How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Prenatal nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors that affecting the health of pregnant women and their infants. Studies indicate that adequate nutrient intake is necessary for maintaining maternal body tissues. And for the growth and development of the fetus. And also How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy is important but nutrition is most important.

Nutritional Adequacy

Requirements for energy and several nutrients are increased during pregnancy. Dietary assessment is recommended for all pregnant women to evaluate the need for dietary changes or vitamin or mineral supplements.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Energy and Weight Gain

A 15 percent increase in calories (an average of 300 calories/day) is needed to meet the energy needs of pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s age, activity level, pre-Pregnancy weight and rate of a weight gain are factors that affect energy needs at any particular time during the pregnancy.

There is strong evidence relating adequate maternal weight gain during pregnancy to increased infant birth weight and a decreased incidence of neonatal death and morbidity. A total weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for a woman of normal weight at the start of pregnancy is currently recommended by many professionals.

The recommended rate of weight gain is 2 to 4 pounds in the first trimester and about 1.0 pound per week during the remainder of the pregnancy.

If a woman is overweight at the start of her pregnancy, she should gain 15 to Twenty-five pounds at a rate of about 0.66 pounds per week during the second and third trimesters. Weight reduction during pregnancy is not recommended.

If a woman is underweight at the start of her pregnancy, a weight gain of 30 to 40 pounds is recommended for optimal pregnancy outcome. Weight gain should be at a rate of slightly more than 1 pound per week during the second and third trimesters. 

Additional weight gain is needed for more than one fetus in gestation, such as twins or triplets; 35 to 45 pounds of total weight gain is suggested for a woman carrying twins. Young adolescents and Black women should try to gain weight toward the upper end of the recommended range. Short women should try to achieve gains at the lower end of the range.

Pregnancy Protein Requirements

An additional 10 grams of protein per day is required to provide for fetal needs and to permit required maternal tissue growth and maintenance, such as increase in blood volume and growth of breast and uterine tissue. Since protein is abundant in most diets in the United States, recommendations regarding protein are usually unnecessary.

Calcium Carbonate for Pregnancy

An additional 400 mg of calcium is recommended above non-pregnant needs to prevent demoralization of the maternal skeleton. Pregnant women who are lactose intolerant or who cannot or will not consume at least four servings of milk or milk products per day should receive calcium supplements in the gluconate or carbonita form. Pregnant women under age 35 may need additional calcium and vitamin D, since bone mineral density is still increasing.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Iron Requirement in Pregnancy

Owing to the high demands for iron during pregnancy, the normal diet would be supplemented with 30 mg of elemental iron in the form of ferrous salts during the second and third trimesters. Larger amounts are necessary when iron depletion exists. Food sources were high in protein and iron, such as liver, other meats, eggs,dried beans and peas, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and enriched or whole-Grain bread and cereals are recommended in addition to supplementation.

To in-crease absorption of iron, take the prenatal vitamin with beverages high in VitaminC (such as orange, tomato, vegetable juice, or juices fortified with Vitamin C). Eat foods high in Vitamin C at the same time as eating iron-containing foods (i.e.,strawberries with iron-fortified breakfast cereal). Cook in an iron skillet.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Does Taking Folic Acid Help Getting Pregnant

The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age in the U.S. who are capable of becoming pregnant consume 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to reduce their risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube def acts . This should be as a supplement in addition to consumption of foods high in folic acid . The total should not exceed mg of Folic Acid per day .

Women who have had a previous conception with neural tube defects, or are at risk of a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, should consult their physician before becoming pregnant about taking a supplement of 4.0 mg of folic acid per day.During pregnancy, additional amounts of folic acid are necessary for increased blood volume and maternal tissue syntheses.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy:Supplementation

Supplementation of 0.4 to 0.8 mg of folic acid per day is recommended throughout pregnancy for all women. Women who are at increased risk for a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect should receive a supplement of 4.0 mg per day as recommended by their physician. Also, all pregnant women should consume foods that are good sources of folic acid each day, such as green leafy vegetables, organ meats, dried beans and peas, fortified bread and cereals, and peanuts.

Routine supplementation with vitamins and minerals other than folic acid and iron is of uncertain value. However, some supplements may be needed for Pregnant women in high-risk categories or who do not routinely consume an adequate diet, such as women carrying more than one fetus, heavy cigarette smokers,alcohol and drug abusers, complete vegetarians, and adolescents.

Food Guide: How to Stay Lean During Pregnancy 

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Daily food intake during pregnancy should include the following:

Milk Group 4 servingsOne serving is 1 c. Milk, 1 c. Yogurt, 1½ oz. Cheese, 1 c. Pudding, 1¾ c. Ice cream or ice milk, or 2 c. Cottage cheese.

Meat or Substitute Group 3 servingsOne serving is 2-3 oz. Lean meat, fish, or poultry; 2 eggs; 2 oz. Cheese; ½ c. Cottage cheese; 1 c. Dried beans or peas; or 4 Tbsp. Peanut butter.

Vegetable Group 3 servingsOne serving is ½ c. Cooked, ¾ c. Juice; 1 c. Raw, or the portion commonly served,such as a medium-sized potato.

Fruit Group 2-3 servingsOne serving is ¾ c. Juice; ½ c. Chopped, cooked or canned fruit; 1 c. Raw; or the portion normally eaten such as one medium-sized apple.

Starch/Bread/Grain Group 6-11 servings

One serving is one slice bread; 1 c. Ready-To-Eat cereal; or ½ c. Cooked cereal, pasta,rice, or grits.A good source of vitamin A and one of vitamin C should be included each day. At least one serving of green, leafy vegetables should be eaten each day. Consumption of 8-12 c. Fluid per day is recommended; sources should include non caffeinated beverages with water as the best choice.

Other Considerations Caffeine Research on the effects of caffeine on the fetus has no demonstrated adverse effects of caffeine consumption during pregnancy. However, it is recommended that caffeine consumption is limited during pregnancy to reduce the risk of adverse effects. Consuming 500 mg or more daily increases the amount of time a fetus spends in an active, awake state and may cause a decrease in the baby’s birth weight and head circumference. 


In addition to the many other hazards of smoking (such as decreased blood flow to the fetus and low-birth-weight infants), it may also decrease the mother’s appetite so she may not gain enough weight during pregnancy.

If pregnant women do choose to use products with artificial sweeteners, it has been recommended to limit them to 2-3 products per day. Consistent exposure of the pregnant woman to second-hand smoke may also have adverse effects on the fetus.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy

Sugar Substitutes

The American Diabetes Association recommends that pregnant women limit their intake of saccharin. The use of aspartame by pregnant women is also control-version. Since it adds no nutrients to the diet, it is best to avoid foods containing sugar substitutes and concentrate on more nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

How To Stay Lean During Pregnancy:Sodium

Routine restriction of salt during pregnancy is not recommended since sodaium is required for the expanded maternal tissue and fluid compartments as well as the needs of the fetus. Sodium restriction may be indicated if the woman develops complications such as excessive fluid retention and swelling of extremities, preeclampsia, or toxemia.


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