Hi there hippie mommas!
Now that I’m in my final trimester I wanted to share some tips and tricks that helped me enjoy my pregnancy even though I had major nausea during the first trimester along with exhausted (throughout each week so far), leg cramps, food aversions, and more typical pregnancy symptoms. I truly believe that being vegan helped keep my cholesterol at a great level as well as my blood pressure and other high-risk pregnancy triggers. I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve been the healthiest, but sometime you just really have to find a middle ground between your mental health, the wellbeing of your soul, and eating healthy. Being vegan, we already knock out several things that can be an issue when digesting animal bi-products, so sometimes it’s really ok to #treatyoself – both physically and mentally. I hope these tips help. Please feel free to message me with any questions through my instagram – @thehippiebiscuit
*Please be sure to connect with your doctor or midwife to make sure you’re taking the necessary supplements to help improve your pregnancy experience. For leg cramps I take magnesium, for head fog (and because I am 1 point low in my hemoglobin) I take Iron, I also take Rainbow Light Prenatal, A vitamins D supplement, and a B12 Spray. Always consult your provider before taking anything. I was also given approval to use kombucha as a form of probiotic.
- Do whatever it takes to eat and be satisfied. And when I say do whatever it takes, I simply mean to explore all vegan options available. I definitely don’t buy a lot of pre-made vegan processed foods like Gardein, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do because the reality is, it’s still better than eating the animal bi-product hormones and such. It’s also better to EAT something (even if it’s a cracker) and not get so hungry to where it makes you even more nauseas. Surround yourself with delicious foods that you love. Some may be nutritious, some may be more comforting. For me, saltines, bagels, pasta, and nachos were comforting – and still are. Sometimes I can’t stomach anything but a slice of toast. Why? Because pregnancy. I always keep fruit at hand and I try to never deprive myself of cravings. Yes, money can drain from your pockets – I must have went to the grocery store once a day for the first two trimesters but for that comfort and satisfaction of being full and being able to enjoy food (somewhat), it was worth it. I had severe nausea during my first two trimesters, so my partner and I agreed to do whatever it takes to help me at least eat something. It was hard to sometimes pick the healthier route, but you just have to follow your instincts and keep an open mind. My mentality was like this – I already give up cheese and meats (two things I hardcore craved in the beginning) so I wasn’t about to deprive myself of other things that I knew I could possibly stomach. This isn’t my normal take on veganism and how I choose what I eat, but being pregnant while vegan is a whole new ball game. I’ve heard stories about people who where vegan and got pregnant and said that their body didn’t “allow them” to eat cruelty-free. As in, the cravings must’ve been too hard and too much. After experiencing it myself I definitely understand how hard it is – so no judgement passed at all because it is so incredibly hard. There were days that I LONGED for a real cheese pizza. So, I went to the store, bought some vegan cheese, and made a pizza. Sure, it wasn’t exactly the same, but my body reacted way better to it than it would have with animal bi-products and I felt super satisfied. No joke, I think I ate nachos literally every day of my first trimester. Other tips for helping nausea include: GTs Gingerade Kombucha, a piece of toast with butter (eating fats helped me a ton!), and Second Nature Wholesome Medley Trail Mix – vegan, can be found at Publix!
- Take a new photo each week. This has been a huge highlight for me and my partner. Seeing our baby grow week to week makes it all the more real. It’s especially magical in those first few months when the bump is just starting to develop and you can’t yet feel the baby. Be proud of how you look. Remember that you’re a fertile goddess that is literally creating life inside of you. You are strong. You can do this.
- Talk to other vegan mommas! This week alone I’ve talked to two beautiful souls about eating plant-based during their pregnancy. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was definitely freaking out because I had terrible food aversions and didn’t want anything I would normally have such as black beans, rice, greens, ya know, all the healthy stuff. Through old and new friendships I was able to ask questions, get ideas, reach out to the online communities on Facebook, and more. Some of these convos turned into lifelong friendships. I felt and still feel so supported and know that if I have any issues I can reach out without judgement. Every pregnancy is different and the baby is well worth the challenges, but momma needs a little extra love too and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and alone, please call or message me, I am here for you. Also, I highly recommend taking a birth class to meet people that are expecting around the same time as your due date! Even though we were the only vegans, making friends with people in the same season of life went a long way for us. I highly recommend: Your Childbirth Journey classes with Jen the Doula!
