Approximately 300 extra calories are needed daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with sweets and fats, kept to a minimum. A healthy, well-balanced diet during pregnancy can also help to minimize some pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and constipation.
Itâ€™s always important to eat a balanced diet â€” and itâ€™s even more important when youâ€™re pregnant because what you eat is the main source of nutrients for your baby. However, many women donâ€™t get enough iron, folate, calcium, vitamin D, or protein. So when you are pregnant, it is important for you to increase the amounts of foods you eat with these nutrients.
Most women can meet their increased needs with a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you should try to eat a variety of foods from these basic food groups. If you do, you are likely to get all the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.
Key Nutrients You Need
According to ACOG, you and your baby need these key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy:
Helps to build strong bones and teeth. The main sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, and sardines. During pregnancy, you need 1,000 milligrams (mg) daily.
Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to your baby. Sources include lean red meat, dried beans, peas, and iron-fortified cereals. During pregnancy, you need 27 mg daily.
You need this vitamin for healthy skin, eyesight, and bone growth. Carrots, dark, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes are good sources. During pregnancy, you need 770 micrograms daily.
Promotes healthy gums, teeth, and bones, and helps your body absorb iron. Good sources include citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries. During pregnancy, you need 85 mg daily.
Aids your body in the absorption of calcium to help build your babyâ€™s bones and teeth. Sources include exposure to sunlight, fortified milk, and fatty fish, such as salmon. During pregnancy, you need 600 international units (IUs) daily.
Helps form red blood cells and helps your body use protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You can find vitamin B6 in beef, liver, pork, whole-grain cereals, and bananas. During pregnancy, you need 1.9 mg daily.
Helps form red blood cells and maintains your nervous system. You can find this vitamin only in animal products. Good sources include liver, meat, fish, poultry, and milk. During pregnancy, you need 2.6 micrograms daily.
Folate (Folic Acid)
A B vitamin important in the production of blood and protein, it also reduces the risk of neural tube defects (a birth defect of the brain and spinal cord). You can find folate in green, leafy vegetables, liver, orange juice, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), and nuts.
You must get at least 400 micrograms of folate daily before pregnancy and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. During pregnancy, doctors recommend you get 600 micrograms daily.
Weight gain is important during your pregnancy and something you and your doctor will monitor for nine months until you give birth. However, gaining too much or too little weight can contribute to problems during your pregnancy for both you and your baby.
Just because you are eating for two doesnâ€™t mean you should eat twice the amount of food. If you are a healthy weight before your pregnancy, you only need to eat an average of about 300 extra calories a day.
Get in touch with Dr. Shweta Mishra at her Crossings Republik, Ghaziabad (Crossings Republik Clinic Location & Direction) clinic , or either at Amrapali Icon Leisure Valley, Greater Noida West (Noida ExtensionClinic Location & Direction) clinic. Also, you could make a wellness appointment at any clinic location convenient to you.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is only intended for educational purposes and to create knowledge amongst masses about women's health and obstetrics & gynaecology. Hence, no information issued on this website shall be treated as an alternative to consultation from a certified obstetrician & gynaecologist. The results can vary from women to women depending on their specific health conditions.