You will need to consume 300 to 500 more calories per day, and you can expect to gain one-half to one pound per week after the first trimester.
Your body’s digestion will slow down, allowing your body to absorb more nutrients from your food. So let’s discuss how you can modify your diet during this period.
Caloric Intake and nutrition for Pregnancy
In general, your caloric intake and nutrition for pregnancy should increase. However, giving in to the urges and cravings of pregnancy is not necessarily a good thing.
Understanding how your nutritional needs change as your pregnancy advances can help you maintain a
healthy weight throughout this time.
Your caloric needs will only slightly increase in the first trimester. You may be hungrier or have cravings and aversions during this period of time, but it is important not to fall off track early.
Instead of giving in, maintain adequate nutrition and avoid fatty or sugary foods. Usually the cravings represent needs that can be met by eating more complex carbohydrates.
(whole grain breads, fruit, oatmeal, vegetables) and supplementing your diet with prenatal vitamins that contain iron and important minerals like calcium.
We found that her craving for fast food was usually satisfied by an apple and a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.
Most studies show that the recommended number of calories needed for an average-sized pregnant woman is 2,500 per day after the first trimester.
This amount usually is enough to supply adequate nutrition to the baby; however, there is some variation from person to person.
The second and third trimesters are the periods of growth of the fetus, and the caloric needs increase, but only by 300 to 500 calories per day depending on your activity level.
That is the equivalent of a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit. The cravings are your body’s way of making sure it gets enough nutrients for the baby, but it is up to you to make healthy food choices.
We’ll answers to some of the more common questions about weight issues during pregnancy, which can help you make the best choices.
The FDA recommends a daily diet comprising three to four servings of meat or other protein, six to eleven servings of breads and other whole grains.
three to five servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruits, and four to six servings of milk or other dairy products daily Nutrition during pregnancy.
No one diet or food selection program will suit the needs of all pregnant
women. Make your own choices within these guidelines.
Why Am I Gaining So Much Weight During Pregnancy ?
During pregnancy, your body has changed its functioning and is developing tissue for a variety of reasons. So it would make sense that if you add 300 calories per day,or 2,100 calories per week.
your weight gain should be about two-thirds of a pound per week. However, weight gain can be more than these estimates, even if you consume the appropriate number of calories.
This is because, in addition to the baby’s growth and development, you are experiencing the following changes:
- Enlarged breasts that begin to form a ductal system that will transfer milk to the baby.
- Development of a placenta which links the fetus to the mother’s uterus and serves as a barrier to the mother’s harmful waste products.
- Dramatic increase in your body’s circulating fluid so as to supply water, blood, and nutrients to the baby.
- Your body’s attempt to store fat as it prepares to feed an infant for a year or more .
How much weight gain is acceptable and needed during pregnancy?
Do not worry about mild fluctuations in weight, as they most likely represent fluid shifts. It is important, however, to maintain a steady overall weight gain, which usually means the baby is growing normally.
By the end of pregnancy, you will need to have gained between twenty-five and thirty pounds if your weight before pregnancy is normal, thirty to thirty-five if you are underweight prior to pregnancy, and fifteen to twenty pounds if you are overweight or obese before pregnancy.
What is most important, however, is the slow and steady progression of weight gain, showing adequate daily nutrition and moderation of caloric intake.
- On the horizontal axis, find the number of weeks’ gestation, which is the number of weeks since the beginning of your last menstrual period, or the number of weeks your doctor told you, based on the ultrasound testing.
- On the vertical axis, plot your gained weight in pounds.
The Food You need
Water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink. It may feel like that to you during pregnancy. The amount of fluid in your body increases by up to 66 percent during pregnancy, and is required to transfer nutrients to the baby.
Therefore, you must increase your fluid intake, especially if you are involved in a regular exercise program.
Ten to twelve cups (eighty to ninety-six ounces) of water a day should be the minimum and you should drink even more if you feel thirsty.
Also, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout sessions.
Dehydration can cause mild headaches, constipation, and dizziness, and can increase your heart rate or that of your fetus. It has also been linked to premature Labor. So always keep water handy.
Protein And Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. Due to the dramatic increase in your metabolism during pregnancy, your body will require more energy, and therefore a higher intake of complex carbohydrates.
However, avoid foods high in sugar. It is important to keep your blood sugar at an acceptable level, because the baby uses this as his or her primary energy source.
It is shown that during pregnancy, exercise can decrease your blood sugar levels.
Therefore it is important to eat a meal high in carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, or whole grain crackers) thirty minutes to one hour prior to and immediately after exercise.
A slight increase in protein will also be required during pregnancy.
- The average amount of protein required before pregnancy is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. For example, if you weighed 130 pounds before pregnancy, you normally need about forty-seven grams of protein each day. Just use the formula:
Body weight x 0.36 = grams of protein needed. E.g., 130 x 0.36 = 47 g
- The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein during pregnancy is sixty grams.