- Take pictures with your growing belly everywhere you go! Yes, I am that pregnant lady that makes her partner stop and take a spontaneous bump pic and I absolutely love it. I can’t wait to show little bean where they’ve been while growing in my belly. There’s just something so special about them being able to go visit those places when they are older and see where the picture was taken! Sometimes we really take those things for granted.
- Treat yourself to some new clothes from the thrift store! I can’t begin to tell you how much money I must have saved buying shirts from the thrift store to fit my growing belly. Most of it was definitely not maternity, but it fit and looked cute so who the hell cares, right? Plus it’s super affordable, I’m talking like $4 from Miracle Hill!
- Treat baby to some new clothes from the thrift store. Feeling down? Baby blues? Trust me – even during pregnancy it’s a thing and it’s totally ok to feel overwhelmed, scared and sad. There’s a few things I did to cheer me up, especially in the early stages while worrying about baby: I went to the thrift store and snagged some super cute clothes for so freakin’ cheap! I brought them home, laid them out and envisioned my beautiful baby cuddling in them one day. It just felt so good to get them something and it made it feel that much more real.
- Pamper yourself. Momma, this is the time to really start taking care of your skin. I collected my favorite vegan, cruelty-free makeup and skincare products and developed a routine that I look forward to doing every morning and every time I get out of the shower. It’s so important for not only your body – the one temple we get in this lifetime – but it’s great for your mental health and overall well being. Doing something for yourself like painting you nails, putting on makeup (trust me, I barely ware any but these days I feel so much more awake when I do), and lotion-ing up will make all the difference.
- Pull the pregnancy card while out to dinner.. or literally whenever you get the chance. “Hi, I’m vegan and pregnant, what can you do for me?” I’ve definitely used this a few times. Once we were at a hibachi place that was supposed to have sushi and long story short, the place was down in chefs. I had to find someone to talk to about getting something to eat because I didn’t want to pay $18 for sautéed hibachi veggies, I couldn’t even eat the rice due to it being pre-made with egg! I was super hungry and just wanted some food. They were super accommodating and I definitely know it’s because I joked about being pregnant. Joking – but was very serious about the little baby inside of me that was desperate for something to munch on. Not all people will care and not all people will be able to give you good food, but hey, why not pull the prego card out since YA CAN?
- Positive affirmations go a long way. Be proud of your lifestyle. You literally make a huge contribution towards saving the lives of millions of animals. You already stop yourself from eating things that contribute towards major swelling, cholesterol, and other not-so-good things. You are doing your best and your best is enough. You are enough. Sure, we can all do better with eating, working out, anything and everything. But right now, you are doing incredible. Take a few pieces of paper and write down some positive sayings. Hang them up, post them on social, repeat them to yourself as much as you can.
- Try to keep to vegan-friendly food spots. Sometimes we can’t control this situation. These past few months I’ve gone to a variety of not-so-vegan-friendly places that I just had to deal with. I found a way, and it was fine. Us mommas do what we have to do, right? But if it’s up to you and your partner, pick places and treat yourself once in a while to food you know is great. For example, a few of my go-to Greenville spots are Swamp Rabbit Cafe, Kuka Juice, Due South Coffee, the We Got the Beets food truck, LTO Burger Bar, White Duck Taco, and Happy + Hale – just to name a few! This way you can take a break from cooking and not have to worry about finding something to eat or explaining what a vegan diet doesn’t include.
Hopefully this helps even if it inspires you to write down a positive affirmation to lift your spirits. I am always here, so don’t be afraid to connect! I love meeting new people, and let’s face it, us mommas have to stick together!