Eating for Two: Nutrition Blunders for Newly Pregnant Women

Eating for Two: Nutrition Blunders for Newly Pregnant Women

When you’re pregnant, your diet is more important than ever. It affects your health, how well you’re feeling, and your baby. For healthy development, your baby needs to get the right nutrients from you, so you need to pay close attention to your eating habits.

Should I be eating for two?

No. Eating for two is the most common diet blunder during pregnancy. While your baby’s nutrition depends on your diet, this doesn’t mean you need to eat double the amount during pregnancy.

In fact, you don’t need any extra calories in the first trimester. You need about 340 extra calories in the second trimester, and 450 extra calories in the second trimester. If you’re over- or underweight, you may need to eat more or less than these amounts depending on your weight goal.

In fact, eating too much during your pregnancy can have negative consequences:

  • Excess weight gain is difficult to take off after your baby is born
  • Extra weight increases your risk for gestational diabetes, which results in bigger babies
  • Excess weight increases your risk for high blood pressure, which is a symptom of preeclampsia, which can damage other organ systems

How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?

Here are some general guidelines about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy, depending on your starting weight.

BMI

One baby

Twins

Underweight

Below 18.5

28-40 pounds

Normal weight

18.5-24.9

25-35 pounds

37-54 lbs

Overweight

25-29.9

15-25 pounds

31-50 lbs

Obese

30- above

11-20 pounds

25-42 lbs

The chart is just a guideline. It’s more important to make sure you’re eating healthy and getting the right nutrients for you and your baby. Here are some good rules of thumb:

Eat 6 times a day: 3 meals and 3 snacks

  • Keeps your blood sugar stable while providing necessary nutrients.
  • Avoid high-calorie/high-sugar, low-nutrient snacks
  • Drink plenty of water: 1-2 liters a day
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Examples: dairy, legumes, sweet potatoes, salmon, eggs, broccoli and dark leafy greens, lean meat, fish oil, berries, whole grains, avocados, dried fruits.
  • Don’t skip meals. This can lead to unstable blood sugar and cause nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to low weight gain.

While it’s important to focus on your health and nutrition during pregnancy, be careful about developing excessive concern with your weight. It’s important to give your body (and baby) the nutrients you need during this time.

If you’re obese, have special diet restrictions such as vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, etc. you may receive a referral for a dietician.