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Pregnancy: Eating Smart for You and Baby




Excerpted from
Denise Austin's Ultimate Pregnancy Book: How to Stay Fit and Healthy Through the Nine Months and Shape Up After Baby
By Denise Austin

Coincidentally, several of my closest friends were also pregnant at the same time. In fact, six of us were pregnant and all due within two or three months of one another. I was one of the last ones, so it was fun to hear what to expect in the upcoming months.

I needed that support group, and it's a good idea now to meet with friends through prenatal classes or groups. Or form your own moms' club ... it made me feel I wasn't alone.

Take a few minutes each day to relax. It's easy and takes barely any time. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and just let go.

My friends and I enjoyed sharing information about nutrition during these months. Never before has your diet mattered so much; every bite counts!

Some women find it natural to switch to an eating plan high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk products, as well as calcium-rich foods and extra-lean meats. Others who might not have had good eating habits may find it difficult, but now is the time to put aside the sweets and junk food and try to form the best eating habits.

Eating enough during pregnancy can help insure a healthy baby, but don't overdo it! Those extra pounds are hard to take off, and the baby needs nutrients, not empty calories. Remember, everything you eat goes to the baby. Your baby needs you to provide all the nutrients necessary to grow properly. What your meals don't give your baby, the baby will take from you. Don't deplete your own energy systems. In the next nine months you will be building another human being while keeping your own body healthy.

Your caloric intake needs during the first trimester are virtually the same as they were prepregnancy, and they increase by only one hundred to three hundred calories during the second and third trimesters.

What contains 100 to 300 calories? A flavored yogurt, or an apple and a glass of o.j.

The average woman should expect to gain twenty-four to thirty-five pounds during pregnancy. But don't panic. These pounds are due mostly to the development of the fetus and placenta, the increased amniotic fluid and blood, and expanding uterine and breast tissue. (So, honey, enjoy your new voluptuous figure!)

How much you gain is as important as when you gain it. In the first trimester you should aim for a slow, steady gain of two to five pounds. In the last two trimesters your weight should increase by three-quarters to one pound per week. Remember, every woman gains differently. Don't be surprised if you gain six or eight pounds in one week. Just don't do this every week.

And don't forget your prenatal vitamins!

Getting on the scale is never pleasant, but now that you're pregnant it's a sign of your baby's growth. The worst time to weigh yourself is after eating a big meal. Also, don't get on the scale immediately after exercising. Fluid loss may make you seem lighter, but only until you drink a few glasses of water.

The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning. Make sure your scale is accurate. Weigh yourself naked, and not more than once a week. Weighing yourself every day is silly, and not an accurate measure of weight gain or loss. I actually kept track of my weight only at the doctor's-I never weighed myself at home.

Most women gain about four pounds in the first trimester.

While your weight may not be going up so much, you will notice subtle changes in the shape of your body, especially your waistline. I certainly did. For someone who always invited you to "feel my tummy,' I cut that out of my vocabulary for a while.

If you find yourself quickly gaining more than the recommended amount:

  • Avoid ice cream. Drink skim milk.
  • Avoid pastries, candy, high-fat snacks. Eat fresh fruit.
  • Broil food instead of frying.

During the first trimester there are thirteen essential vitamins and minerals that have proved to be beneficial for you and your baby.



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