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 Post subject: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:24 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Tomorrow I have my first prenatal appointment with an ob/gyn I have never met before. My fingers are crossed that everything will be routine...wondering though, if I should mention that I'm vegan or just keep it to myself. I have done a lot of research on proper nutrition during pregnancy and I know that I have my bases covered, but I am worried that doc might give me grief out of ignorance.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:27 pm 
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If he asks, I see no harm in mentioning your diet. But it's not something I would willingly divulge unless I was looking for support or more information. You've armed yourself with your research, and a good defense is the best offense :)


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:42 pm 
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I agree with scooterdiva. It's not something I brought up unless asked directly.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:43 pm 
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I think it's important to not withhold information from your doctor. Sure he might say something ignorant, or maybe he will give you some helpful pointers.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:02 pm 
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i can see either way, but it might be nice to know if the doctor is an asshat before he or she is given access to your cervix, if you know what i mean.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:12 pm 
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If it was just a regular doc's appt I'd say it was up to you, but if you're pregnant, I think it's important for the doctor to have all the information. If they have negative stuff to say you can bring some information that you've researched.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:22 pm 
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You'll have to fill out lots of forms and there will probably be a question about dietary concerns. I'd mention it, and if the doctor throws a fit, you'll have plenty of time to make your case or look for another doctor. I live in a pretty meat and potatoes area, and all my OB said was make sure you're getting enough iron and protein. I did, and everything was fine. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:26 pm 
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I told my doctor and she was excited because she is vegetarian. Since becoming pregnant I have become vegetarian instead because during my first trimester I could hardly eat anything and one of the things I could eat was cheese. Anyway, you might be surprised! Most likely all the doctor will say is to make sure you are taking your prenatals, possibly take an additional iron, calcium and vit D supplement. I was lucky because my doctor told me vegan vitamins to take!


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:38 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Thanks everyone. I'm leaning toward just answering any direct questions honestly. It would be great to actually feel like I could trust the doctor! Worrying about this diet stuff helps keep me from worrying about everything else I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:59 pm 
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i wouldn't. doctors aren't incredibly informed when it comes to nutrition.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:25 pm 
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I'm not pregnant, but when I met the midwife in the ob/gyn group I'm using now, I asked her how she felt about vegan diets during pregnancy (figured weed 'em out early, y'know?) and she asked how long I was vegan for, and I told her, and she said "Well you probably now how to eat right by now, and it saves me the trouble of telling you all the things you can't have!" She didn't see any reason why it would be an issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:19 pm 
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I told my ob/gyn and the pediatrician that we were vegan the first time I met both of them. I really don't want a doctor that isn't supportive of my diet (or at least, not anti-veg) so I figured it was better to get it right out at the beginning or find someone else. Both of them turned out to be totally fine with it, so it ended up fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:11 pm 
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The first time I saw my doctor (not pregnant, just regular visit) she wanted me to talk to their staff nutritionist when she found out I was vegan. It was a useless visit, because the nutritionist knew nothing about vegan diets ("eat soy cheese for calcium!") but I took with me a copy of the American Dietetic Association position paper on veg diets, in case I was challenged on anything. The ADA is a professional organization; I don't know about the US, but in Canada you have to be registered with the Canadian version of the ADA to practice as a dietitian. I've found it's a good resource for dealing with healthcare professionals, since it comes from an organization of healthcare professionals. The paper isn't written for an audience of vegans so there's a lot of cautioning about getting enough of this or that, and giving examples of where to get certain vitamins and minerals.

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."

You can download a PDF from here:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:09 pm 
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I did and it was a non-issue, except apparently there was/is some sort of permanent "doesn't eat cows" notation in my chart, because every time they checked my hemoglobin the nurses were all just so shocked and thrilled that it was so high. I was literally on the operating table getting prepped for my emergency c-section and the maternity nurses and OR nurses were all atwitter amongst themselves about my pre-surgery hemoglobin coming back 16 gm/dl (like it always has, and always does).


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:55 pm 
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I told my doctor on the first visit too and she didn't care. She said take some iron and double up on the folic acid. Then we skipped over lots of pages about what seafood, cheeses, etc. to avoid during pregnancy. But like some others have said, it might be best to know up front who you are dealing with. Even at that, if they do make a big deal about it, it is one more doctor to be straightened out and shown what kind of healthy specimens we are.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:32 am 
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it never came up, and i never brought it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:50 am 
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I told my OB and she was fine with it. She quizzed me a little bit on how I get calcium and iron and was happy with my answers. When I switched to a midwife I never mentioned it because she never asked and I just never thought of mentioning it.

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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:08 am 
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I told my midwife and she was fine with it. At my first visit I wrote down what I ate the day before and the only thing she thought I was lacking was calcium until I told her that there was calcium in the soymilk I used for the vegan cheese I ate and she was satisfied. So, I'd say it went over well. But I also live in a really progressive city where vegetarianism is very popular.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:10 am 
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For both pregnancy's I've followed the Brewer's Diet. http://www.blueribbonbaby.org/brewer-di ... checklist/

My midwives were totally cool with my food choices. They asked and I told. It was routine for them in their practice to go into intense detail about their client's eating habits and to make suggestions about healthly nutriant levels (clients had to chart food for weeks each trimester and then provide the midwives with their charts. Mine were always satisfactory).

The MD I'm seeing for my second pregnancy hasn't asked a single diet/nutrition question of me to date (I'm at 24 weeks), and I haven't offered any info either. I know I'm eating well, and I guess she hasn't found anything to be alarmed about in my labs/measurements.


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 Post subject: Re: Should I tell the doctor I'm vegan?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:05 pm 
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torque wrote:
i can see either way, but it might be nice to know if the doctor is an asshat before he or she is given access to your cervix, if you know what i mean.


Ha. I like this.

I mentioned it to my OB/GYN and learned that she was a vegetarian a d her husband was a vegan. It was a really pleasant surprise to know that they had my back.

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