You're pregnant. Congratulations! Any cravings?
Many women have strong desires for specific foods during pregnancy, and it starts as early as the first trimester. The desire for "pickles and ice cream" or other cravings is often caused by changes in your nutritional needs during pregnancy. The fetus needs nourishment. And your body absorbs and processes nutrients differently while pregnant.
So once the early pregnancy nausea passes, if you have it, the experts here at Good Samaritan Hospital have some advice on what you should be eating.
Eating healthy is more important than ever. Concentrate on quality, making sure that what you manage to get down is both nutritious and delicious. Stick to whatever foods you find comforting. Bland is okay, even if you've always loved spicy stuff!. You need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than you did before pregnancy. The MyPyramid for pregnant and breastfeeding women is a good place to learn about what is recommended from each food group.
You may also want to avoid three big meals a day, instead opting to graze through multiple, small meals throughout the day. You'll feel better and your digestive system with thank you.
You also need more calories. But "eating for two" doesn't mean eating twice as much. It means that the foods you eat are the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals will be best for you and your baby. Try to avoid the empty calories of candy and sodas and other "junk" food.
The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your body mass index (BMI) before you got pregnant. The Institute of Medicine provides these guidelines:
- If you were at a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain about 25 to 30 pounds.
- If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 28 and 40 pounds.
- If you were overweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 15 and 25 pounds.
- If you were obese before pregnancy, you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.
At Good Samaritan Hospital, we believe every birth is a special one. That’s why we have designed our birthing center to meet the individualized needs of you and your family – and installed state-of-the-art technology to ensure a safe delivery. We encourage you to take one of our free tours of our maternity hospital - just give us a call today at (888) 724-2362.