Like all expectant mothers, vegetarians need to pay close attention to the foods they eat and the nutrients those foods contain. This need is a constant, and does not change because of a lifestyle choice.
"What you consume when you are pregnant matters more because you are not only taking care of your own body, but you are starting the beginnings of a new one," says Dr. Amy Lanou, Nutritional Director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "The nutrients of special importance during pregnancy don't vary depending on what your diet is, they remain important."
Calcium is crucial to the development of bones and teeth. Even if a woman has an insufficient calcium intake, the baby will still get what it needs from the mother's body. Therefore to ensure her bone health, vegetarian and especially vegan women should be sure to consume calcium rich foods like kale, collards, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, enriched soy and rice milks, calcium fortified orange juice and breakfast cereals.
Folate or folic acid is instrumental in neural development. Vegetarians have a tendency to have a higher folate intake than do omnivorous people, because their diet often includes folate rich foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and legumes. If a woman is concerned about her folate consumption, she can always take a supplement.