In today's world, it can oftentimes be difficult to know what exactly to believe. It seems like the world is full of false information than ever before. However, the sad truth is that bogus information is not really anything new. A good example of well-known untruths is what is commonly referred to as “old wives tales” which are essentially little bits of wisdom and knowledge that may sound great but are more often than not totally false.
It may come as no surprise that pregnancy has its fair share of old wives tales considering that pregnancy has been around since the beginning of time. One of the most popular beliefs when it comes to pregnancy is that when a woman is pregnant she is “eating for two”. It is easy to understand how this became a such a widely held belief among people because it does make a certain amount of sense.
When a woman is pregnant she will naturally have to eat more than usual because she now has a baby inside her. Nevertheless the notion that a pregnant woman is “eating for two” is essentially false. This, in turn, begs the question of what is the truth when it comes to what and how much a pregnant lady should eat, or to put it another way, what does eating for two really mean. Unfortunately, the answer to that is not easy. There are 15 explanations for what eating for two really means when it comes to pregnancy.
14 More Of A Good Thing
To put it in it’s most simple of terms, a pregnant woman will need more nutrients while she is pregnant. Taking that one step further, a pregnant woman will need a combination of micro and macro nutrients which are two very different things. Micronutrients are things in a woman's diet that are only needed in fairly small amounts, hence the prefix micro which means small. Examples of micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Macronutrients are the energy giving foods that most people are familiar with. Examples of macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. When a woman is pregnant she will need to consume more of both types of nutrients on a regular basis, and eating a diet of healthy foods that includes foods from each type of food groups can accomplish this. So, in essence, a pregnant woman is not so much eating for two as she is eating more nutritional foods.
13 Not Quite Doubling The Count
When the phrase “eating for two” is said it is usually meant that a woman can eat twice as much, or pretty close to it, as she usually does while pregnant. That is not true at all. However, what is true is that a woman will need to take in more calories than she normally does while she is pregnant. When a woman first becomes pregnant and during her first trimester her caloric intake will likely not increase all that much.
It is during a woman's second and third trimester of pregnancy that the amount of calories she takes in really kicks up. A pregnant woman will have to take in an extra 300 calories during her second and third trimester of pregnancy. Even then 300 extra calories is not exactly a whole lot. That is about the amount of calories found in a tuna sandwich. So a pregnant woman should not feel as if she needs to help herself to twice as many serving during mealtime.
12 Perfect Balancing Act
When a woman is pregnant it is important that she be aware of just how much more of certain foods she will need to eat for her to maintain her health and the health of her child. For example, a pregnant woman will need to eat about 70 grams of protein a day. This means that pregnant woman should have at least 3-4 servings of protein on a daily basis. Some good examples of protein are lean meats, eggs, poultry, and fish to name a few.
It is also important for pregnant women to know why exactly they need the nutrients that they need. In the case of protein, it is very good for the overall development of a pregnant woman's unborn child. Protein is particularly good for the brain development of a baby during late fetal and neonatal time periods. So it is important a pregnant woman gets all the protein that the mother and the baby require.
11 Milk It Up
When it comes to good health and babies, one of the things that is most often thought about is milk. Everyone knows that milk is good for us, possibly babies more than anyone else. As it turns out, people are largely right when it comes to milk. However, people might not really know why.
The key to milk being healthy for people is that it is a good source of calcium. Calcium is good for a person’s skeleton as the nutrients help to create stronger bones. A pregnant woman needs to consume 1200 milligrams of calcium a day. It is recommended that a pregnant woman gets 3 servings of milk a day. However, a woman does not have to rely on milk solely as a source of calcium. Other than milk, good sources of calcium are various dairy products, which are actually made from milk, and surprisingly green vegetables like spinach, beans, sweet potatoes, and rhubarb.
10 Folate. Folate. Folate.
Often pregnant women are unaware about healthy food items one should opt for to meet the nutritional requirements during her pregnancy. It is probably safe to assume that folate foods are not as well known as something like protein and calcium. Folate is essentially a B vitamin that is present in many foods. It is extremely important that a woman consumes plenty of food items rich in folate before pregnancy and during the early stages of pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs about 15 milligrams of folate acid per day, which is the synthetic form of Vitamin B9.
