It is normal and recommended for expectant mothers with a healthy body weight to gain weight during pregnancy. The increased body weight is due to the growth of the baby and placenta in addition to the increase in body fat. However, this situation can also lead to a common misconception that "feeding for two" is necessary to meet the extra energy need. In the light of the information compiled by the Sabri Ülker Foundation, it is possible to gain healthy weight during pregnancy. How many calories are needed per day during pregnancy? How much weight do I need to gain during pregnancy? Can I lose weight during pregnancy?
Expectant mothers with a healthy body weight before pregnancy need to increase their energy intake during pregnancy and especially in the last trimester, but energy balance is just as important during pregnancy as it is normally.
How many additional calories are needed daily during pregnancy?
It is predicted that the energy requirement of a person with a healthy body weight and moderate physical activity is an average of 2.000 calories per day. During pregnancy, according to the recommendation of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it is recommended to increase the total calorie intake by 70 kcal in the first trimester, 260 kcal in the second trimester, and 500 kcal in the third and last month. It should also be noted that recommended body weight gains throughout pregnancy depend on pre-pregnancy weight.
Alternative foods for additional calorie intake during pregnancy;
- 1. First trimester: 1 boiled egg or 10 raw almonds or 1 slice (25 grams) of whole grain bread
- Second trimester: ½ avocado on whole wheat toast or banana smoothie or hummus and carrot slices
- 3. Last trimester: Salmon, sautéed vegetables, boiled potatoes or grilled chicken and salad with quinoa
How much weight do I need to gain during pregnancy?
Although the amount of weight gain during pregnancy differs for everyone, it varies depending on the pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index. For example, pregnant women who are overweight or obese are generally advised to gain less weight than women who are underweight. Recommended weight gain usually ranges from 8 to 14 kg. Most of the weight gained is expected to be gained in the second half of pregnancy and beyond. Gaining much more weight than the recommended amount (more than 18 kg) can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth and the risk of high birth weight for the baby. Being underweight or gaining very little weight (5 kg or less) during pregnancy can also bring some health risks during pregnancy, such as miscarriage, premature birth or giving birth to a low birth weight baby. Eating a healthy and balanced diet throughout pregnancy will help to pass the pregnancy within the recommended body weight range and minimize the associated risks.
Can I lose weight during pregnancy?
Another question that is asked during pregnancy is whether it is healthy to lose weight during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the nutritional needs of the baby should be met at an optimal level through the mother in order to support the growth and development of the baby. For this reason, it is not a healthy method to apply weight loss diets and lose weight during pregnancy. Instead, you can try to focus on healthy eating and regular physical activity to keep yourself and your baby healthy.