How Much More Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

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Eating more during pregnancy: yes or no?

In this article

  • How Much More Can You Eat During Pregnancy?
  • Proper nutrition: a fundamental aspect
  • How Much Weight Can You Gain?
  • Eating too much (or too little): what are the risks?

How Much More Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

Since time immemorial, popular tradition has it that a woman about to become pregnant should not only eat more, but must "eat for two", so as to guarantee both her own sustenance and that of the baby that grows inside her. Yet - although the belief is still quite rooted today - things are not quite like that.

In fact, if it is true that a future mother has the task of nourishing herself properly to promote a correct development of the fetus, it is equally true that the baby that grows inside the belly it does not have the dietary needs of an adult at all. Also over the months it is physiological that a woman is pregnant reduce your physical activity and consequently the nutritional requirements are also reduced.

Therefore, according to experts, an increase of just 300 - 500 kcal (it increases a bit during the last few months) compared to an ordinary diet to sufficiently feed the baby to come.

Read also: Nutrition in pregnancy

Proper nutrition: a fundamental aspect

If in general the power supply represents a fundamental element for the well-being of an individual, during pregnancy this aspect also decisively influences health - present and future - of the baby she carries in her womb.

This is why it is crucial for a pregnant woman to follow a diet healthy, balanced, as much as possible varies and without excesses in the portions of each meal. In short, in this context the golden rule of eat little, often and well.


  • Eat 4-5 times a day
  • To prefer fruit e vegetables, without ever excluding carbohydrates (better complex ones, such as pasta and rice) and proteins (fish and legumes). Ok the meat, preferably white (the red one 1-2 times a week).
  • Consume fresh food but always well washed and preferably well cooked to avoid infections (such as toxoplasmosis) and / or intoxication.
  • Integrate foods into the usual diet rich in fiber (eg: cereals, bran ...) to promote digestion and intestinal regularity.
  • Restrict (but not exclude) milk and its derivatives, eggs (1-2 times a week), the e caffé.
  • Bereb much water.
  • To avoid alcohol.
  • Rest but don't give up completely physical movement (unless there is a clear prescription from doctors).
Read also: The importance of nutrition in the nine months of pregnancy

How Much Weight Can You Gain?

During pregnancy it is fine monitor the physiological weight gain. Of course there is not a single standard rule valid for all subjects, but there are parameters that, based on the starting weight (i.e. the one at the beginning of pregnancy) establish useful references.

These parameters represent theMaternal body mass index (Body Mass Index), which is obtained dividing the weight of the future mother times the square of the height (kg / m2). This means that a woman who was already in a condition that can be defined as "underweight" during pregnancy will have a greater need to gain weight than a plumper woman.

Here is a summary scheme based on the indications of the American Institute of Medicine, in collaboration with the National Research Council:

  • Increase indicated in starting conditions of underweight: 12,5-18 kg
  • Increase indicated in starting conditions of normopeso: 11,5-16kg
  • Increase indicated in starting conditions of overweight: 7-11,5 kg
  • Increase indicated in starting conditions of obesity: 5-9 kg
Read also: Losing weight after childbirth: 20 tips on how to lose weight

Eating too much (or too little): what are the risks?

The first consequence of an unbalanced diet is the excessive weight gain, a problem that risks dragging on even after the baby is born. However, this is not the only pitfall lurking ...

In fact, women who gain too much weight face a greater risk of incurring gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (or gestosis), hypertension and / or cardiovascular diseases. Added to this are the repercussions on the unborn child, since an unbalanced nourishment (both excessive and deficient) can alter the neurological and physical development of the fetus and exposing him to the danger of obesity or, conversely, of poor fetal growth.

FONTI: ISS; NCBI(National Center of Biotechnology Information

Read also: Fetal growth

Questions and answers

Is it true that you have to eat for two during pregnancy?

No, it is a popular legend that does not find scientific confirmation

How Much More Should You Eat During Pregnancy?

Under normal conditions, a supplement of 300-500 kcal is required to a normal diet

  • pregnancy feeding
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