During pregnancy is necessary to take right amount of calories and eat healthy for the healthy growth of the baby. Read on to learn more about the amount of calories that your body needs during pregnancy.
Diet plays an important role during pregnancy. It is extremely important to take right amount of calories during pregnancy. Although, calories are important it may not be a good idea to take empty calories.
How many calories does an expectant mother require?
In the early months of pregnancy, you do not need to change your diet. However, as the pregnancy advances, you may need to increase your calorific intake to 500 additional calories a day. This normally happens in the second and third trimesters. If you eat more than this amount, it is you who will gain the unnecessary weight, and not your baby. So make sure that you avoid junk foods like burgers, fries, cookies, etc. as these constitute empty calories. What you need is a sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates and foods that contain minerals and vitamins.
They say that a pregnant woman eats for two
Your pregnancy does not entitle you to eat for two. In fact, if you do eat for two, you will gain so much weight that you will not only be inviting unnecessary complications, but will also have difficulty in shedding your excess weight after pregnancy. A recent study has shown that in addition to her normal diet of 1500-200 calories, a pregnant woman needs to take only 300 additional calories per day (that is as many calories as one additional bottle or can of coke). Remember that the one that you are trying to feed is only a tiny foetus whose entire weight gain in 9 months is 6-8 pounds.
How many calories are required in each trimester?
Let us take a look at the trimester wise calorie requirement during pregnancy.
Calorie requirement in the first trimester
Your calorie requirements increase in the first trimester. You might find it difficult to take all the protein and vegetables in required amount in the first trimester because of feelings of nausea and morning sickness. However, there is no reason to worry about this. Your body already has a safeguard and your yolk sac is also working to protect your little one. Your baby starts using the nutrients through placenta from the 12th week. Make sure to drink as much water possible and keep your doctor informed if you feel you are dehydrating.
Foods high in fibre may be difficult for you to digest now. You can try the relaxing smoothies like those made of spinach, frozen fruits or yoghurt. Sipping in the nutrients shall appear lot easier. Do not take things containing artificial dyes or colours, trans-fat or hydrogenated oils, preservatives or chemicals. It is always important you look at the safe and natural options at this stage. Enjoy smoothies, purees, soups and juices. Also, do take your daily prenatal vitamins that are easy on your stomach.
Even if you are not meeting your daily calorie requirements due to morning sickness, do make sure to eat well the days you feel better. Try to stay as well-nourished as possible and do not be keen on losing your weight now.
Calorie requirements in the second trimester
You need additional 300-350 calories everyday now. So, if previously you were taking 1700 calories, it should increase to 2000 calories now. In the second trimester you shall feel lot better and start eating well. However, you may still be suffering from aversions to certain food, but you are now trying the different healthy options too.
Your baby shall be receiving nutrients from your placenta and thus nutrition shall play a very important role. Fresh veggies and fruits in the form of a paste or smoothies shall help you eat better. You can experiment with different options like mix bananas with almond butter. Try the apples, grapefruits or blueberries with honey or cheese. These in fact can be delicious and highly nutritious snack options.
In case you are craving for something very unhealthy, try substituting it with something healthy. For instance, if you want to have something sweet, you can try fruits with frozen yoghurt. You can also choose ice creams from different flavours that are free from chemicals, trans-fats, syrup or anything artificial.
Calorie requirement in the third trimester
You need additional 300 calorie every day to meet the growing requirements of your baby. You shall feel heavy now and indigestion and heartburn can be regular problems. It is a good idea to break your meals to small potions rather than trying to take big meals at a time. You can drink cold milk when you suffer from heartburn. In the milk you can consider adding some nuts, almonds to add to the calorie. When you feel like snacking, you can try the nuts, avocados or dry fruits.
You can consider cooking with fish oil once in a week that shall help dealing with your post-partum depressions. In fact fish oil is also known to help in your baby's brain development. But make sure that you consult your obstetrician before adding fish oil to your diet.
You need to remember that while taking good amount of calories every day is important, you need not count calories every day. You need to rather concentrate on the kind of food you take and continue eating whole foods. Also keep a watch on your weight and these shall be enough. Make sure that you discuss your pregnancy diet with your doctor. In the meanwhile do not forget to enjoy this phase.
What are the effects of taking empty calories during pregnancy? How many calories are required during first trimester of pregnancy? Is it safe to eat for two during pregnancy? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team