Eating healthy and having a well-balanced diet is an important aspect of a good lifestyle at any point in time. But, this becomes even more essential during pregnancy. A good diet can help ensure proper growth and development of the unborn baby.
While none of your wellwishers are going to ask you to go on some special diet, they will advise you to incorporate a variety of foods into your diet. The aim is to make sure that you have all the nutrients essential for both you and your little one.
But, there have often been discussions around whether or not one needs to eat for two during pregnancy. So, this leads to a lot of confusion around the amount of food that an expecting mom needs to consume. In fact, a survey done by the National Charity Partnership (NCP) found that only 33 percent of the pregnant women questioned gave the correct answer for the same (1).
According to the health monitor NICE, an expecting mother does not need to consume any extra calories during the initial six months. It is only in the last trimester that she needs to add an extra 200 calories every day.
NCP, which comprises the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, and Tesco, says that information on what women can eat during pregnancy is not entirely reaching them.
The research conducted by the NCP involved 2,100 women in the United Kingdom. And, the results suggested that one in every three expecting mothers believes that she needs to be consuming over 300 calories in a day. On the other hand, of the 140 expecting moms, 61 percent thought that the increase in calorie intake should happen in the first or the second trimester itself.
NCP recently collaborated with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ROCG). The goal is to debunk the myth that revolves around how pregnant women should be eating for two. Both will also prepare dietary requirements that would be easier for expecting moms to follow.
The idea behind eating for two is that a soon-to-be mom should eat for both her and her unborn baby. In fact, in this study, 25 percent of the women also accepted that they use this excuse to eat unhealthy on occasions.
NCP’s head of prevention, Alex Davis, said that this myth has made the spread of correct information among expecting moms pretty difficult. He emphasizes how important it is to eat healthily and have a healthy portion size during pregnancy. In fact, he says that this is also essential before and after the pregnancy. As per him, doing so can make it easier for a woman to conceive naturally, reduce the complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, and can also prevent health issues such as type 2 diabetes or heart diseases in the longer run.
Expecting moms are advised to have nearly 2,000 calories in a day, which includes both food and beverages. And, only during the last trimester, you should have an additional 200 calories every day. Here are some of the things that you can eat (2):
- Fruits and veggies
- Potatoes and pasta for carbohydrates
- Pulse, eggs, fish, and meat for proteins
- Dairy products like yogurt and milk
- Nuts and wholegrain foods for fiber
- Healthy snacks like hummus, vegetable soup, and salads
ROCG’s vice president of education, Janice Rymer, mentioned how overeating can, in fact, be detrimental to both the mom and the baby. She mentions how obesity during pregnancy might make women more prone to miscarriage and medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Additionally, even the kids born to overweight women are at an increased risk of becoming obese and developing significant health issues.
Now that the myth is busted, you can stop worrying about eating for two. And, do spread the word among your fellow expecting friends. Good luck, ladies!