Healthy Food Guide for Pregnant Women

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The research on diet and nutrition has shown considerable positive influence on a balanced diet during pregnancy. The healthy food guide is very necessary for a pregnant woman.

Specifically, nutritional status and eating habits of the mother are factors directly related to their health and that of your child. It is, therefore, a very suitable period for reviewing habits.

A balanced diet in this physiological stage of female life is the best help to prevent premature births and even problems related to infant development such as the reduction of weight or size, reduced resistance to infections, etc.

Although you cannot prevent certain hereditary problems (hemophilia, phenylketonuria, etc.), you can change poor nutrition. It is known that states of malnutrition and/or deficiency can cause alterations in the course of pregnancy: preterm delivery, fetal malformations, abortions, etc. All this has led to ensure that it is essential for ensuring adequate nutritional status during normal pregnancy.

The assessment of nutritional status should carry out the doctor that follows the course of pregnancy along with the health professional nutritionist (dietician – nutritionist).

Experts say as circumstances may compromise maternal nutritional status: the economic situation of deprivation, third pregnancy in less than two years (maternal reserves are depleted and it is difficult for a woman’s body does not suffer in any way: anemia, De-calcification, etc..) monitoring therapeutic diet prior to pregnancy, poor eating habits, consumption of snuff, alcohol or other drugs, low weight in early pregnancy, associated diseases, twin pregnancies and teenage pregnancies.

The latter needs exceed those of young adult age to be still growing and established a kind of competition between mother and fetus to get essential nutrients for development.

In general, dietary recommendations during gestation intended to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Covering own food needs of the pregnant woman.
  2. Meeting the nutritional requirements due to fetal growth.
  3. Prepare the body to better cope with maternal childbirth.
  4. Ensure fat reserves for milk production during lactation future.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes changes that affect you physically or psychologically, therefore its biological effort is greater.

The formation of a new being determined by a number of demands on the mother, one is food, which must meet the nutrients they require, both the mother and the unborn child.

The daily activity of women (not pregnant) has an expense of approximately 2,000 calories. During the early months of pregnancy, the number of calories should be between approximately 2,000 and 2,200 per day. As pregnancy progresses the child’s requirements and increases calorie consumption by the mother can reach 2,600 at the end of pregnancy. Generally the activity of the mother decreases, it is necessary to increase caloric intake.

The number of calories and quality thereof, and with increasing weight of the mother.

Being overweight carries adverse problems such as sore feet, legs, back, the heart has to make more effort, loses flexibility and is more prone to falls, excess kilos no means a bigger and healthy baby means more problems for kilos labor and others in the mother after delivery.

The total weight gain during pregnancy is considered to be 10 kg to 12 kg distributed more or less as follows:

  1. Baby Weight 3,500 Kg
  2. Placental weight 0.500 Kg
  3. Amniotic fluid weight 1,000 kg
  4. Uterine tissue weight of 1,000 Kg
  5. Breast tissue weight 1,000 kg
  6. The weight of water and 3.000 Kg retained fat
  7. TOTAL 10,000 kg

Diet during pregnancy is a vital factor for the correct formation and growth of the baby. Numerous studies demonstrate the link between maternal diet during pregnancy and the health and growth of your child. The special relationship between maternal diet and neurodevelopment, for example, it is known that a diet deficient in folic acid can cause defects in the spinal cord.

It is also shown that feeding is also associated with the course of pregnancy, for example, inadequate nutrition can lead to complications such as anemia and/or preeclampsia during pregnancy and many of the unpleasant symptoms that may suffer during pregnancy such as fatigue, constipation or cramps, could be minimized with proper diet. Especially stress in pregnancy is dangerous for both mother and baby health.

Related: Stress in Pregnancy: 10 Tips to Control!

Properly feeding on

Proper nutrition also helps to prevent premature labor, emotional balance and body recovery after giving birth.

For these reasons, it is important to feed properly during pregnancy and it is worth the effort to meet the following nutritional principles:

  1. Each meal has for the welfare of the baby.
  2. Consume calories from foods that really nourish.
  3. Do not fast or delete meals. – Prefer foods high in protein and low in fat.
  4. Prefer fresh natural foods instead of processed.
  5. Although carbohydrates are fattening, they should be eliminated from your diet.
  6. Limit your intake of refined sugar.
  7. Mystical is easy to maintain a healthy diet when followed by all household members.

Calories second Gestation Period

While it is true that pregnant women should consume more calories than you ate before pregnancy to feed and nurture your baby, it is also true that the requirements of infants during the first months of gestation are relatively small and can be covered by slightly increasing caloric intake. During the first trimester of pregnancy, sufficient additional 300 calories daily to meet these requirements.

