Stress less about all that can go wrong during your pregnancy and take charge with the basics of nutrition for expecting mothers. Find tips on eating, weight gain, and more.
Pregnancy can be a difficult time, especially if it is your first. From the minute you realize that you are pregnant do the day you deliver your baby, many confusing questions come to mind.
Whether it is about how you should sleep or what you should eat, the questions are endless. However, one of the most important questions revolves around nutrition.
Navigating pregnancy nutrition is something that you need to be aware of. This guide will provide you with all the basic information you need about pregnancy nutrition.
Nutrition & Pregnancy
The human body is a powerful machine that is capable of creating other human beings on its own.
But for the body to be able to do this, the proper tools are required. There is where nutrition comes to place.
Keep in mind that each pregnancy is completely individual. Therefore, the nutritional implications are individual.
Make sure to consult with a registered dietitian or doctor before making any significant adjustments or changes to your diet.
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Everyone knows that pregnancy leads to an increase in weight. However, the questions are where exactly is the weight gained and what is its purpose?
Besides the weight of the actual baby, the following also lead to weight gain. The breast and uterus size all lead to the total amount of weight gained.
Increase in blood volume.
- Additional fat stores.
- Fluid surrounding the baby (amniotic fluid).
The placenta is the gatekeeper between the baby and the mother. It helps transport all the nutrients to the baby.
All of the above could easily amount to anywhere between 25 and 35 pounds. Pre-pregnancy weight is the best indicator of how much weight has been gained.
Therefore, you can measure the differences in weight to find out the increase in weight.
How Should You Eat
If you just found out that you are pregnant, then chances are that you want to start doubling the portion sizes to feed you and your baby.
However, such an assumption is wrong because, in the first trimester of pregnancy, additional caloric intake is not required. It is only during the second and third trimesters where you need to increase your caloric intake.
Normally, an increase of 340 calories a day is sufficient in the second trimester and 450 calories a day in the third trimester.
Personal needs and physical activity levels also need to be considered before sticking to specific caloric intake.
Macronutrients During Pregnancy
Now that you are aware of how much you should be eating, it is time to know what you should be eating.
For a healthy pregnancy, adequate protein intake is important. It is essential for new tissue synthesis in you and your baby.
Consumption of a sufficient amount of protein will aid the production of the baby’s brain as well as your uterine and breast tissue. Moreover, healthy carbohydrates are important and fat for a complication-free pregnancy.