The secret to ensuring a healthy pregnancy lies in a balanced diet, which in addition to ensuring adequate weight gain for the mother and baby, prevents problems that frequently occur in pregnancy, such as anemia or cramps, for example, which can impair quality. of life of mother and baby.
The needs for proteins, vitamins and minerals increase a lot during pregnancy and, therefore, it is important to eat more nutritious foods, so that the baby receives all the nutrients it needs to develop perfectly ensuring that it has a correct mental development, avoiding low weight at birth and even malformations, such as spina bifida.
How many calories does the pregnant woman need per day
Although the mother’s caloric needs increase only 10 calories per day in the 1st trimester, during the 2nd trimester the daily increase reaches 350 Kcal and in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy it reaches an increase of 500 Kcal per day.
Essential nutrients in pregnancy
During pregnancy, to ensure the baby’s good development and the mother’s health, it is necessary to ingest a greater amount of some nutrients, mainly folic acid, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc and selenium.
- Folic acid – Folic acid supplementation in tablets should be started, at least, 3 months before pregnancy, under medical advice, to avoid malformations in the baby and should only be terminated when the doctor recommends it. See other foods rich in folic acid at: Foods rich in folic acid .
- Selenium and zinc – To achieve the amount of selenium and zinc just eat a Brazil nut every day. This natural supplementation helps to prevent the appearance of malformations in the baby and malfunction of the thyroid.
- Iodine – Although the amount of iodine is higher during pregnancy, there is hardly a lack of this mineral and, therefore, it is not necessary to supplement because it is present in iodized salt.
- Magnesium – To achieve the ideal amount of magnesium during pregnancy, a vitamin with 1 cup of milk, 1 banana and 57 g of ground pumpkin seeds, which has 531 calories and 370 mg of magnesium, can be added to the diet.
- Protein – To eat as much protein as needed during pregnancy, just add 100 g of meat or 100 g of soy and 100 g of quinoa, for example. To learn more see: Foods rich in protein .
Supplementation of these nutrients can also be done in tablets, according to medical advice.
Other vitamins, such as A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 or B12, are also important during pregnancy, but their quantity is easily reached by feeding and no supplementation is necessary.
See also: Natural vitamin supplements for pregnant women .
How many pounds can the pregnant woman put on weight
If, before becoming pregnant, the mother was of normal weight, with a BMI between 19 and 24, she must put on weight between 11 and 13 kilos during the entire pregnancy. This means a weight gain of 1 to 2 kg in the first three months of pregnancy, in the second trimester an increase between 4 and 5 kg, and another 5 or 6 kilos after 6 months until the baby is born, in the third trimester.
If the mother, before becoming pregnant, has a BMI of less than 18, healthy weight gain is between 12 to 17 kg for the 9 months of pregnancy. On the other hand, if the mother is overweight with a BMI between 25 and 30 the healthy weight gain is around 7 kg.