Mom Gives Birth to Healthy Baby Despite Controversial Pregnancy Diet

baby in sling loni janeLoni Jane Anthony, an outspoken Australian blogger, has been under fire for months for sticking to an extreme diet throughout her pregnancy. While pregnant, she stuck to eating mostly raw fruit with occasional raw veggies. Many called her regimen outright irresponsible. But since giving birth to a 8.7-pound, healthy baby boy named Rowdy back on March 2, she's come out swinging against her critics, writing that she's "living proof you don't have to become a whale while you're pregnant." Ouch.

While Anthony's particular brand of meat-free eating is not necessarily recommended or for everyone, it does bear noting that her child is "feeding like a machine," "sleeping," and "happy," according to the new mom. And as she continues to follow her strict low-fat, plant-based diet, she says she has "plenty of breast milk." All of this is most definitely a testament to plant-based diets being perfectly acceptable for pregnant or breastfeeding women and their little ones.

More from The Stir: The Best Pregnancy Diet Is Simple: Eat!

The fact is that not every woman's body is the same and, in turn, should be required to subsist on a particular diet during pregnancy. What works for one woman may not be right for another. We know this intuitively, but it's easy to get caught up in the hoopla of what's recommended and what's absolutely not. All too often, vegetarian or vegan diets get mistakenly lumped under something that's ill-advised for moms-to-be ... even if that's how they've always lived!

New Jersey-based nutritionist Stacy Rothschild, R.D., who is expecting herself, says she has been "mostly meat-free all throughout" her pregnancy and "feeling great and perfectly healthy." Of plant-based diets for pregnant or breastfeeding women in general, she shares:

I think you can definitely have a healthy meat-free pregnancy, as long as you are getting significant amounts of protein at each meal and snack (10-20 grams). A true vegetarian diet is absolutely satisfying enough during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as you have plenty of protein choices and would be taking in good sources of animal protein, like low-fat dairy. A vegan diet is possible during pregnancy, however, more challenging to get everything you and your growing baby need ... [like] B vitamins, so you might need a supplement. 

As for protein sources that aren't meat or poultry, Rothschild recommends "nuts, seeds, ancient grain proteins, beans, eggs, dairy, etc."

Still, not every doctor these days will support a patient's decision to be plant-based during pregnancy, but given Anthony's success story and many other women's, there's plenty of evidence to support women choosing the diet that is right for them -- and, as a result, their baby.

How do you feel about Loni Jane's diet? What about just going plant-based while pregnant/breastfeeding?


Image via Loni Jane/Instagram

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dreab... dreabug23

I was 100% vegan through both of my pregnancies. I took a B vitamin supplement.

I gave birth to 2 chubby, healthy babies...both of whom are still thriving.

Most legumes and grains contain more protein than a serving of meat or dairy, only with no artery- clogging cholesterol.

nonmember avatar Mai

I like to think I eat a plant based diet. I eat plants. I eat things made from plants. I eat animals that might have eaten some plants.

Good enough for me!

nonmember avatar Elizabeth

While I am currently almost 9 months preggers with my 2nd child and down over 20 lbs from my prepregnancy weight, I still EAT FOOD, you know meats, veggies, fruits, and even the chocolate cake. This woman didnt have a healthy baby BECAUSE of her diet, she had one DESPITE the diet. The same as the women who have perfectly healthy babies while they smoked through the entire pregnancy, should they tell everyone that pregnant woman SHOULD SMOKE while pregnant too because they had a healthy baby while doing so? THis is ridiculous, every pregnancy is different and every child is different.

frogg... froggyfreak330

Elizabeth, you completely misunderstood what the article said. She didnt say every woman should go vegan or vegetarian for pregnancy, she was just trying to show that it may not actually be unhealthy for pregnant women if done right. As long as you get all the nutrients your baby needs, it doesnt matter what diet you use whether omnivorous or vegan. Also, why would you compare eating vegan while pregnant to smoking during pregnancy? One is a diet that can be healthy if done correctly while the other is a habit that has no way of ever being healthy no matter what you do. When it comes to any diet you have to do it right, or else it becomes unhealthy. You cant just eat burgers and fries your entire pregnancy and expect a healthy baby just because you ate meat. Nor can you just eat random fruits and veggies your entire pregnancy with no thought to whether you are getting enough nutrients and assume your baby is getting everything they need. You have no way of knowing if her baby was healthy because of her diet anymore than you can confirm your baby was healthy as a result of yours.

Blues... Blueshark77

I ate what I felt like my body was craving. Fortunately it was a lot of fruit instead of junk food. I did eat meat and dairy as well, but I couldn't get enough apples, clementines, and pluots. 

nonmember avatar Lauren

This mom didn't just eat a vegan diet- she ate only raw fruit and occasionally raw veggies. Not the same thing. Also, the baby is healthy "according to mom." I hope that's true!

Kaya529 Kaya529

Though I don't think it is the worst diet I don't think it is a good idea either but it could have been a lot worse. My issue is that she is trying to use a healthy baby as proof she was right. I have known drug addicts and alcoholics who had healthy babies. It doesn't mean I think it's okay to do drugs or drink while pregnant. Some babies are resilient and end up healthy despite the moms habits during pregnancy. Besides not all the issues are apparent right away.

sterl... sterling21

I think she was very smart and knew what foods to mix and match to get the perfect  super food for growing babies. I think all women should put effort into there diet while pregnant whether they are vegetarians or not.

BabyJ... BabyJsMommy0507

Regardless, she took a big risk just to prove her point. She put her child's life in jeopardy because she wasn't sure it was the best thing to do, she just went for it and turned out to be right. Imagine if she'd been wrong.

frogg... froggyfreak330

Lauren, veganism is simply a diet in which no animal products are consumed. Her diet fits that definition.

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