Pregnancy is not the time to start a pregnancy diet. On the other hand, it is not the time to eat to excess. Women who do that often end up with extra pounds that do not automatically melt away with the birth of the baby. Instead, concentrate on eating healthful and well-balanced meals. Do not deprive yourself, but try not to overindulge either. Do not skip meals. If you feel like having a snack between meals or at bedtime, go ahead; but avoid snacking on foods that are high in calories but low in nutritional value. Remember, what you eat also affects your baby.
Most obstetricians recommend a weight gain of somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds, with the average gain being 24 pounds. Of this, about 20 pounds is gained simply as a result of your baby’s weight and the changes that take place within your body. The average baby weighs 7.5 pounds at birth, the placenta and membranes weigh 0.5 pounds, and the amniotic fluid weighs 2 pounds. In addition, the weight of your uterus increases by 2.5 pounds and your breasts by 2 pounds, and your body produces about 3.5 pounds of extra blood and fluid. The bulk of your weight gain probably will occur toward the end of your second trimester and throughout the third trimester, although this can vary.
As a general rule, what you eat during pregnancy will affect the health of your fetus. If your nutrition is inadequate, your newborn may suffer from growth retardation, a condition that can cause long—term development problems. Also, pregnancy can be complicated by excessive food consumption and excessive weight gain.
The average pregnant woman needs between 2,200 and 2,400 calories a day. Those who are especially active need more. Many physicians prescribe a vitamin supplement that, unlike ordinary supplements, will include folic acid. Iron supplements also may be included. Some pregnant women are so concerned about eating right that they weigh their food to make sure their servings conform with dietary standards. Such efforts usually are not necessary. When considering what to eat, common sense generally is sufficient. The following are basic elements of a well-balanced diet.
Protein is important, and you can get it in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and dried beans, to name a few good sources. Protein is necessary for the repair of your body and for the growth of your baby. Two or three servings a day are adequate.
Carbohydrates are good sources of energy. They include breads, noodles, rice, potatoes, and pasta. We recommend four or more servings a day.
Minerals are found in the foods we eat. The only mineral usually needed as a supplement in the diet of a pregnant woman is iron because most women do not have sufficient iron stores to supply the amount needed for the demands of pregnancy. Still, too much iron can be harmful to your health. Discuss iron supplementation with your physician.
Calcium helps in the formation of strong bones and teeth. Milk and milk products such as yogurt, cottage cheese, hard cheese, and ice cream are excellent sources. We recommend three or four servings a day.
Vitamins are organic compounds contained in food. They are essential to the growth and maintenance of your body. If you are eating a balanced diet, you probably are getting the necessary vitamins. Nevertheless, many physicians prescribe a supplement. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins. We recommend four or five servings a day.
In addition to the foods you should eat, there are foods you should avoid. Caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate, should be used only in moderation. Both ordinary and decaffeinated coffee may aggravate heartburn, a common concern of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Week To Week 1- 40