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Eating for two. Nutrition during pregnancy!

Τρίτη, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2015 14:57 Συντάκτης:  Iro Gounitsioti Nutritionist-Dietitian Msc


  Pregnancy is a very special period for a woman. The healthy development of fetus is determined by the quality of mother's nutrition. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is very important to prepare your body for this 9 month period.

  It is known that the intake of folic acid is essential for the proper development of fetus, while folic acid deficiency leads to malformation of the central nervous tube. Studies have shown, that when folic acid supplementation begins before conception, then the risk of a deficiency during pregnancy is reduced. The recommended daily intake of folic acid during pregnancy is 600mg. Natural sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables and legumes (broccoli, spinach, greens, lentils).

   Weight gain is among the most important parameters during pregnancy. The energy needs during this period are increased. The body prepares itself for fetal growth. During the first trimester, the fetus does not significantly increase its weight and subsequently there is no need for extra energy intake. The greatest weight gain is observed in the last trimester, in which the fetus develops rapidly. In the first trimester the maternal weight should be increased from 0.5 up to 2kg. Regarding the second and third quarter, energy needs are increased by an average of 300kcal/day.


BMI  Total weight gain Rate of weight gain/week during 2nd and 3rd trimester
<18,5 12,5-18 500gr
18,5-24,9  11,5-16  400gr
25-29,9  7-11,5  300gr
>=30  5-9  200gr

BMI: Body mass index (Kg/m2)

BW: Body weight (kg)


   The quality of nutrition is also very important. Adequate intake of calcium, vitamin D, iron and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for fetal development and mother's health. Consume at least 6 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of dairy and drink plenty of fluids (1.5-2lt water) everyday. Weekly consume 2-3 servings of red meat, 2-3 servings of fish (especially fatty) and 2-3 servings of legumes.

   During pregnancy, you should be particularly careful to prevent infections that can endanger both the health of fetus and mother's. The most common diseases are listeriosis and toxoplasmosis. Wash your hands regurarly and avoid raw foods like eggs, shellfish / fish (sushi) and smoked products. Avoid soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk or ready-packed grated cheese. Avoid cold cuts and not well cooked meat. Vegetables grown in the garden, should be washed thoroughly before consumption. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.

   There is plenty of food whichmay not threaten health but their consumption should be limited. Such as products are caffeine (up to 200mg / day), products based on soy, liver meat and sugar substitutes. It would be advisable to consult the nutrition label before purchasing a product. By this you can learn the nutritional value of the food.

   Pregnancy, especially during the first quarter, is accompanied by various gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, heartburn and constipation. Drink plenty of water and have frequent meals. Avoid foods that worsen your symptoms such as spicy and fried foods. Prefer to lie down 1-2 hours after eating.

   You should never forget physical activity. Exercise strengthens body for childbirt, helpd in body recovery after pregnancy, improves mood and the overall quality of life, while it also contributes positively to the outlook. The exercise is not contraindicated during pregnancy, unless advised otherwise by your physician. In each case, 30 minutes of physical activity everyday is beneficial for both mother and fetus.

The period of pregnancy is a very beautiful and special time for both mother and family. So feed yourself properly!

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