There is no need to eat twice as much. You only need 300 extra calories per day, which does not amount to a lot of food. You must also not restrict your diet during pregnancy, as you might be depriving yourself and your baby of essential nutrients.
You need some additional nutrients during pregnancy. They are Iron, Calcium and Folic acid. Pregnant women need twice as much Iron than the others. You should start to take a low-dose iron supplement (30 mg/day) or a multi-vitamin with iron supplement. They should also eat plenty of iron rich food. Studies show that most women do not eat enough calcium. Pregnant women between 19 to 50 years in particular need to get 1,000 mg/day of calcium. Younger women need 1,300 mg/day. You should change your diet to include food high in calcium. Folic acid is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. A vitamin, it prevents neural tube defects, which are congenital defects of a baby’s brain or spine. Getting enough folic acid is important during early pregnancy. An easy way is to take a multivitamin every day.
You don’t need to make many changes to your diet if you were already eating healthy before your pregnancy. You need only 300 calories more than you were having earlier. What is more important is what you are having. You should be having a variety of healthy food. A pregnant woman needs more vitamins, nutrients and minerals than before. You should take multivitamins and eat healthy foods.
Most doctors recommend that a pregnant woman or one who is trying to get pregnant should take a prenatal or multivitamin a day. That way you and your baby will get adequate nutrients like folic acid. Folic acid is important to prevent congenital defects of your baby’s brain and spine. This is very important as such defects often take place even before the woman is aware of her pregnancy.
Fish and shellfish can be part of your diet, as they are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately almost all fish and shellfish contain mercury which is harmful. Fish is the main source by which mercury gets into our system. However, only very high levels of mercury are harmful to babies. Therefore, there is no harm in having controlled amounts of shellfish and fish.
You should avoid Alcohol completely during pregnancy as it enters your bloodstream and through the umbilical cord, reaches the baby. Alcohol slows down a baby’s growth and can affect the brain and cause birth defects.
You should also avoid Caffeine as much as possible when you are pregnant. Large quantities can cause irritability, nervousness and insomnia. It can also lead to low-weight babies.
It is recommended that you gain 25 to 30 pounds during pregnancy; however, it may vary, depending upon your pre-pregnancy weight and your height.
A desire for ice cream and pickles and other cravings may occur during pregnancy. the body’s need of certain nutrients is the probable cause.