use it in the final weeks of pregnancy to induce labor so more than 3 cups a day is not advisable.
I am usually a huge tea drinker but was warned off many teas especially green tea (even the decaffeinated ones). Rooibos tea was fine to drink too.

By the middle of the first trimester I looked about 5 months pregnant due to morning sickness over eating! So I had to go out and get maternity clothes very fast into my pregnancy.

I craved the weirdest things - foods I hadn't eaten or thought about since I was a kid (in Australia). So much so that I tried to find recipes to veganise but to no avail :(
Some of my weird cravings were Aussie meat pies, Twisties chips and Aporto's Bondi Burger. Random.
The thing I craved the most was ice-cream and fried potato (fries, hash browns, baked potatoes etc).
So Delicious Fudge Minis were definitely a staple. They tasted like my childhood Chocolate Billabongs :)

This need for potato and ice-cream petered off around week 9 and I started eating much healthier.

I felt like at work I needed to make sure I had plenty of snacks to get me through the morning sickness so I usually took baby carrots with homemade hummus, fruit, crackers and of course a larger meal for lunch.

Having a protein bar in my bag at all times helped for when I was feeling nauseous or got the munchies.

I stopping running when I found out I was pregnant which is stupid because it was safe for me to continue to do so but I just felt sick all the time and it was tough for me just to go for a walk without throwing up. I starting walking about 45 mins a day and doing 20-30 laps at the local pool. Being in the water was literally the only time I didn't feel sick so I wanted to go all the time!

I gained around 5-7lbs in the first trimester, mainly due to over eating in the first 2 months to combat morning sickness. My weight stabled once I wasn't eating so much junk anymore.

First Trimester - Symptoms;
1. In around week 9-10 I started getting hives all over my body that were sore and itchy. They would last around 24 hours then dissipate. I had these come and go in random places for around three days and then they disappeared and I never saw them again.
2. In around week 10 I started getting sharp stabbing pains in my lower abdomen, around the area of my pelvic bone. I did freak a little at first but the Dr. said it was normal because the cervix is stretching and unless it is accompanied by bleeding not to worry.
3. Even after I stopped feeling sick all the time in around week 10 I still got the nausea every morning and was physically sick more than before.


Second Trimester

Week 12 - it feels like a lifetime to get to this point and it meant I could tell a couple more close friends and family but I still felt very paranoid and worried about something going wrong. I guess that's motherhood in a nutshell right??!?
Also found out we're having a boy!!

Week 15 - we have a Merman! 

The morning sickness wasn't totally gone but definitely much milder. Not throwing up in 4 days has given me some hope that the end or morning sickness is nigh! Having more trouble sleeping though, getting up five times a night to pee, even when I've drunk nothing (NOTHING I tell you) isn't helping either.

Definitely eating much healthier now, craving fruits and vegetables way more than anything else.

Week 20 now and feeling ok. I got a cold for a week which really sucked cause you can't take any decent medication when you're pregnant so I just had to deal! Fisherman's Friend was very helpful with the stuffed nose and sore throat. I confirmed with the company too that they use British Sugar which is vegan.
I drank a lot of seltzer water as that felt better on my sore throat than regular water. I'm totally in love with La Criox which is naturally fruit juice flavored seltzer water... they are vegan! My morning sickness came back almost everyday while I was sick, the coughing fits made me throw up and even occasionally wee myself which was lovely!
Starting to feel the baby move which is kind of exciting! Of course it just feels like butterflies in your stomach!
Finally got to announce our news after my 20 weeks you can see my step-daughters were thrilled about a baby brother lol

I have stretch marks already from puberty so I know I am not immune to them! I have been using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Solid Formula which is one of the few vegan products they have (also Body Gloss, Swivel Stick & Lip Balm). It feels very nice on my belly and smells like chocolate :)

I also used Bramble Berry's Shea Body Butter Base which I confirmed with them was vegan.
Someone was telling me that Argan Oil is really good for stretch marks. I haven't got any stretch marks yet but I can see where they look like they are forming so I'm going to get me some of this magical oil! (Update: didn't get any stretch marks so yay!)

