Don’t diet while you’re pregnant
Dieting during pregnancy is potentially hazardous to you and your baby. Many weight-loss regimes are likely to leave you low not only on calories, but on iron, folic acid, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Weight gain is one of the most positive signs of a healthy pregnancy. Women who eat well and gain the appropriate amount of weight are more likely to have healthy babies. So if you’re eating fresh, wholesome foods and slowly adding pounds, relax: You’re supposed to be getting bigger. Just remember, you’re not really eating for two.
Gain weight gradually
When you put on your pregnancy weight may be as important as the total tally of pounds. You should gain the least weight during the first trimester (roughly 1 to 5 pounds) and then gain roughly a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.
Talk with your healthcare provider if you’re carrying twins or if you’re underweight or overweight at the start of pregnancy, as the recommended pace of weight gain might be different for you.
If you’re overweight, for instance, your goal will probably be to put on about half a pound a week in your second and third trimesters rather than a full pound. And if you’re carrying twins, you’ll need to gain more than the amounts recommended for moms who are carrying single babies.
Eat frequent, smaller meals if you like
It’s fine to get creative with your eating schedule during pregnancy. If nausea, food aversions, heartburn, or indigestion make full-size meals unpleasant, try eating five or six mini meals scattered throughout the day. As your pregnancy progresses and your baby increasingly crowds your stomach and other digestive organs, you’ll have less space in your body for big meals anyway.
If you’re most hungry between traditional mealtimes, go ahead and eat when the feeling strikes. Eating in a pattern that works for you will help you meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Satisfying snacks are fine, but make your choices count. Limit junk food, which offers little more than empty calories.
Treat yourself to something sweet on occasion
Processed foods, packaged snacks, and sugar-loaded desserts shouldn’t be the mainstay of your diet, but you don’t have to give up all your favorite goodies just because you’re pregnant. Some smart – and tasty – snack ideas to try: A banana smoothie, frozen all-fruit nonfat sorbet, or trail mix.
Don’t beat yourself up if you cave in to temptation. The occasional cookie or piece of cake won’t hurt you or your baby.