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Calorie Requirements

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.

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