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Pregnancy & Parenting
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Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

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I have been looking up what the nutritiontal requirements (or suggestions) are for pregnancy.  I was curious as to how they differ from a person's typical needs without pregnancy.

I came across this website, Total Mommy Fitness, and this is what it suggests for Calories, Fat, Carbs, Protein and Other Nutrients.

Calories:  There is a minimal increase in calories needed during the 1st trimester.  An increase of 300 calories is recommended during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. 

Note:  I have also read in other places that you need closer to 3000 calories during pregnancy.

Carbohydrates:  Choose more complex carbs with a low GI that are quickly and easily stored as fat when not used as energy. (ie. Wheat bread, whole grain bread, brown rice, wheat pasta)

Protein:  The current RDA for protein during pregnancy is 60 grams per day. 

Fat:  Stay away from 'bad' fats.   (ie. fried foods, cheese, and other junk food)  Include more 'good' fats.  (ie. nuts, avocado)  Fat free foods can be misleading because a lot of times they have extra sugar, carbs, salt, and/or calories.

Folic Acid:  The RDA is at least 400mcg/day.  (ie. dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and oranges)

Calcium and Vitamin D:  Calcium - A daily intake of 1200mg per day is recommended for women under 25.  Intakes of 600-1200 is recommended for women over 25.  (ie. greens, soymilk, fortified juices, cereals)  Pregnant women should stay away from many soft cheeses such as queso.   VitaminD - A recommendation of 20-30 minutes of sun on their hands and face 2-3 times a week.

Iron:  The RDA is 30mg per day.  If you have a history of anemia, you will need more than 30mg a day.

Vitamin B12:  Vitamin B12 needs are higher in pregnancy.  (ie. fortified cereals, lean meats, fortified soy milk, VB12 supplements)

Zinc:  This is necessary for growth and development.  (ie. grains and nuts)

See below posts for additional information.  Please feel free to add any others that you may feel are of value to other Moms-To-Be.

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I have never really paid attention to much outside of carbs, fat, and protein and will more than likely try to do so now.

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Yes cheese is hard to give up. I've read that stuff like feta cheese is bad during pregnancy. But stuff like cottage cheese, cream cheese, natural yogurt, etc. is okay. And veggie cheese should be fine to. I try to balance it out though by eating lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, organic crackers, natural peanut butter, nuts, legumes, and lots of other health foods.

I love baby arugula salads, skim milk, fiber one and oranges.  So the Folic acid; calcium, and B's aren't really a problem.  I have been really trying to get enough Vitamin A; since it isn't in my multi's-  which is strange!!!  but spinach has a lot of vitamin A, as well as romaine lettuce I belive.

But-  those cravings are strong......I can stay away from the sweet fats, like cake-  but sometimes I CRAVE CRAVE CRAVE wendy's!!  and I don't even really like fast food!!   My husband and I go out to eat a lot to our italian place; and I'm finding I haven't been skimping on dessert......

But, most days are good; some days are bad-  but I am staying concious of the nutrients.  But the bad fats-  well;  I could cut back on those :(
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Stay away from feta cheese (and queso and some other cheeses) and sushi  because of possible listeriosis poisoning (adult immune systems handle it no problem, but can be very bad for fetuses).

Other than that, cheese is a great source of calcium and happiness and I have no intention of giving it up!!

Eat flax oil every day, it helps your baby be smart and develop nicely. 6

In general, you should gain approximately 3 to 8 pounds in the first trimester, 12 to 14 pounds in the second trimester, and 7 to 10 pounds in the third trimester, for a total weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds. However, women who are underweight may need to gain more, while women who are overweight should probably gain less.

**Additional Information Found** ialneed&dbid=5

Nutrient Needs

To support the growth and development of the fetus, a pregnant woman requires extra amounts of nearly all essential nutrients. In fact, the recommended intake of some of the nutrients, including iron and folic acid, increases so much over nonpregnancy amounts that most physicians encourage pregnant women to take a vitamin and mineral supplement each day to ensure nutrient needs are met.

In addition to maximizing nutrient intake, the mother-to-be is also encouraged to completely avoid alcohol and limit intake of caffeine to no more than 200 mg/day, the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee.

The Dietary Reference Intakes for pregnant and nonpregnant women appear in the table below. The nutrients highlighted below are of special importance:

  • Calories: Additional calories are required during pregnancy. It has been estimated that it takes 75,000 to 80,000 calories to make a baby, which represents approximately 2400 to 2600 calories per day throughout the pregnancy. Food and caloric intake must be high enough to ensure that all nutritional needs are met, and to allow for a 14-ounce weight gain per week during the last 30 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Protein: Extra protein is needed during pregnancy to help with the synthesis of maternal and fetal tissue. The most current recommendations for protein requirements during pregnancy made by the Institute of Medicine, which establishes government guidelines for protein requirements, were established in 1989. The Institute of Medicine recommends 60 grams of protein per day during pregnancy.
  • Fat: The recommendations for the amount of fat as a percentage of total calories do not change during pregnancy, so like all adults, pregnant women should consume no more than 30% of calories as fat. However, the type and quality of fat eaten during pregnancy is especially important. Mothers-to-be are encouraged to increase their consumption of the foods containing omega 3 fats, as the omega 3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is necessary for the development of brain and nerve tissue in the fetus.

Please see the link for additional information.

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