Vegetarian and vegan eating 

During pregnancy your requirements for protein, iron and B12 increase. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you need to carefully plan your eating to make sure you cover all of you and your baby’s needs. Speak to your dietitian, midwife or doctor if you have any concerns.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you need to carefully plan your eating to make sure you cover off on all you and your baby’s needs.


Lentils, beans, tofu, eggs, nuts and seeds are the staple protein foods in a vegetarian diet and should be eaten regularly.


Your need for iron triples in pregnancy. The iron found in plants (known as 'non-haem iron') is not absorbed as well as the iron that comes from animal products (known as 'haem iron'). Good sources of iron include iron fortified breakfast cereals and breads and green leafy vegetables. 

Eating iron containing foods with foods high in Vitamin C such as fruit and vegetables will help increase the absorption of the iron in your diet. For example, you can add kiwi, citrus, tomato or capsicum to your meals.  

Vitamin B12

Small amounts of Vitamin B12 are needed in pregnancy for the making of red blood cells and your baby’s brain development. Vitamin B12 is found in animal foods including meats, fish, eggs and dairy. If you do not eat any animal foods it is likely that you may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement/injection. It is best to discuss this with your doctor. 


Calcium is an important nutrient in pregnancy and is essential for the growth of bones and teeth. If you don’t eat dairy products, think about including soy, rice or another cereal drink that is fortified with calcium. You will need to check this in the nutrition panel on the label—it should have at least 120mg of added calcium per 100ml (or take a calcium supplement).

Check that soy, nut or rice milks have added calcium (at least 120mg/100ml).

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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