Pregnancy is not the time to be counting calories. If you are on a diet that involves severely restricting your caloric intake, get off it right now. For those nine months, you will have permission to eat a meal or two of something that might seem “bad” for you (Southern Comfort does exist for a reason) because you’re going to gain some weight either way and why go through discomfort for no reason in trying to maintain discipline around food-and-beauty issues — plus there’s also the risk of harming your baby!
Getting enough nutrients during pregnancy is very important. If you do not get enough calories, you may end up harming the baby in various ways since it doesn’t receive all the necessary development to make it develop as it should. It may lead to complications such as low birth weight and other effects on the baby’s health both before and after birth. In short, getting just right amounts of what the body needs is vitally important when pregnant. When you are new a mother, you have many things to worry about because your priorities change once a newborn comes around.
The first step is to figure out your Recommended Daily Caloric Intake. If you’re already a fitness buff, or have been careful throughout your pregnancy thus far, you may be able to get this number yourself by consulting the following sites:
You should not worry about gaining too much weight during the first three months of your pregnancy, as long as you are still eating regularly. This means eating three meals and two snacks every day. If you have been dieting, stop! You should be aiming to eat 500 calories above what your normal daily intake is and this will be more than enough for your baby’s growth and development. Please note that calories require essential nutrients for growth and so it is essential to make sure you are including protein, carbohydrates and fats in each meal!
As you enter your second and third trimesters, gradually increase your daily calorie intake by about 300 in order to compensate for the increasing need for energy. If your pre-pregnancy caloric intake was about 1800, eat about 2100 calories per day. That will be a good amount of food to support the growth of your and your baby’s bodies naturally. Don’t try to lose weight during this time, as cravings may overwhelm you or tempt you to remove those calories instead of eating them so that they will exchange directly into body fat or be excreted through urination… that could have a negative effect on the health of both you and your baby!
Eat smaller meals frequently when you are pregnant because if you aren’t eating a lot more calories than normal, then consuming larger meals, once or twice a day, increases your risk of women with heart disease who stay on their regular diet. Make sure to drink enough water and eat foods that will maximize your energy – simple carbs and sugars can cause energy spikes that quickly die out.
On the flip side, pregnant women who were already underweight when they conceived or who have not gained an adequate amount of weight since becoming pregnant are advised by doctors to take in more than 300 extra calories a day. After all, the baby needs to be able to take whatever calories it takes away from your body to grow. If you’re not taking in enough or your body is burning everything that you do eat, then this means neither will the unborn child!