Week 22 and I've been experiencing some pretty horrible heartburn and acid re-flux. I found Tums relieved it a bit and they are vegan (not the E-X Sugar Free though)...hubby had some old ones lying around.
I also get a sharp pain in my lower abdomen when I sneeze which I googled and apparently is normal!
Coming to the end of my second trimester I started getting the ice-cream urge back again!
My morning sickness never really left me but was much milder in the second trimester. And also haven't had to pee quite so often which has been nice :)

I started having trouble sleeping too, just hard to get comfortable especially with back and stomach sleeping not allowed anymore. I got a pregnancy pillow to try and help but it didn't :(

23 Weeks

24 Weeks - Vegan Zombie-Mom for Halloween!

Week 26
- Stopped wanting the seltzer water as much and have been craving orange juice a lot. The nice thing about orange juice is the baby seems to get very active after I drink it and I enjoy feeling him move around. Been more motivated to cook rather eat processed food but still craving salty and sugary foods. Up to 160lbs now (pretty much the heaviest I've ever been), my normal weight is 130lbs and I'm supposed to gain another 14lbs apparently (1lb a week until delivery) which is making me a little bit depressed but it's all worth it! Underwear is starting to get a bit tight :(
I realised that going through a Palmer's Cocoa Butter Solid formula every month is going to get a bit costly so started using a homemade one. Recipe can be found here.

I think my body finally rejected all the processed vegan food I've been eating because the other day I started craving vegetables BAD. So this week I made a huge batch of roast vegetables which is one of my favorite things, (roast garlic is the best!!!) and today made Stuffed good!!!

Second trimester - Symptoms;

1. Still had morning sickness until about half way through the second trimester. I still feel nauseous but I haven't vomited in a while.
2. Had really bad acid re-flux almost everyday.
3. Blurriness in my left eye - pretty much daily
4. Sore red skin, like sun burn on my hips and thighs, around the outside of my underwear line
5. Numb fingertips - for a few hours but went away. Super freaky!
6. Leg cramps (mainly in the calf muscle) in the middle of the night.


Third Trimester

Week 30
Happy to be at week 30, feeling a bit relieved to get this far but ready for it to be over! Having a lot of trouble sleeping, doing regular chores and fitting into clothes.
Weighing 164lbs (baby weighing 4lbs) and everything looking good for my due date in February.
I'm glad it's winter because I feel hot all the time.
Am back craving fried potatoes but generally have been pretty healthy with my eating.
I have been craving orange juice BAD - going through a 59 fl oz every couple of days.
I love this brand, Odwalla - 100% juice and nothing else and not from concentrate, tastes like freshly squeezed.

Had a lot of snow fall in the middle of December and had to get out there and shovel the driveway - discovered my snow gear really had no give lol!

Feeling cute for once in this oversize Xmas sweater for my work party...

Baby has moved to face down so getting lots of kicks in the ribs ;)

Got this great Angel Sounds fetal heart Doppler from Fair Haven Health as a birthday present from hubby. I love it - it worked straight away and I could hear movement and heartbeat which is really great for me because I don't feel a lot of movement due to my placenta being anterior (at the front) and therefore cushioning the movements. My step-daughters loved hearing their little brothers heartbeat too :)
Week 32 - Currently at 170lbs, baby at 4lbs 5oz. Still having acid but not as bad as it was and still craving orange juice which doesn't help. For some reason I've been craving Thai food - a lot, something I'm used to getting the best of in Sydney!
Started up doing pregnancy yoga again on YouTube - haven't done it since the first trimester but it feels good and my muscles need to start getting toned again. Getting kind of anxious about the birth being less than 8 weeks away but also very excited and happy that he has a great chance of survival if he were to be born early from now on.
Also did a tour of the hospital maternity ward which was very helpful in terms of putting my mind at ease about having a natural birth in a hospital.
Starting to get my hospital bag ready - complete with extensive birth plan LOL

32 weeks - I acquired a selfie stick but still have no clue how to use it without it being in the photo ;)

Vegan Baby Shower at week 34! Lots of fun!

Week 34 and ready to bare my huge belly to the world! Still waiting on those huge breasts I was promised too ;/
Baby is 5lbs 5oz, moving and pushing into my stomach but not really kicking anymore - probably running out of room! Also felt him hiccup the other day which was super cute!!

Week 35 - took some B&W belly pics :)

Week 37 - less than 3 weeks to go! Feeling pretty over it right now, can't get comfortable in any position (standing, sitting or lying), having Braxton Hick pains and acid reflux every day, plus morning sickness every couple of days. Quite ready for this baby to be here!

Week 38 - Having lower back pain in my coxis and hips. Finding it hard to walk so doing more of an attractive waddle. Still having acid reflux, Braxton Hicks and morning sickness. Haven't been able to drink orange juice for a few weeks because it makes the acid reflux so much worse.
I started retaining water this week too. I didn't notice it until other people pointed it out and I split my maternity leggings :/
Mainly in my legs and feet but they are so puffy looking! The nurse recommended swimming!

