The Nutrition You Need To Add To Your Pregnancy Diet

If you’re a new mom – congratulations! Pregnancy is a beautiful process, but it makes even the best of us nervous, especially when it comes to what we should be eating.  What does a healthy diet during pregnancy mean? Read the article below by dietician and nutritionist, Aymen Subhani to find out everything that should be included in your pregnancy diet plan:

Please note that the following recommendations are for a normal healthy person. If you have been advised by your physician or dietitian to consume different nutrients such as less protein due to a medical condition, please stick to that advice. It’s also always best to consult you doctor before starting supplements during pregnancy.

Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy:

Pregnancy WeightOverall gain
Underweight12.5 to 18 kg
Normal11.5 to 16 kg
Overweight7 to 11.5 kg
Obese5 to 9 kg

Source: Institute of medicine, Weight Gain during pregnancy; Reexamining the Guidelines (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2009.)

Energy Requirement:

First Trimester: No change or additional 150 calories per day
Second Trimester: Additional 340 calories per day to the calories you are already consuming
Third Trimester: Additional 450 calories per

Sample Diet Plan:

Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy:

Pregnancy WeightOverall gain
Underweight12.5 to 18 kg
Normal11.5 to 16 kg
Overweight7 to 11.5 kg
Obese5 to 9 kg

Source: Institute of medicine, Weight Gain during pregnancy; Reexamining the Guidelines (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2009.)

Energy Requirement:

First Trimester: No change or additional 150 calories per day
Second Trimester: Additional 340 calories per day to the calories you are already consuming
Third Trimester: Additional 450 calories per

Sample Diet Plan:

Some nutritions are essential for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Keep reading to find out what they are, what their recommended intake is and what their sources are:

Carbohydrates:

It is recommended not to go on any special diet during pregnancy. Don’t even try to lose weight! This means not cutting down on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for the brain development of the baby and 175g or more/day of carbohydrates is recommended. Fiber is also essential to prevent constipation. Fiber sources include: seeds, nuts, veggies and fruits, lentils, beans, legumes, peas, psyllium husk, etc. 

Protein: 

A 82g/day protein requirement is advised in pregnancy. You can easily get protein from meat sources, eggs, quinoa, some seeds, legumes, beans, lentils, etc.

Fat:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 3 (DHA) and omega 6 are very important for the brain development of your foetus. That’s why you should include 30% fat sources in your diet daily. Some sources are seeds, nuts, corn oil, fish, soybean oil, sunflower oil, some dietary supplements, etc. 

Calcium

The recommended calcium intake is is 1200 to 1300 mg/ day. Calcium plays a significant role in a mother’s health during pregnancy. It helps in easing the cramps during this period and helps maintain good bone health. Sources include dairy items, green leafy vegetables, fish, tofu, fortified foods and dietary supplements, etc.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium in the body. If you lack vitamin D no matter how much calcium you are taking in, it will not be efficiently absorbed by the body. The requirement per day is 15 to 25 micrograms. Sources for Vitamin D are fish, mushrooms, some green veggies, fortified foods, cheese, egg yolks, and supplementations etc.

Iron

Iron is used for the development of placenta and for the proper growth of foetus, as well as having an important role in synthesis of blood. The requirement for it per day is 35 mg/day. Iron sources are liver, beans, dried fruits, green leafy veggies, eggs, iron fortified foods such as salt, dried beans, meat and beef, dietary supplementation, etc.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a significant role in proper functioning of vision and avoids night blindness both in the mother, and the baby. The pregnancy requirement of vitamin A is 6000 ug/day. However as stated, supplements should not be taken without advice from a doctor or physician since Vitamin A toxicity can be fatal for the baby. Natural sources include egg yolk, colourful veggies like bell peppers and carrots, liver, dark green veggies, and some colourful fruits.

Vitamin C and E

These vitamins play an important role in protecting your body from inflammation and infections. Vitamin C is especially needed to absorb iron in your body. Lemon juice is a great source for this, or you can simply enjoy a fresh orange juice. Eating some strawberries or have bell peppers in your salad is also a good option. Vitamin E on the other hand is found in nuts, seeds, some plant oils.

Thiamine:

Thiamine helps in relieving that pregnancy nausea feeling usually called morning sickness.Sources include meat, fish, cereals, dietary supplementation, etc.

B Vitamins

Folate is super important for your baby as it helps avoid neural tube defects and death. B12 and B6 vitamins are also very important as they play a role in the synthesis DNA, and synthesis of carbohydrates, protein, and blood respectively. Food sources of B6 include fish, dairy items, eggs, veggies, soya beans, whole grain cereals and supplementations, etc. While food sources for B12 are animal protein like meat, beef, cheese, supplements, etc.

Food You Should Not Be Eating

  • Unpasteurised dairy items like cheese or milk.
  • Raw meat or egg
  • Raw or uncooked seafood like oysters
  • Too much sodium
  • Avoid coffee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *