When I called my doctor’s office to make an appointment, I told them I was pregnant. The receptionist’s response was “great, now you can eat all the Doritios you want!” Well… I think it is this attitude that makes for unhealthy pregnancies, unhealthy babies, and too much weight gain during pregnancy.
A woman with a healthy BMI usually gains between 25 – 35 lbs. Much of the pregnancy weight is distributed as follows:
- At birth, a baby weighs about 3.3kg (7.3lb).
- The placenta, which keeps your baby nourished, weighs 0.7kg (1.5lb).
- The amniotic fluid, which supports and cushions your baby, weighs 0.8kg (1.8lb)
- The muscle layer of your uterus (womb) grows dramatically and weighs an extra 0.9kg (2lb)
- Your blood volume increases and weighs an extra 1.2kg (2.6lb).
- You have extra fluid in your body weighing about 1.2kg (2.6lb).
- Your breasts weigh an extra 0.4kg (0.9lb).
- You’ll store fat, about 4kg (8.8lb), to give you energy for breastfeeding
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We may find our selves with an increased appetite, now is the time to make every calorie a healthy, nutrient dense calorie. Eating the right number of calories lets you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight. During the first trimester, you do not need to increase the number of calories you are eating. By the second trimester your body requires more energy ( more calories) and most healthy women need an extra 300 calories until the end of the pregnancy. The total daily caloric requirement is 1900 to 2500 calories per day.
Each of these healthy choices has about 300 calories:
- 1 cup of non-fat fruit yogurt and a medium apple
- 1 piece of whole wheat toast spread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 cup of beef and bean chili sprinkled with 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese
- 1 cup of raisin bran cereal with 1/2 cup of non-fat milk and a small banana
- 3 ounces roasted lean ham or chicken breast and 1/2 cup sweet potatoes
- 1 flour tortilla (7-inch), 1/2 cup refried beans, 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, and 1/2 cup cooked red pepper.