View Full Version : Do vegans have higher rates of premature birth?!
11-27-2006, 02:23 AM
I saw a midwife today who looked quite concerned when I told her I was raw vegan. She said that she has helped quite a few vegans through pregnancy and that vegan women have a higher risk of premature birth (due to the high consumption of Prostaglandins in our diet) and she says that vegan mothers also take longer to recover. I would love it if someone could refer me to actaual study statistics comparing vegan births to regluar births. I would love anyones input on this subject, I would like to think the Midwife is wrong!
11-27-2006, 02:32 AM
Some people just have such wonderful scare stories don't they?
I would ask this woman whether these "vegan" woman were animal activists or eating for their own health. There certainly tends to be a difference in their food habits.
Those who eat for the "health" of an animal figure as long as it's not animal based it's good for them. So! They will included, any kind of drug, sodas, alcohol, nicotene, etc.
Before someone makes assumptions such as she did, she really should get a sample of their food program.
Storm mid-wifed Jinjee's 4 births (number 5, on the way) on raw vegan. Notice this mid-wife didn't say "RAW" vegan ~ just vegan. I suggest you might request more specifics.
11-27-2006, 02:43 AM
When I pressed her for more details about these 'stats refering to vegans having a higher level of premature births' she backed down. It seems to me it is a statement she is making based on maybe a combination of something she read and her experience, but in terms of being able to give me reliable information - she couldn't. You are right Revvell - there are healthy Vegan's and not so healthy vegans, and when it comes to those who are doing it for health you cant get much better then a raw vegan. I was so inspired by the stories I had heard of raw vegan birthing experiences that I decided thats what I want for my child. I guess I have to resign myself to a midwife who doesnt understand and will look at me like I am doing myself harm. There are midwifes out there that are not like this lady but they are already booked out.
11-27-2006, 02:56 AM
Hi Kathy and congrats on your pregnancy!
I thought that rather than provide you with studies comparing vegan births to non-vegan, that you might like to see some success stories of actual people to encourage you:
Raw vegan resources (I'm sure there are more than these two, but this was all I could find speedily):
Simply Vegan resources:
11-27-2006, 07:39 AM
I had two vegan pregnancies and births, with no problems at all. I really doubt she can find anything substantial to back up what she said.
11-27-2006, 08:19 AM
Here is an interview of Jinjee Tolifero conducted by our very own Revvell. (Hi Revvell!)She compares here two cooked pregnancies and births to her two raw vegan ones. She attributes the short, easy, and painless raw vegan births to the elasticity of the birth canal which, in turn, she attributes to live foods. A stronger, more effective uterus might also play a part. All of her children were about 7 lbs, so it's not that the raw births were easier because the babies were smaller. I'll bet that raw vegans would have a much lower ceasarian section rate than the general population. So many women have c-sections today because of a failure to dialate...probably because of less elasticity and weak, ineffective uterine contractions.
P.S. I have never in my life heard that any kind of vegetarian diet causes premature birth.
11-27-2006, 08:29 AM
When I pressed her for more details about these 'stats refering to vegans having a higher level of premature births' she backed down. It seems to me it is a statement she is making based on maybe a combination of something she read and her experience, but in terms of being able to give me reliable information - she couldn't.
Most people are genuinely concerned but ignorant. They believe you can't possibly get every thing you need from eating "salad" and will do anything to scare you into eating "healthfully."
My roomate, who is a registered nurse, told me once that nuts cause acidosis. She eats so much acid forming cooked meat that she HAS to be much more acidic than I am. In fact, I'm slightly alkaline. People tend to see anything negative in the unfamiliar with complete disregard to the familiar.
11-27-2006, 09:18 AM
Here is an interview of Jinjee Tolifero conducted by our very own Revvell. (Hi Revvell!)
*waves to RawNut* :D
Sharon in Colorado
11-27-2006, 09:24 AM
I'm wondering, does it matter if you tell the midwife about your diet? Do cooked fooders tell their midwives they eat at McDonald's and or eat prime rib? Just curious if this is even necessary. Knowing what I now know, in your situation, I wouldn't mention any of that, if asked I would share that I eat lots of fruits and veggies and get plenty of protein (and calcium), but I don't know that I'd share my whole diet with her.
Crazy Healer Lady
11-27-2006, 11:51 PM
This is a scary subject for me, as I've been told all my life that growing kids need meat and cheese along with their veggies. Not my kids. I don't have any yet, but I dread my mom's words and actions when the day comes. Also, I was a preemie, the third as the two before me were so premature they died (the first 6 months early, the 2nd 3 months early, and me 1 month), and I've always been scared that my children would be preemies. I know now that it was because she was 35 when she had me. Women who wait a long time (late 30s-40s) seem to have a higher preemie rate, but I have no statistics, just what I have observed. I know that with this diet I'll have a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies.
Kathy, good luck in your pregnancy. You'll do just fine. :D
11-28-2006, 02:25 AM
I think it was her ignorance speaking. It's kind of like almost every time someone finds out I've vegetarian (as I have been for years) it's almost instantly "OMG, where do you get your protein??" It's not because they actually are educated on it and care. It's what they're told by someone else, who was told by someone else, who was told by... etc. It's a kneejerk reaction. I'd say stressing about it would cause a premature birth before abstaining from animal products and caring about animals would. I COULD be wrong.... nah. ;)
11-28-2006, 09:28 PM
I'm wondering, does it matter if you tell the midwife about your diet?
Midwives often operate outside the conventional medical establishment which can be hostile towards them, and if anything goes wrong, the medical establishment will use it against them to discredit midwifery and any kind of birth outside their jurisdiction. So midwives often try to minimize their risks by making sure the mom isn't a high risk for any reason, and that she has a textbook pregnancy. So they're often more concerned about every little thing you do. If anything you do puts the baby in jeopardy, it isn't just your baby's health on line, but the midwife's career, too. My midwife made it a policy to come to dinner once or twice during the pregnancy to see for herself what you were eating.
I'd think that if you can set her mind at ease with facts and figures, she'd be okay with your diet.
11-30-2006, 10:47 PM
If you actually want to survey scientific literature, one website to try is PubMed:
The first website has all articles, including those that are not free (but most of them have a free abstract). The second website has only free articles.
I do not know anything about the issue. I just did a very quick search, and here are two abstract that I found. These are just two studies, and I have no idea how current or accepted they are. In other words, this is just an example of the things you might find:
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