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Vegan Mums & Babies Archives - C-A-L-F

Top tips for mums-to-be

Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 7:37 PM by J&Amy Vegan Mums & Babies

Top tips for mums-to-be…

I’ve been thinking of a few things that helped me through the nine months of nausea, swollen hands and legs, and indigestion! Hopefully someone else may find these useful

1.) Carry food and drink on you at all times! This was especially important for being vegan as you never know if you can get your swollen hands on any yummy snacks when you need them. Snacking helped to stop my nausea but even if you are lucky and don’t suffer with this, then you will still need to keep your energy levels up. This might help stop you feeling faint and dizzy too. It’s also important to keep hydrated, even if this does mean yet more trips to the bathroom!

2.) Take your vitamins! You can get vegan ones online, and vegetarian ones are widely available.

3.) Get a good stretch mark cream and put it on every day. Lush do a wonderful product called Therapy, it’s vegan and safe for pregnancy. My friend gave me great tip to make sure that you do your back as well as your bump, as skin stretches all the way round! And don’t forget the milk machines too!

4.) If you do suffer from swollen hands and feet, make sure that you don’t sleep on your hands, as you’ll get terrible pins and needles! Use your comfiest shoes every day – you don’t have to be a glamour queen now

5.) Keep your cool with a bottle of facial mist spray. I created a bottle myself from rose water which you can buy in any Asian foods section. I did this as a tip for labour but found it lovely to use as a cooler long before that!

6.) Get extra pillows to help you get comfy in bed. These will come in very handy for breastfeeding too!

7.) Be prepared as early as possible. Everyone I know has always felt less nervous once their hospital bag is packed.

8.) Take lots of food and drink to hospital with you, and don’t forget the soya milk! They give you tea and toast whilst you enjoy your first cuddles, so you’ll need to remember to ask for jam instead of butter too. Our hospital had no provision for vegans – J was given a voucher for the cafeteria as nothing on the menu was vegan. So my first proper meal as a mum was a shrivelled up jacket potato!

9.) Rest as much as you can. You really do need to get stocked up on sleep while you can!

10.) Take it easy on yourself. Things are different now, and you need to accept that you just can’t carry those heavy shopping bags, or (in the later months) tie your own shoelaces! And if you happen to crave something you shouldn’t, just remember that being vegan the rest of the time is still better than not being vegan at all!

Hope this is useful, and feel free to ask me anything!

Love from Amy xxx

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Vegan Pregnancy

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 8:55 PM by J&Amy Vegan Mums & Babies

I’d only been vegan a couple of months before finding out that i was pregnant – i was over the moon and also really relieved that the queasiness and shortness of breath was all thanks to the little life inside me and nothing else!

i’d been vegetarian a long time before going vegan – and i’d been cutting down on dairy as i hated the impact that farming has on the environment. So becoming vegan was a natural progression really and luckily not difficult at all for me. I also found that being vegan was by far the easiest part of pregnancy!

One of the first things that happens when you visit the midwife at the start of your pregnancy, is getting given a list of things you can’t eat! And guess what?! all of those things aren’t vegan anyway! So that makes life nice and easy for you to start off with 🙂

Pregnancy itself wasn’t such a breeze though – i can’t deny that i felt awful all the way through it. The constant nausea was horrendous, but another vegan bonus is that most ginger biscuits are ok to eat! I felt like i was eating my own body weight in ginger every day, just to try to stop the horrible sick feeling. Chips also seemed to help!

With such unhealthy cravings, i am forever grateful for being vegan, as i dread to think what else i might have eaten mountains of! and i’m sure i would have put on even more weight too. i made sure that i took vitamin pills as well, and all my blood tests always came back OK.

Pregnancy is hard work, and i’m sure that being vegan made it a little easier for me at least. There are so many things to worry about once that tiny little person starts growing, and it’s nice to know that diet isn’t really one of them.

Got any questions? Leave a comment below! 🙂

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Birthday parties

Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 7:32 PM by J&Amy Vegan Mums & Babies

This weekend, Seeger was invited  to a birthday party. It wasn’t his first, just before Christmas one of his little friends had a party.  It was a lovely afternoon and the kids all had fun and were given a goodie bag and cake. Goodie bag…cake…we’ve got a vegan baby! With some discreet manoeuvring (hiding Seeger’s slice of cake before he saw it!) everything went well, and the host remained unoffended. She had gone to the trouble of making vegan savouries but had not realised about the cake she’d bought in – not many people seem to think about what goes into these things! Which brings us to this weekend…

The night before Amy and I were sat on the couch and she literally flew off around at 9pm rushing into the kitchen with shouts of “I need to bake a cake!” following behind her. After the first party it became apparent that we have to approach birthday parties much as we approach many other things being vegan – we have to go prepared. Amy had already suggested bringing a vegan cake to this host, who was worried about providing something for Seegs so that he didn’t feel left out. Vegan sandwiches had already been arranged too – the old favourite of houmous and grated carrot again!

Amy made a lovely chocolate cake but as it happened, Seeger never made it to the party, conjunctivitis and a cold kept him at home. But we had learnt from the first party…and look forward to the next one.

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What do vegan babies eat

Sunday, January 26th, 2014 at 9:50 PM by J&Amy Vegan Mums & Babies

Seegs enjoying wagon wheel

Our baby, Seeger, is now almost 11 months old. As vegans, we were in no doubt when Amy was pregnant that we wanted our baby to be vegan too. But…how?

Amy decided to breastfeed very early on if we could and we were very lucky, almost as soon as Seeger was born that was what he wanted. As he got older we started to explore alternatives to breast milk and also looked ahead to weaning.

Formula milk proved a problem as unfortunately in the UK there no longer is vegan soya formula available but they are two non dairy soy formulas, Cow and Gate Infasoy and SMA Wysoy. Both contain vitamin D3 and so are not 100% vegan. Hopefully in the future this will change.

Finger foods and weaning however were much easier! He started on baby rice as many babies do anyway, mixed with breastmilk. As he got a little older and a little more able to eat solids, we introduced more foods to his diet. Many of the big name baby foods in the supermarket such as Cow and Gate, HiPP etc do foods marked as suitable from four months and though the choice is limited, they do have vegan options. Carefully check the ingredients and look for allergens, you’ll be surprised what’s suitable.

His favourite foods though are home foods. Many of the meals we cook can easily be altered to make them suitable for a baby’s diet and freezing them in small pots means we have a ready supply of good, home cooked vegan food for him.

As he has gotten older we have introduced soya milk to his diet and other things such as soya yoghurt. One of his favourite treats is yogurt with banana! Most soya products are perfectly fine from 6 months providing they are fortified with calcium, but not as a main source of milk. However, Alpro make a special junior milk for children that is suitable as a main milk from 1 year and up.

He recently started nursery and one of our concerns was food. Nursery provide babies with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. How would he fit in? Very early on we had a chat with the nursery and they have been very supportive. Kids there eat spaghetti bolognese, beef dinners, chicken meals and so Seeger does not feel left out, the nursery has stocked up on Redwoods/Vbites meat alternatives. Whatever they cook for meals, they make separately for Seeger with vegan alternatives so that he has the same.

So…what do vegan babies eat? The answer is pretty simple! They eat what other babies eat, but vegan! 🙂

The Vegan Society have a fab page here  with more info – and Alpro also have a really good information section too.

 

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