During pregnancy people usually say you’re “Eating for Two”- but that doesn’t give the green light to double your calories.
- Weeks 1-13
- You don’t need any extra calories (unless you are carrying multiples)!
- Normal weight gain is up to 5 pounds during this time
Second & Third Trimester
- 2nd Trimester (weeks 14-26) you need an additional 330 calories daily.
- 3rd Trimester (weeks 27-40) you need an additional 450 calories daily.
- Healthy weight gain is approximately 1 pound/week or 4 pounds/month. If you started off overweight you should gain approximately 3 pounds/month and if you were underweight pre-pregnancy then you should gain closer to 5 pounds/month
What is the Recommended Weight Gain?
- Pre-pregnancy BMI <19.8: 28-40 pounds
- Pre-pregnancy BMI 19.8-26.0: 25-35 pounds
- Pre-pregnancy BMI 26.1-29.0: 15-25 pounds
- Pre-pregnancy BMI >29.0: at least 15 pounds
- Twin pregnancy, any BMI: 35-45 pounds
Where does the Weight Go?
- Baby: 7-8 pounds
- Placenta: 1-2 pounds
- Amniotic Fluid: 2 pounds
- Breasts: 1 pound
- Uterus: 2 pounds
- Increased blood volume: 3 pounds
- Body fat: 5 pounds or more
- Increased muscle tissue and fluid: 4-7 pounds
I believe that the best way to keep track of whether you are getting adequate calories is to listen to your body and monitor your weight gain. It’s not necessary to track every calorie. If you eat nutritious foods when you are hungry and stop when you are full and you are gaining the appropriate weight then you’re right on track!
If you find that you’re gaining at too quick a rate, then evaluate if some of your meals have been higher in calories than necessary or if you’ve been giving in to too many cravings. However, it is normal to gain a few pounds one week and less the next. So listen to your doctor at your monthly weigh ins to see if you’re on track.
If you’re not gaining enough weight, then you’ll want to increase your caloric intake. Think about making your snacks more calorie dense (nuts, dried fruit, granola), and increase your portions slightly. Remember, it doesn’t give you free reign to junk food.
For me, I haven’t counted calories at all. I have found that I’m much hungrier on certain days and less hungry on some. If I’m ravenous (which happens quite often!) I add in a couple snacks or make my lunch bigger (usually when I’m hungriest). I have found snacking consistently throughout the day works best for me to maintain my energy levels and keep my hunger at bay. My snacks always consist of some sort of high fiber carb (fruit, veggies, cereal, whole wheat bread) with a protein (nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, lattes, low fat cheese).