Going Vegan During Pregnancy Could Be Bad News for Your Baby

steak and eggsDoing the whole vegan thing really seems to be all the rage these days, but if you happen to be pregnant, you may want to rethink sticking to a plant-based diet. New research claims that eating eggs and meat during pregnancy can lower your baby's risk of developing a stress-related illness as an adult. (HA! I KNEW indulging in filet mignon was a good thing. Bring on the red meat, baby!)

Ok, so what is it about meat and eggs that sets your baby up for a calmer life down the road? Well, without getting too scientific, those foods are high in choline, and pregnant women who eat more choline have babies with lower levels of cortisol -- a hormone that affects the response to stress in the body.


And apparently some think this research is pretty significant. Eva K. Pressman, the director of the high-risk pregnancy program at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said:

The study is important because it shows that a relatively simple nutrient can have significant effects in prenatal life, and that these effects likely continue to have a long-lasting influence on adult life.

Huh. So consuming eggs and meat while expecting means we won't have to worry about our kids growing up to be anxious and stressed. Soooo, where does that leave hard-core vegan moms-to-be? Well, I guess you could pull a Natalie Portman, who altered her vegan diet and started eating eggs and dairy to make sure she gave her little guy the best possible start. She went back to her vegan ways after her son's birth, of course, but she didn't seem to have any qualms about falling off the wagon during pregnancy.

But if you just can't stomach the thought of consuming any animal products whatsoever, there are a few vegetarian sources of choline you can add to your diet to make sure you aren't setting your baby up for a life of stress. Peanut butter is a good option, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and (yum yum) wheat germ.

Is this new research enough to convince you to add more meat and eggs to your pregnancy diet?


Image via Sandra Foyt/Albany Kid/Flickr

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