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Now that you know that you’re “eating for two”, you may be wondering what exactly your pregnancy calorie intake should be. So how many calories a day to you need when pregnant?  The simple answer to this question is that you will need between 2,200 calories to 2,900 calories per day during pregnancy. However your pregnancy calorie intake should increase gradually during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy calorie intake considerations

 

However apart from this basic fact, there are a number of pregnancy calorie intake considerations that you need to take into account. It’s extremely important to ensure that the calories you eat each day strike a balance between the nutrients required by your growing baby, to be healthy.

Additionally, these days, statistics show that at least 15-20% of women who become pregnant are either obese or overweight. Being overweight or obese carries extra risks during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia, blood clots, stillbirths or miscarriages. So if this may be case for you, it will be extra important to understand how to approach pregnancy nutrition and calorie intake. With the advice of your medical team, you can change your dietary habits during pregnancy.

Along with understanding nutrition and calorie intake, some moderate exercise will also help you to have a healthy pregnancy.

Why calorie intake in pregnancy is important?

 

calorie intake during pregnancy

Correct, nutritious balanced calorie intake in pregnancy is of the utmost importance as this is the best way to ensure that your growing baby is obtaining all the nutrients she requires, to develop and grow in full health.

However the phrase “eating for two” needs to be qualified. In one sense of course you are eating for two, that is assuming you’re not carrying multiples, but of course one of these two is a far tinier developing human being that you are. During the first trimester the developing fetus is the size of a pea or even smaller.

Pregnancy calorie intake by trimester

 

The below guidelines are based on you being a normal weight at the time of becoming pregnant.

If you are overweight or obese please read the article: Obesity And Pregnancy-Preparing For Pregnancy

1st trimester

During the first trimester, the most important thing you can focus on is fully understanding and choosing the most balanced, nutritious foods. You don’t require extra calories during this time, so it is the perfect time to create superb eating habits, that you can have confidence are giving baby all the nutrients she needs.

2nd trimester

During the second trimester, you will need to increase your calorie intake by between 300 to 350 calories per day. Make sure these extra calories are based on these pregnancy nutrition guidelines and good habits that you have practised during the first trimester.

3rd trimester

For the final trimester, you will need to eat an extra 500 calories per day.

pregnant how many calories do i need

Special circumstances

 

Teenage pregnancy calorie intake

In the case of a teenage pregnancy, current nutritional habits which are connected to the context of the teenager’s peer group and family diet context, need to be taken into account. Additionally the gynaecological age of the girl is very important.

We have written a special article for your reference, you can read it: Teenage pregnancy nutrition-nutritional needs for the adolescent Mum-to-be

Multiples

The majority of practitioners recommend eating an extra 300 calories per day per extra fetus. However be sure to confirm your specific situation with your own medical team.

Underweight or overweight

If you were either underweight or overweight when you became pregnant, it will be important for you to pay extra attention to your overall nutrition and calorific intake during pregnancy. Be sure to get specific advice from your own medical team.

Click on Nutrition in Pregnancy to see our range of articles.

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DISCLAIMER

All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.

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All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.