What you eat during pregnancy and it’s impact on your baby

Have you ever heard the phrase “when you are pregnant you eat for two”? During pregnancy, you do eat for two, but this does not mean you should eat twice as much. During the first trimester of pregnancy your calorie intake should remain the same. It all depends on your weight before pregnancy, but your calorie intake during the second trimester should increase by 300 calories per day, and up to 500 calories during the third trimester. Keep in mind that the increase in calories should come from healthy food sources. Therefore, instead of duplicating the amount you eat, you should increase the caloric intake appropriately by elevating the nutritional content of your diet.

Recent animal studies have revealed that a mom’s diet during pregnancy could rewire the part of the baby’s brain that regulates appetite. There is proof that being overweight or obese while pregnant, gaining excessive weight during pregnancy – increase of 18 kgs (40 lbs) or more – or having uncontrolled gestational diabetes could onset future obesity in the offspring.

Obesity is no longer viewed as a failure of self-restraint and over indulgence. Gene-environment interactions are also responsible for predisposing a child for future weight gain. That’s why maintaining a healthy weight and diet during pregnancy and lactation is key. Research has also pointed out that the father’s health and weight has an impact too in the developing fetus. What you and your partner eat before pregnancy affects your gut microbiome and flora. The intestinal flora has been linked to one’s health and obesity. If your flora is at its optimal health you’ll be sure to pass this along to your baby. Now, if you and your partner didn’t practice a balanced diet prior to becoming pregnant, don’t sweat it, there is no better time to change habits and become as healthy as you can be.

What you eat during your nine months of pregnancy is very important! So be sure to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables and try to stay away from heavily processed foods as they tend to be high in sugar, fat and sodium.

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