Eating for two during pregnancy: Fact or fiction?

Mandy Sacher
Mandy Sacher
Child nutrition expert and mother of two, Mandy Sacher, is a Paediatric Nutritionist and SOS Feeding Consultant. Her private practice focuses on prenatal and childhood nutrition, helping parents and mums-to-be feed their children healthy, nourishing foods right from the start. Mandy’s philosophy is simple: train children’s taste buds to enjoy nourishing, nutritionally...
Created on Oct 09, 2023 · 2 mins read

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When you start talking with your friends about pregnancy, the jokes about how much you can now eat come up. The idea that you can finally pack on a few extra pounds because they’ll be hidden by your growing belly is exciting. All of the junk food you can imagine, what could be better? But when it’s time to face reality though, you realise that this isn’t really the truth. The common term of “now you’re eating for two” is an old myth. There is no need for this and during the first 3 months, your daily intake does not need to be more than before you were pregnant (how disappointing).

So, why is this false?

Sadly, your cravings can’t be indulged in as much as you might have thought. A pregnant woman only needs to consume about 300 calories more per day.

It is, however, important to make sure that your diet is nutrient-dense and packed with nourishing foods that will support you and your baby’s development throughout the pregnancy.

What are the problems with eating too much?

Gaining too much weight too quickly can be damaging to your and your baby’s health. Here are some of the increased risks:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Backaches
  • The need for a c-section
  • More health risks for your little one

On top of that, the more weight you gain during pregnancy, the harder it is to lose afterwards. No matter how much you’re craving those biscuits, try to reach for some fruit instead.

How much should I be eating while pregnant then?

The amount of food you need to eat during pregnancy is more based on your weight before pregnancy and how active you are. If healthy eating hasn’t been a habit of yours up until now, this is the perfect time to start. A good rule of thumb is to eat around 1,800 calories during the first trimester and increase this to 2,200 in the second.

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