Eating for Two Done Right

Eating for two can be a challenge.

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Pregnant Women

Starting off your pregnancy with a healthy well-balanced diet is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby.  This way, you’ll only need to make a few adjustments to your diet during your pregnancy.

Your First Trimester

If you find it tough to maintain a balanced diet during your first trimester, you can rest assured you’re not alone.  Due to queasiness, some women will eat all the time and gain a lot of weight in the process.  Other women have trouble eating and subsequently lose weight. Preventing your own malnutrition and dehydration are the most important factors during your first trimester.

Calories

When you are pregnant, you need to consume about 300 calories more than usual each day.  The best way to go about doing this is by listening to your body for when you feel hungry.  You should try to eat as many foods as possible from the bottom of the food pyramid. If you are gaining weight too slowly, try eating small meals and slightly increase the fat in your diet. You should always eat when you are hungry, as you are now eating for two instead of one.

Calcium

By the second trimester, you’ll need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day for your bones and your baby, which is more than 32 ounces of milk. Adequate calcium intake is something that’s missing from many diets.  Along with milk, other great sources for calcium include other dairy products, calcium fortified juices, and even calcium tablets.

Fiber

Fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy.  You can find fiber in whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables.  Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are safe to take during pregnancy.

Protein

Unless you are a strict vegetarian, protein intake is not normally a problem for women who eat a healthy diet.

Iron

A lot of women are iron deficient at the beginning of their pregnancy.  Good sources of iron include dark leafy green vegetables and meats.  Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause internal symptoms such as cramping, constipation, or diarrhoea.

Vitamins

You get the majority of the vitamins you need from your diet, however you may want to discuss prenatal vitamins with your doctor.  Folate is one of the most important, and if you are getting enough of it, you may be able to avoid vitamins all together – just ask your doctor to be sure.

How did you change your diet during your pregnancy? What worked and what didn’t?