When you are pregnant, you aren’t just catering to your needs – you must always keep your baby’s needs in mind as well. The health of both you and your baby will depend on a number of choices that you will make.
Nutrition during your pregnancy is very important because you are eating for both you and your baby. To meet the increased demands during pregnancy you need around 20 grams of extra protein and 300 Kcal of energy every day. You can easily meet your energy needs by eating more complex carbohydrates.
During your pregnancy, you require more energy for the baby to grow properly. You also need more folic acid, Vitamin B12, and iron for the production of blood and muscles. Protein is very important to the baby’s muscle and tissue development. You also need extra protein for your muscles. You will also need additional calcium so that your baby’s teeth and bones properly develop.
It’s normal to gain weight during pregnancy. That weight gain is the result of the weight of the placenta, weight of the fetus, fluid retention, increase blood volume and fat. You are expected to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during your pregnancy. If you were underweight before you become pregnant then you are expected to gain between 28 and 50 pounds. If you were overweight before your pregnancy, you are expected to gain between 15 and 25 pounds. If you are pregnant with twins, you should gain between 45 and 50 pounds. It’s important to have a healthy diet so that you don’t find yourself gaining too much weight.
You will have all kinds of cravings throughout your pregnancy and feeding those cravings is okay as long as you do it in moderation. Many times these cravings are for simple carbs, which are packed with calories that are of no benefit to us. These calories can quickly escalate the weight gain and that’s not what you want, so remember ‘moderation.’
Eating healthy isn’t as difficult as you might think. It starts with eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed with tons of nutrients but few calories. Always choose organic whenever possible and wash your fruit and veggies well to avoid ingesting pesticides and other toxins from non-organic foods. Even organic can become cross-contaminated. Your diet should also include whole grains and lean meat. Making good food choices will ensure that you do not gain more weight than you should. It will also make it much easier to lose the weight after your baby is born.