Third trimester - Symptoms;
1. Morning sickness came back - yay! At least not as bad, but still the occasion puke fest :(
2. Getting a sore spot on my tummy, like a small circle (no mark) that felt like a burn. OB said almost every pregnant woman complains about that but there is no explanation for it - weird.
3. RLS - Restless Leg Syndrome, very different to get to sleep with your leg feeling restless
4. Problems getting comfortable for sleep (I hate sleeping on my side...especially the left!)
5. 2 am body wake up call almost like clockwork every night! A lot of nights many times in the night.
6. Still have blurriness in my left eye - seriously annoying!
7. Pains in my back that felt like I'd hurt my back - apparently just your hip bones changing shape for the baby so some regular tailor sitting helped a lot.
8. Acid re flux still pretty bad, keeping me up some nights.
9. Braxton Hicks contractions which just felt like period cramps but got stronger and more painful closer to my due date.
10. Getting up in the night about 5-10 times to pee even if I don't have much urine.

Welcome to the World!
My little prince came a week and half early (38.5 weeks) after my water was ruptured. Needless to say my natural unmedicated birth plan went out the window but after a 21 hour labor he was born healthy and that's all that matters! Let's call him Peanut since that's what everyone else in the house still calls him :).

He's a week old today and although I can get him to latch fine my milk still hasn't come in which I am a bit worried about. I can pump about 10ml each feeding (every two hours) but I have to supplement another 50-60ml of formula which I hate doing. I pray my milk comes in because I really did not want a formula fed child :(
I'm happy that I had stocked the pantry and freezer with vegan convenience meals prior to his arrival because with feeding every two hours plus changing, burping, settling and pumping I barely have the time to sleep, shower and eat, let alone cook. Definitely makes life a little easier!

I had 2nd degree tears and hemorrhoids and my hips have been so sore that I can barely walk but I'm hoping they are all just scars of motherhood and will fade over time. Having my son near me makes it all worthwhile of course! I had huge swollen ankles the days after the birth but Ibuprofen reduced it almost overnight to normal. After about 4 weeks my business end felt much better and no more bleeding. Hips were still sore but I could tell they were getting better.

Update: by about 6-8 weeks post partum my hips were fine, my stitches had all healed and hemorrhoids were gone. (Side bar, the scar tissue was still very tender for about a year so prepare your hubby's for that!)

They don't tell you this stuff but after you have the baby you still look 6 months pregnant. This is me a few days postpartum. Silver lining is that using those creams absolutely worked and I have no stretch marks from the pregnancy!

By week 5 I am pumping around 20-25ml of milk per feeding which still isn't enough so am still needing to supplement with formula. I tried Earth's Best Organic Soy Formula but it didn't mix very well and I think it was giving my little guy worse gas pains. I'm now using Baby One Organic Formula which I like much better.

Here's my blog entry on  my post-baby body journey.

Here's my blog entry of homemade baby food.

Here's my blog entry of feeding baby's first solids.

Here's my blog entry on feeding a toddler.

Cloth diapering was a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to diaper my baby! Here's my blog entry on cloth diapering - it incorporates some of the crafts below.

Baby Crafts!
Here's some baby stuff I made myself! I am definitely a novice sewer so they were all step by step YouTube videos! Loved this "snooty fox" print so much that I have tried to make it last lol

Plastic covered change mat for the change table...

Diaper tote bag... 

Travel change mat... 

Quilt for either the cot or the floor...

Cloth (diapering) Wipes

Travel Wet Bag

Diaper Pail Wet Bag

Burp/Spit Up Rags
I got this 1 yard of fabric on sale for $4, it made 3 long burp rags and 5 small wipes.

Prenatal Vitamins

There are a few different vegan prenatal vitamins on the market. I was taking Deva Vegan Prenatals for the three years before I got pregnant (we tried for a LONG time), and half way through my pregnancy I started taking Deva Vegan Omega 3 as well.  There is also Rainbow Light Vegan Prenatals and Freeda Prenatal Formulas. If you'e taking a prescribed one be sure to check the B12 content because it's usually low.
Here is a recent study by - a vegan prenatal topped their findings! Just the one I was using!

Books I Read

What To Expect When You're Expecting
by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
This was given to us by our insurance company but it was very helpful.

Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
by Robert A. Bradley and Marjie Hathaway

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition
by Susan McCutcheon and Erick Ingraham
( I found this one much easier to understand than the one written by Bradley)

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth Paperback – Abridged
by Ina May Gaskin
- I really loved this book too, really makes you confident in a natural birth!

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide 
by Penny Simkin and Janet Whalley
Great all round information book like "What to Expect".

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