Pregnancy can be an exciting experience for women, but it can also come with a lot of questions. Often times, women wonder if they need to change their diet because they are pregnant. TopLine MD Alliance affiliated physicians have answered some questions on what a healthy diet should look like during pregnancy.
Should you change your diet when you’re pregnant?
A woman’s diet actually doesn’t need to change tremendously in pregnancy, provided that their diet prior to pregnancy was a well-balanced diet. Generally, the first trimester is where women tend to be a little nauseated and may be craving a lot of carbohydrates. Later in pregnancy, it’s suggested that a woman eats a low carbohydrate, high protein diet with a good balance of vegetables.
Do pregnant women need to eat for two?
While “Eating for two!” is a common phrase people often use, you do not need or should eat for two during pregnancy. You just need to eat a very healthy diet depending on what your weight is at the beginning of the pregnancy. Typically, the caloric demand increases only by one hundred calories per trimester. This means one hundred calories in the first trimester, two hundred in the second and three hundred in the third trimester.
If a pregnant woman is overweight at the beginning of the pregnancy, she may be recommended to reduce her calorie intake. If a pregnant woman is underweight, she may have to increase her calorie intake. The reality of the matter is that if a woman is of a relatively normal weight, she just needs to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. It’s also important to ensure that some food items such as milk products, which have calcium and are very healthy for the formation of baby’s bones, are also included.
Is there food you should avoid when you’re pregnant?
One food that women should not eat while pregnant is one that is not always so well-known – unpasteurized cheese. In the United States, to get unpasteurized cheese you would probably go to a deli to find it. However, if you are traveling to other countries, or eat dishes from other cultures, it’s very common to have unpasteurized cheeses included in salads or other types of foods. Avoiding unpasteurized cheese is important because it could be contaminated with a bacteria called Listeria that can be very harmful during pregnancy.
Should pregnant women exercise?
Physical activity is another important part of having a healthy and fit pregnancy. Everybody, including pregnant women, should be exercising about 30 to 45 minutes a day most days of the week. Obviously, the level of exercise depends on the level of fitness of the patient. If a woman was very active before pregnancy, she should continue exercising and modify her routine as the pregnancy goes and changes to her body happen. Healthy nutrition and a healthy weight gain during the pregnancy will decrease the chances of complications like gestational diabetes, hypertension and increased risk for cesarean section.
For more information on healthy diets for pregnancy, or if you have any questions on what to eat while you’re pregnant, it’s important to discuss this with your TopLine MD Alliance affiliated ob-gyn.
Dr. Javier Vizoso is a proud member of the TopLine MD Alliance practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Miami-Dade County.
Dr. Lucia Gaitan is a proud member of the TopLine MD Alliance practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Miami-Dade County.