It is important to eat well-balanced meals at all times, yet this is even more essential when you are trying to get pregnant as well as during pregnancy. Many nutrients including vitamins and minerals are needed for the proper development of the baby.

Pregnancy nutrition basics

Eating healthy during pregnancy is important

A balanced diet is your best bet to have a healthy pregnancy. Restricted diets, diets with too low or too high calories, high-fat diets, and some vegetarian diets are discouraged during pregnancy because they may not provide all the nutrition needed for the developing fetus. Studies have shown that women who eat a healthier diet with fruit and vegetables have children with higher IQs when compared to women who were in the meat and potatoes cluster and white bread and coffee cluster. Read on for a breakdown of what you should eat (and not eat) during your pregnancy!

How to keep a healthy weight during pregnancy

  • Work with your doctor  on your weight gain goals at the beginning and regularly throughout your pregnancy.
  • Track your pregnancy weight gain at the beginning and regularly throughout pregnancy and compare your progress to recommended ranges of healthy weight gain.
  • Weigh yourself without shoes, wearing light weight clothing, and using the same scale ideally on the same day and time each week.
  • Eat a balanced diet high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, and lean protein.
  • Limit added sugars and solid fats found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, whole milk, and fatty meats.
  • Know your calorie needs. In general, the first trimester (or first three months) does not require any extra calories. Typically, women who begin pregnancy overweight need an additional 200 calories per day during the second trimester (second three months) and an additional 400 calories per day during the third (last) trimester.
  • Additional calories can be met by adding in two healthy snacks per day, such as in the morning and afternoon. 
  • Work up to or maintain at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) per week. 150 minutes may sound overwhelming, but you can achieve your goal by breaking up your physical activity into 10 minutes at a time. Physical activity is healthy and safe for most pregnant women. 

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