During pregnancy, women tend to place the health and welfare of their unborn babies at the top of their priority list. But with all the preparing and worrying and excitement that come along with having a new baby, it can be easy to forget that the health of the mother is just as important.
One of the easiest ways to increase the chances of a problem-free pregnancy for expecting mothers is to eat a healthy diet. In addition to being key for mothers, a healthy diet is critical to a baby’s growth and development.
Nearly all women need to add more of these to their diet when they’re expecting:
- protein – the amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your body’s cells – and of your baby’s body, too
- vitamins and minerals – such as folic acid for baby’s brain health and iron for mom’s hemoglobin production
- calories – for energy
When it comes to how MUCH the mother-to-be needs to eat during pregnancy, you might be surprised.
If you start your pregnancy at a healthy weight, you don’t need any additional calories in the first trimester. In the second trimester, you only need about 340 extra calories – or, for example, a fruit smoothie made with 2% milk.
And in the third trimester, when the baby is doing most of his growing, you need an additional 450 calories, which is the equivalent of a blueberry muffin from Starbucks.
However, if you’re underweight or overweight, you’ll need more or less than this, depending on your weight gain goal.