Do pregnant women have to eat twice as much?
It is a widespread belief, quite wrong and false. The truth is that during pregnancy a woman should observe good nutrition for two people, since the growing baby gets all of her food from the mother through the umbilical cord. If the mother has a lack of vitamins and nutrients, her baby will also suffer from this deficiency.
If a woman has had problems maintaining a stable weight before pregnancy, she can make a nutritional plan with the help of her doctor and / or her midwife.
How much energy does a woman need during pregnancy?
Actually, talking about ‘calorie’ is inaccurate, because the correct term is ‘kilocalorie’ (kcal), which is obviously equivalent to 1,000 calories.
- A woman who is not pregnant needs approximately 2,100 calories a day.
- A pregnant woman needs about 2,500 calories a day.
- A breastfeeding woman needs about 3,000 calories a day.
What type of food should the pregnant woman take?
A well-balanced diet should contain some of all basic food groups: dairy products; Fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, fats and carbohydrates. The pregnant woman needs to eat some of these food groups every day to get the necessary amounts of energy. Approximately, your diet should be composed in the following way, ideally:
- 10% of the calories must come from the proteins. These are found mainly in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and legumes.
- 35% of the calories should come from fats. They are found mainly in butter, oil, margarine, dairy products and nuts.
- 55% of the calories should come from carbohydrates. They are found in bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn and other cereals.
During the first three months of pregnancy (and preferably before becoming pregnant), the woman needs folic acid. Folic acid belongs to the group of B vitamins, and is also known as vitamin B9.
It is important during pregnancy, for the formation of the nervous system of the baby.
Folic acid may help prevent spinal defects, such as spina bifida, and other congenital malformations such as the open palate or cleft lip.
They are good natural sources of folic acid: barley, fruit, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, peas and rice.
It is recommended that every pregnant woman take 0.5 mg of folic acid daily every day for two months before conception and three months during pregnancy.
If a woman has previously given birth to a child with a defect in the spine, the dose of the supplement must be greater: 5mg. per day. You should discuss this with your family doctor.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body needs more iron than it usually does, because it needs more blood to carry nutrients to its child through the placenta, and because a large part of them are used by the child in his development.
Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, strawberries, muesli and whole wheat bread, as well as mollusks (clams and mussels) and meats are good sources of iron.
It must be taken into account that iron is more easily absorbed if taken together with vitamin C as a supplement or in the form of whole citrus or juice of such. Tea and coffee can interfere with the absorption of iron through the intestine.
It is often recommended that all pregnant women take an iron supplement every day from the twentieth week of pregnancy. This is not necessary if a woman takes a good diet, and a routine blood test shows that she is not anemic.
Zinc and calcium
Zinc and calcium minerals are also necessary for the development of the embryo. However, sufficient zinc and calcium can normally be obtained by following a varied diet.
It is important to avoid excess vitamin A during pregnancy, as it can cause damage to the embryo. Meals containing large amounts of vitamin A can be taken only occasionally.
How to avoid constipation?
Constipation during pregnancy may be due to hormonal changes that cause less bowel movement, difficulty in bowel mobility caused by the presence inside the abdomen of the future baby and the iron treatments that are sometimes prescribed.
To avoid constipation, take foods rich in fiber like fruits (kiwis, plums, etc.), vegetables, bread or whole grains.
Drinking two to three liters of water a day will also help prevent constipation by keeping your stools moisturized.
Regular exercise will also help bowel movement. Swimming or walking with a strenuous pace (without being forced to walk) for twenty or thirty minutes two or three times a week is a good level of exercise.
How much weight should a woman gain during pregnancy?
You do not need to become obsessed with weight during pregnancy. Many obstetricians have stopped weighing women except on their first visit because the information is not relevant to detecting problems with the mother or the baby.
However, it is probably best to avoid an excessive weight gain, as many women will want to return to the same size of clothing a few months after delivery, in addition to maternal obesity if it becomes very intense, can lead to complications in childbirth .
It is considered normal to have gained 10 to 12 kilos at the end of pregnancy. For practical reasons, pregnancy is divided into three periods:
- First period: goes from gestation week 0 to 12, when it is normal to gain from 1 to 2 kg.
- Second period: goes from week 12 to 28, in which it is normal to earn from 300 to 400 grams per week.
- Third period: goes from week 28 to 40; In this period it is normal to gain from 1 to 3 kg per month.
Where do extra pounds come from?
- Newborn weight: 3.5 kg
- Increased uterine weight: 1kg
- Placenta: 0.5 kg
- Amniotic fluid: 1kg
- Breast weight increase: 0.5 kg
- Increased maternal blood: 1.5 kg
- Increased maternal fat content: 2 kg
- Increase of water content in mother: 2 kg
- Total: 12 kg.