Maintaining a high-protein diet appears to have no ill effects on the baby.
So if you were already on a high-protein diet, you will not need to increase
your dietary protein. But an increase in carbohydrates will be required to meet the nutritional needs of your new metabolism.
Fatigue is possibly the most common symptom during pregnancy; the most common cause is iron deficiency anemia. This happens because your body is now making more red blood cells.
These cells are responsible for transferring oxygen to the fetus through the placenta. It is important to get enough iron to make good cells that function well.
Some foods high in iron include: raisins, dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables,lean meat, whole grains, fortified cereal, tofu, nuts, dried apricots, prunes, and poultry.
Most prenatal vitamins contain iron, so if you cannot get enough of this nutrient in your diet, take a supplement. Keep your fiber and water intake up to avoid constipation.
Have you ever heard about women having problems with their teeth during pregnancy, or cramping and restlessness in their legs that keeps them awake at night?
These problems can be related to inadequate calcium intake. Your baby needs calcium to build bones, teeth, and other tissues.
If you do not supply enough in your diet, your baby will take it from your muscles, bones, and teeth, predisposing you to osteoporosis later in life.
Although we believe that the beginnings of osteoporosis may occur as a child, the problem worsens during adolescence and pregnancy.
During those times, the requirements for calcium have increased, but the intake may have stayed the same.
- Most nutritionists recommend at least a couple of hours between doses of iron and calcium. So drink your milk or eat it on your cereal in the morning, wait a couple of hours, and take your prenatal vitamin containing iron with your midmorning snack.
- To ajust your nutrition for pregnancy Calcium can only be absorbed 400 to 500 mg at a time. That is why you usually cannot find a calcium tablet that has the whole day’s supply in one pill.
- Take one 400 mg tablet three times daily and eat some food containing calcium for a total of 1,500 mg per day.
- Calcium supplements are best absorbed on an empty stomach. Supplements should be taken before meals.
- A high-protein diet does deplete some calcium, so it further increases your calcium requirement.
Not into supplements? Then consume plenty of the following daily: skim milk,low-fat yogurt and cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, sardines (including the bones), and green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and bok choy.
You should get 600 micrograms of folate (folic acid) a day. Folic acid helps in preventing neural tube defects (a problem with development of the brain or spinal cord) and helps make the extra blood that must be produced in your body.
You should actually start taking it three months prior to conception to ensure an adequate supply during the first trimester when the neural structures are forming.
Some food choices high in folate include breads, cereals, pastas, asparagus, orange juice, lentils, avocados, broccoli, kale, bok choy, beans, wheat germ, and oranges.
If you cannot get enough folate in your diet, supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin high in folic acid.
This is an essential vitamin that is responsible for helping make red blood cells, along with iron, to avoid anemia and support the immune system. We all know that pregnant women are more susceptible to infections, and often get colds or flu-like illnesses during their pregnancies.
A long with plenty of rest, vitamin B 12 can help boost your immunity to common infections. Foods high in vitamin B 12 include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
Zinc is essential for your baby’s brain and cell development. It is present in high levels in meat and dark meat poultry, whole grains, peanut butter, nuts, beans,
wheat germ and tofu. You should consume fifteen milligrams a day during pregnancy.
Due to hormonal changes, the intestinal tract slows to gain nutrients for the growing fetus. This along with increased intake of iron may cause constipation.
An increase of fiber and regular exercise will help to keep things moving. Increase your intake to twenty-five to thirty grams per day during pregnancy from sources like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grain breads, or supplements.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is essential to the production of building blocks (proteins) for your blood cells, antibodies, and hormones to deliver glucose to cells. is found in whole grain breads and cereals, bananas, chicken, fish, pork.
Pregnancy Food to Avoid
Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum while trying to conceive or while pregnant. its stimulant and can affect the nervous system of your baby, and causes calcium to be excreted through urination, which reduces the amount available to you and your baby.
With every puff of a cigarette, the womb is filled with toxins that inhibit both nutrient and oxygen delivery to your baby.
Smoking causes abnormally low birth weight and can cause problems such as learning and behavioral disabilities. But if you’re already pregnant, stop now. If you are a smoker, your need for certain B vitamins also increases.
Excessive alcohol can cause birth defects, including a major disorder called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS results in disabilities such as mental retardation, central nervous system disorders, and other such problems.
Because we are unsure how much alcohol it takes to cause birth defects, it is best to limit intake.
Clear all prescription and over-the-counter medications with your obstetrician even baby aspirin. All illicit drugs must be avoided.
Even small amounts can cause serious birth defects and behavioral disorders. Some medications may be continued if essential to your health as prescribed by your physician.
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