Pregnancy and Diet: 5 Tips on Eating for Two

October 19, 2012

Healthy Life, Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Diet

Pregnancy and Diet

Being pregnant is an exciting time, all the more special if it is your first child as there is much to discover and learn. Whilst pregnant, everyone will be eager to give you advice on what to eat, what foods to avoid, how much to exercise and any tips they might have found useful during their own pregnancy. While there are some differences between eating for one and eating for two, your recommended basic food groups will not change.  What will change is the percentage of how much to eat from each group.

Medical conditions, such as gestational diabetes, are a serious matter so it is best to consult with a physician before embarking on any drastic dietary changes while pregnant.  Often doctors will prescribe a vitamin or mineral supplement to ensure pregnant women are getting adequate amounts of both in their daily diets. Your genes also play an important role and it is not unusual to resort to genetic DNA testing to determine what diet is best suited depending on your genetic makeup. If you are considering a DNA based-diet, seek your doctor’s advice and guidelines first. He or she will ensure that during pregnancy you eat a variety of different foods in order to get all the mineral and nutrients your body needs.

The hardest part on gaining too much weight during pregnancy is the struggle to lose the weight post pregnancy! Here are five tips to help with the transition:

Tip # 1 Food allergies: Developing food allergies or sensitivities to certain foods is common among pregnant women so too much of a good thing may work against you! And, of course, it goes without saying that those who experience morning sickness during their first trimester should follow their doctor’s instructions on maintaining a healthy diet until the morning sickness episodes have subsided. Keep a journal of those foods that bother you, so you can discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist on your next visit. Sensitivities to foods may be a temporary condition while pregnant.  You may notice that your body has developed an intolerance which persists after pregnancy.

Tip # 2 Alcohol: Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can have negative effects on babies including behavioral or developmental problems.  To be on the safe side, doctors recommend pregnant women avoid drinking all forms or types of alcohol.

Tip # 3 Empty calories: Eating foods that are considered “empty calories” provide no nutritional value. These foods, moreover, have been known to contribute to additional weight gain during pregnancy and are much more difficult to lose post pregnancy. Many of the foods often called “white” foods, such as pasta, potatoes, white rice and white bread fall into this group. Do not overindulge in these foods but eat them in moderation.

Tip # 4 Portion control: There are many healthy foods that pregnant women can eat that are already in their diet: fruits and vegetables; dairy; grains and proteins.  How much you should eat from each group is dependent upon other factors such as height, weight, age and your current level of physical activity. Your doctor or midwife should be able to work out a customized plan just for you. Remember, being pregnant does not mean eating for two people. Your still have your own unique DNA! This is a very common misconception and often the result of tremendous weight gain by pregnant women.

Tip # 5 Cravings: It is a myth that pregnant women are more susceptible to food cravings than their non-pregnant counterparts.  However, experts agree that cravings are often a result of women who have been on restrictive diets or yo-yo dieting in their past. While it is true that women are twice as likely to get cravings as men, there are ways to control cravings. First, if you’re craving chocolate it could be a sign that you are tired whereas if you’re craving salty foods, it may indicate your body would prefer a complete meal (no snacks)! Listen to your body and be attuned to its needs. Avoid skipping meals as you are more likely to overindulge.

There are other ways to control cravings. For example, eliminate temptation when dining out or attending a party by having a snack beforehand – this will help quench part of your appetite and eat less. If that is not possible then fill a smaller plate with fruits and vegetables and stand as far away from the buffet table as possible!

Helen White specializes in writing articles about DNA testing, pregnancy, prenatal care and prenatal testing for paternity and regularly contributes to a number of websites. More articles by the author can be found online.

Pregnancy and Diet: 5 Tips on Eating for Two

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
Eating for Two

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