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Vegan Pregnancy, Placenta Quality & Pph?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, this is a bit of a weird question. My husband has a high school friend who is a doula. She said she heard from a midwife who said that of four strict vegan moms she's assisted during labor, all had very poor quality placentas ("shriveled up like a hamburger").



She also said that two of the four moms ended up with severe postpartum hemorrhaging, and that "even going lacto ovo makes a very big difference".



Now, I don't really know what any of this means. Obviously a sample size of four isn't really big enough to come to any conclusions. I just wanted to get some input from other vegans on what their experiences were.



There's also the issue of the Farm, where (at least at one time, as I understand it), many of the women giving birth there were vegan, and their statistics don't show high numbers of postpartum hemorrhage (and I think they have some of the best statistics in the US).
post #2 of 12
I was just going to use The Farm as an example of why I wouldn't worry! I was not vegan during my pregnancy but my midwife is vegan and we talked about it a lot, as I was wanting to go back to being veg*n... she was completely supportive of such and felt like there was absolutely no reason why it would cause any problems. (She was vegan through 3 pregnancies herself and had no problems with any of them. A large percentage of her clients are also veg*n and she said she couldn't tell any difference- either you eat a healthy diet or you don't... we all know you can be a junk food/ healthy veg*n just as easily as you can be a junk food/"healthy" omni.)
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks



I know there's no real good data out there to show vegan diets are dangerous during pregnancy (much the opposite, that they're not only perfectly healthy but can possibly lower the risk of preeclampsia). I was just a bit taken aback at the 4/4 'shriveled' placentas in vegan moms that this midwife has supposedly encountered (to be fair I have no idea what the rate of poor quality placentas is in the average population). I'd never actually heard anything about this before, and I don't know enough to know what a 'shriveled' placenta would even mean. My main concern would be that the baby has healthy and happy and not affected by it.
post #4 of 12
I would imagine the midwife has a preconception about veganism and cast that onto the women and those placentas regardless of how they really were. I once had a pedicure and the woman doing it heard me say I was vegetarian to someone, to which she replied "Oh, I could tell, you have really weak muscle tone in your legs, all vegetarians do." Yeah, she got a great tip after that. *rolls eyes* Absolutely ridiculous. Guess she never gave a pedicure to my friend who ran the boston marathon and is lacto-veg. Idiot.



I hemmorhaged after birth but that's because I pushed out a baby over 9 lbs and it took me 4 hours of pushing to do so... a typical cause of it. I am ovo lacto. The placenta was "huge and healthy", just like my baby (no sugar problems - she got her size from her father, lol.)
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by veggielove' date='04 July 2010 - 11:24 PM' timestamp='1278300243' post='2668990 View Post


I would imagine the midwife has a preconception about veganism and cast that onto the women and those placentas regardless of how they really were.



I was thinking the same thing. The fact that she would make that connection seems like she was looking for something wrong to begin with.



That's hilarious about the pedicure! She should see my husband's legs, he runs marathons too (and is a very very very minimal lacto veg - he has moments of weakness with milk chocolate but otherwise eats completely plant based/vegan).



BTW, your daughter is adorable!
post #6 of 12
Actually, I had a huge, healthy placenta. My midwife was so amazed by it that she had her assistant grab her camera so that she could take a picture. Meanwhile, I was in our bed getting my brand new daughter to breastfeed and she was still attached to it. It was being held up and photographed and oohed and ahhed at!!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsun' date='05 July 2010 - 01:38 AM' timestamp='1278308283' post='2669035 View Post


Actually, I had a huge, healthy placenta. My midwife was so amazed by it that she had her assistant grab her camera so that she could take a picture. Meanwhile, I was in our bed getting my brand new daughter to breastfeed and she was still attached to it. It was being held up and photographed and oohed and ahhed at!!



This is awesome, and just the thing I want to hear! Thank you



If you don't mind saying, what was your diet like during your pregnancy?



Congrats on your daughter - how old is she?
post #8 of 12
while there are many reasons for PPH, the most common is actually "cord traction." it's a process where by the midwife or doctor pulls on the cord to "release" the placenta. this usually tears the placenta from the wall of the uterus, causing a hemorrhage, whereas letting it detach on it's own usually does not cause a hemorrhage. there are, of course, other causes, but this is a pretty common practice, and thereby a pretty common cause.



so, many women experience PPH, regardless of diet and lifestyle and whatever else, for this reason.



as for the 'look' of the placenta, i can't say. i have really only experienced my own first hand, and it was awesome. i was not vegan, though. so, who can say? i suppsoe tehre are pictures of placentas on line, and perhaps a number of them from vegans, but i can't say.



i've never "heard" of it being a problem, nor seen any literature on the matter (scientific or otherwise).
post #9 of 12
Shrivelled placentas are associated with hypoxia during pregnancy.... so usually that means there is something going slightly or more seriously wrong with either the baby or the mother/placenta. There are a lot of causes of this, the most common is high BP during pregnancy and pre-eclampsia is associated with that as well. I have never ever heard anything regarding diet being a factor in the development of the placenta. Perhaps if the mother is anaemic then it might become an issue, and anaemia is more common in pregnancy, so perhaps if as a vegan you were on the edge then pregnancy might tip you over the edge.

I am not a doctor nor a midwife. I am however towards the end of my studies towards becoming a doctor.... i.e I am a lowly medical student.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow NZVeggie, this is exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks!

ETA: oops, missed Zoebirds post (been having trouble with notifications since all of the board software switching). Thanks for your input too, it's all been very helpful
post #11 of 12
Hi, just wanted to stay I was/am vegan all through my pregnancy and currently breastfeeding a very healthy baby. My placenta was fine, and no pph.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jump mama jump! View Post

Hi, just wanted to stay I was/am vegan all through my pregnancy and currently breastfeeding a very healthy baby. My placenta was fine, and no pph.


That's awesome, glad to hear it!

ETA: Welcome to VB !
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