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Diet Advice During Pregnancy
Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating When Pregnant
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Short Articles About Weight and Diet For New Mothers
Diet Advice - Pregnancy - Dietary Advice Pregnancy (UK) - Diet Nutrition - Pregnancy - Weight Control When Pregnant
Healthy Diet and Eating Habits During Pregnancy - What Extra Calories Are Needed - Weight Gain During Pregnancy - What's Best?
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Foods to Eat & Calorie Intake When Pregnant

Diet Advice and Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy

General Diet Advice During Pregnancy

A healthy diet for a pregnant woman should be nutrient-dense. This means choosing foods with a high nutritional content, while reducing or avoiding non-nutritious foods like refined sugars and junk food. In addition, a healthy pregnancy diet may require vitamin or mineral supplements, especially iron, calcium, folate and, for some women, vitamin D. A pregnant woman’s protein requirements are greater than normal, which usually isn’t a problem in the U.S. where the daily diet is typically very protein-rich. Generally, excessive use of sodium should be restricted in order to avoid hypertension, as well as too much weight gain.

Food Pyramid Dietary Guidelines for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy takes about 300 extra calories a day to maintain, and an average-sized woman can expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds overall. This means increasing your calorie-intake from the main food pyramid food groups, according to your energy (calorie) requirements, as follows:

Table 1. Food Pyramid Food Servings For Pregnant Women

Food Group 1600
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Calorie Diet
Grains 6 servings 9 servings 11 servings
Vegetables 3 servings 4 servings 5 servings
Fruits 2 servings 3 servings 4 servings
Dairy/Milk 3 servings 3 servings 3 servings
Meats 5oz 6oz 7oz

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(1) USDA recommendations for limiting intake of fat, cholesterol, and sodium are the same for pregnant women as for the general population. (2) It is best to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water and no more than one soft drink or cup of coffee per day to limit caffeine.

ACOG Dietary Guidelines During Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women should increase their usual servings of a variety of foods from the four basic food groups to include the following:

- Four or more servings of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals.
- Four or more servings of whole-grain or enriched bread and cereal for energy.
- Four or more servings of milk and milk products for calcium.
- Three or more servings of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans and peas for protein.

Diet Calories During Pregnancy

As stated, an increase of only 300 calories per day, is recommended during pregnancy. For example, a baked potato has 120 calories, so getting those extra 300 calories should not be that difficult. On the other hand, do not reduce calories below your healthy level. Otherwise you might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to properly nourish your unborn baby. Low-calorie intake can cause the mother's stored fat to break down, leading to the production of substances called ketones. Ketones, which can be found in the mother's blood and urine, are a sign of starvation or a starvation-like state. Constant production of ketones can result in a mentally retarded child.

Importance of Balanced Diet Nutrition During Pregnancy

Eating a well-balanced diet while you are pregnant will help to keep you and your baby healthy. Most physicians agree that the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), except those for iron, can be obtained through a proper diet. However, you may wish to discuss the need for a multi-vitamin with your doctor. The nutritional requirements for pregnant women vary according to individual needs.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

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