Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition Information

By EatingWell Editors

Steps for a healthy pregnancy.

Eat for one … who is pregnant

Yes, you’re eating for two now—but that means consuming a nutrient-rich diet that will nourish your growing baby, not indulging all day in high-calorie treats. Eating with abandon is a recipe for gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Experts agree that 25 to 35 pounds is a healthy gain; women who are overweight when they become pregnant generally should gain a little less. (That said, no one should diet during pregnancy; if you enter pregnancy with a little extra padding, talk with your doctor about what is a healthy weight gain.) Extra pounds strain your heart, increasing your risk for high blood pressure. During pregnancy, your heart already is working harder to pump blood to you and the little one on the sonogram. Women who are overweight also have an increased risk for diabetes and are more likely to have Cesarian sections and complications during delivery.

In your first trimester, your calorie needs are about the same as they were pre-pregnancy. In your second and third trimesters, your energy needs increase by only about 300 calories per day. This basically is the equivalent of one substantial snack (e.g., a slice of toast spread with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or a cup of low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit). Make these extra calories count by choosing nutrient-rich, healthy snacks, such as low-fat dairy products, fruits and veggies.

Next: Tip 4—Keep Moving »

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