You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘eating for two’ as it relates to a pregnant woman.
Expectant mothers may wonder how much they need to eat during pregnancy and which foods are the best.
Pregnant women should eat more calories to support the extra energy that is used to help the baby develop (1).
When women are expecting, they also need a different micronutrient intake than women who are not pregnant (2).
Studies show that even in developed countries, pregnant women may not get enough folate, iron and vitamin D (2).
If women don’t get the right nutrients while pregnant, their baby’s development may be affected.
Consuming the right foods when you’re pregnant will help ensure the health of you and the baby.
Below are some of the most nutritious foods that you can eat when you’re pregnant.
Before we move onto the 13 best foods for pregnant women, let’s talk about how much you should eat and the essential nutrients needed.
Pregnant Foods Infographic
How Much Should You Eat When You’re Pregnant?
Pregnant mothers need to eat more to support the growing fetus. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal.
Most pregnant women will gain weight due to the extra weight of the fetus, placenta and additional fluids.
Certain maternal tissues also expand or increase in volume, causing weight gain. Pregnant women also gain fat stores while pregnant (5).
When you’re pregnant, the body becomes better at absorbing nutrients from the foods that you eat.
You probably don’t need to eat more calories in the first trimester (6).
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes, or the inability of your body to properly use insulin to regulate blood sugar, which develops during pregnancy and goes away after the birth of the child.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also make it harder for the mother to lose the weight after the baby is born (11).
How Many Calories Does a Pregnant Woman Need?
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women add about 350 calories to their daily intake in the second trimester and 500 calories in the third trimester (5, 6).
The baby’s brain grows rapidly in the third trimester, making it especially important for mothers to get adequate nutrients during this stage (12).
Eating more when pregnant doesn’t mean just adding empty calories to your diet.
It is important to eat nutrient-rich foods to support your health and the health of your baby.
KEY POINT: Pregnant mothers typically need to eat more food to support the growing fetus and get additional nutrients.
For more information about healthy food for pregnant women, please visit authoritydiet.com.