Although dairy products can be good sources of protein, calcium and vitamin D, many other foods contain those nutrients as well. If you are lactose intolerant, vegan or just don't like the taste of dairy products, you can consume a well-balanced diet without dairy. Consult a registered dietitian or your health care provider to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for yourself and your child. If your diet is missing essential micronutrients, your provider may recommend prenatal vitamins.
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Pregnant teenagers require 1,300 milligrams of calcium, and pregnant adult women, 1,000 milligrams for strong bones and teeth. Fortified soy products, fortified orange juice, blackstrap molasses and certain green leafy vegetables are nondairy calcium sources. Your health care provider may recommend supplements if your intake from food sources is inadequate.
Vitamin D works with calcium to promote bone strength. You need 600 international units of vitamin D a day. Your body can synthesize vitamin D from sunlight, but in winter, especially in cold climates, you should obtain vitamin D from food sources or supplements. Fish, fortified juice, eggs and asparagus are significant non-milk sources. MedlinePlus states that it can be difficult to obtain vitamin D from food sources, so supplementation may be necessary to meet your needs. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Many nondairy products can provide the daily 71 grams of protein you need while pregnant, including meat, eggs, soy products, beans and nuts.
According to a research study published in 2006 by the "Canadian Medical Association Journal," low prenatal dairy consumption with low birth weight. If you choose a dairy-free pregnancy, be extremely careful to work with a registered dietitian to ensure adequate intake of the nutrients necessary for your health and that of your baby.
- The Vegetarian Resource Group; Calcium in the Vegan Diet, Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin D
- The Vegetarian Resource Group; Pregnancy and the Vegan Diet; Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D.
- "Canadian Medical Association Journal"; Association of Low Intake of Milk and Vitamin D During Pregnancy With Decreased Birth Weight; Cynthia A. Mannion, et al., April 2006