However, not convenient obsessively counting every calorie consumed, simply choose foods should be based on eight basic principles described and weighed weekly on a reliable scale to check the weight gain is as constant as possible, without increases or sudden drops. To do this, you should always weigh yourself at the same time and under similar conditions, for example, in the morning after voiding and naked.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, weight gain should be between 1,400 kg to 1,800 kg and then 400 to 500 grams per week during the second trimester to the eighth month. For the entire ninth month about 400-500 grams.

Therefore, the increased weight of the pregnant should range between approximately:

  1. 1.4 to 1.8 kg in the first quarter
  2. 5.5 to 6.5 kg in the second quarter
  3. 3.5 to 4.5 kg in the third quarter
  4. 10.4 to 11.8 Kg in total

Since these values are approximate, we consider reasonable and safe average weight gain between 11 and 16 kilos, throughout gestation. However, there are many women with special needs, for example, those who enter pregnancy with very low weight or overweight or who have multiple pregnancies, you should gain more or less weight according to their needs and should closely monitor the progression of its weight.

When pregnant keeps weight gain within the limits mentioned, will be consuming the right number of calories when weight gain is greater because it consumes too many calories and if not, will be consuming less than necessary.

Each Component of Food and Function in Pregnancy


Proteins are vital to the growth and development of the new being. All pregnant women should consume approximately 100 grams of protein daily, or about four servings.

Vitamin C

This vitamin is essential for many metabolic processes, however, that the body cannot store, so that every human being should consume daily, preferably by eating foods rich in this vitamin fresh and raw.

Main Calcium and Fundamental

Calcium is a mineral essential for many body functions: it is vital for the development and proper functioning of the muscles, heart and nerves, blood clotting and enzyme activities.

The growing children need plenty of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. The same happens during pregnancy: the accelerated fetal growth requires significant amounts of calcium.

When these valuable mineral supplies are inadequate, the baby extracted from the bones of the mother to meet your needs, ordering his mother to suffer from weak bones (osteoporosis).

This is the main reason why pregnant women should supplement their diet with calcium, but there is another reason to drink enough milk (or take calcium in other ways): according to a recent study, calcium intake may help prevent gestational hypertension (preeclampsia) and thus many of the obstetric and neonatal complications that may occur.

For these reasons, during pregnancy and lactation, every woman should consume 1,200 mg. each day, for example, four servings of calcium-rich foods, preferably in the form of milk.

For those women who hate to take four glasses of milk a day, there are alternatives for consumers. For example: can be served in the form of yogurt, cheese or cottage cheese. You can hide in soups, stews, bread, cereals or desserts this is especially easy when taken in the form of skim milk powder. When pregnant prefer liquid milk, can double their calcium content by adding 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk.

For those who cannot tolerate or do not want to eat dairy products, calcium can also be obtained from other foods. For those who cannot be sure to get enough calcium through your diet (such as vegetarians or those who suffer from lactose intolerance) may be advisable to take a calcium supplement.

Vegetables and Fruits

Are the major source of fiber and vitamins such as vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid. Also bring lots of minerals, which together with vitamins are vital for cell growth. This contribution to fiber helps improve constipation.

All pregnant women should eat three to five servings of this food group.

 Cereals and Legumes

It should consume five servings of cereals such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, rice and soybeans, refined cereals yet, despite being rich, they provide vitamins and minerals that a pregnant woman might receive by consuming grains and legumes fresh.


In almost all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and animal products are small amounts of iron, however the baby pregnant and require significant amounts of this mineral, so it is recommended to consume foods rich in iron, such as liver and other organ meats, sardines, leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress, spinach and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans).

Given that it is sometimes difficult to consume all the iron that require pregnant and your child through the diet, from the second trimester of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend iron supplements obstetrician, who will be best to eat between meals with a fruit juice.


Of daily calories consumed by a pregnant, no more than 30% should come from fat foods in Excess consumption may produce an excessive weight gain, however completely eliminate fats may be dangerous, as the baby required for their development.

They must carefully control the consumption of foods high in fat consumption not to exceed generating overweight.


Too much salt is not healthy for anyone, let alone to the pregnant woman, but should not be eliminated from the diet because a certain amount is necessary for maintaining proper fluid level.

To consume an adequate amount of salt recommended for use only on the table and not while preparing food. Restrict use without deleting it.


Most of the human body is composed of water and the pregnant woman should drink liquids for two.

Pregnancy increases the amount of body fluid and, moreover, the baby’s body is very high water content, so that the woman should also increase their fluid intake. Milk production also depends directly on the state of hydration of the mother and the composition of breast milk varies the fluid intake during the suckling period.

Drink about 8 glasses of water per day will allow proper skin hydration, prevent constipation, remove toxins from the body, reduce the risk of urinary tract infection and produce adequate amounts of breast milk, able to meet the requirements of your baby.

Fluid needs can be met not only with water. Other liquids such as milk, fruit or vegetable juices and soups can meet these requirements perfectly.