Most obstetricians recommend that a healthy woman within a normal weight range should gain between 25-35 pounds throughout a 40-week pregnancy. On average, a pregnant woman should aim to consume roughly 300 more calories per day than before pregnancy. Consider increasing calorie intake by adding more meals to a daily diet. So instead of targeting 3 meals a day, opt for 5-6. However, meals should be smaller for balance.
2. Accent foods with legumes
Legumes can range from beans to lentils, chickpeas, and even peanuts. The food category is a great source of not just protein but also iron, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all nutrients that babies need for development. Peanut butter is a great way to sneak in additional protein and healthily boost caloric intake. Experts have found that one tablespoon of peanut butter offers 100 calories and 3.5g of protein. Eat the creamy spread with fruits or celery for variety.
3. Drink more water
While soda and juice might have more flavor, water is critical for pregnant women. In particular, a woman’s blood volume increases by as much as 45% during pregnancy. So, staying hydrated is essential. Experts recommend that pregnant women consume roughly 80oz of water every day. Try keeping a reusable water bottle nearby to help stay on top of water consumption throughout the day.
4. Add pregnancy-safe seafood to weekly diets
While not all seafood is safe for pregnant women to consume because of concerns around mercury contents, many fish and shellfish are. Pregnant women are encouraged to eat 8-12oz of seafood during each week of pregnancy. The following seafood is safe for pregnant women to eat:
- Canned light tuna
Eating well and gaining healthy weight during pregnancy
Just because a woman is technically eating for two doesn’t mean that eating any and everything is a good idea. Along with maintaining healthy weight gain throughout pregnancy, women should also prioritize eating healthy, nutritious foods that will not only provide energy for the mom but aid in the development of the baby. For more information about weight gain during pregnancy, speak with a healthcare provider.