A good reason for pregnant women to eat folate-rich food items is that it can help prevent neural tube defects, i.e, defects in the spinal cord and brains in babies. Some examples of foods that have folate in them are nuts, beef liver, dark green leafy vegetables and fruits like oranges. While mom might not be conscious of the amount of folate she gets on an average day, when she's pregnant, it becomes one of the most important things for baby.
9 Making More Blood Means More Iron
When it comes to nutrients some are better known than others. A fairly well-known nutrient is iron. A pregnant woman needs about 30 milligrams of iron in her diet a day. It should not be all that difficult for a pregnant woman to get all the iron that she needs in her diet.
Some of the best sources of iron are red meat, poultry, and fish. There are several health reasons for a pregnant woman to get enough iron in her daily diet. One of the main health benefits of iron is that it can regulate the blood flow in a woman's body. When a woman is pregnant the amount of blood in her body increases and a pregnant woman needs extra iron to make the hemoglobin needed for that extra blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells.
8 Layering On The Fats
The last nutrient that pregnant women need to be concerned with is fats. Fats may seem like a strange thing for a pregnant woman to put in her diet because some people might view fats as a bad thing, and they aren't entirely wrong. However, there are healthy kinds of fats. Basically, healthy fats are good carriers of micro and macro nutrients, and thus are very much required by our body. An example of healthy kind of fat is something called DHA.
DHA is an Omega -3 fatty acid found in fish oil. This is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. Omega -3s are a good example of a healthy kind of fat. Other examples of healthy kinds of fat are avocados and extra virgin olive oil. Fats also tend to have a lot of vitamins in them. So there is no reason for a pregnant woman to view fats as something that is essentially bad for her.
7 Cold Or Warm - Just Drink It
A pregnant woman needs to make sure that she is very much focused on her diet, and this diet should focus on her water intake. It is just as important for a pregnant woman to stay hydrated as it is for her to eat a healthy diet. When pregnant, a woman should drink plenty of fluids, and requires 2L of water every day, in addition to milk and juice. However, hydration is not the only reason a pregnant woman would want to be sure to drink fluids.
It is true that a pregnant woman is not actually eating for two, but it may at times feel like she should be. That is to say, when a woman is pregnant she will likely experience food cravings. Fortunately, these cravings can be dealt with using certain kinds of drinks. Warm drinks have been known to kill cravings in pregnant women. So if a pregnant woman happens to get massive food cravings she might just want to drink something warm.
6 Quality Over Quantity
The belief that a woman is eating for two could cause a pregnant woman to eat too much, but knowing that is not true could potentially cause a woman to not eat enough. It is important for a pregnant woman to make sure she is not undernourished. A pregnant woman needs fine tune her diet to make certain she is getting all the nutrients she needs and not too few of them.The key is nutrients. A woman may actually be getting all the calories she needs, but not all of the nutrients.
A diet during pregnancy should include food items from various food groups, which should include protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and grains. A pregnant woman requires 6-11 servings of grains per day, 2-4 servings of vegetables and fruits, 3 servings of protein, and 4 servings of dairy products, to meet the nutritional requirements.
5 Mind Over Matter
There is one thing that is fairly certain when a woman is pregnant - carvings. In fact, a pregnant woman may crave certain kinds of foods, and she should not feel bad it at all. Mostly, during pregnancy women crave for sweet, salty, or spicy food. According to surveys, only 10% of pregnant women actually crave for fruits and vegetables.
But don't feel guilty. In fact, cravings can actually be a good thing. A pregnant woman may crave certain foods that her body needs. For example, if a woman is craving eggs it might be because she needs more protein in her diet. However, just because a woman has a craving does not mean she should go crazy with it meaning that she should not over indulge in any food she is craving. A woman should not go beyond meeting her nutritional needs.
4 Oh So Sweet
Hormonal changes impact greatly on smell and taste for a pregnant woman. According to Pregnancy Today, one of the most craved foods during pregnancy is sweets. Those with this carving feel like gobbling down all the possible sweets available to them. And the good news is there is no harm in indulging on the sweets occasionally. On the other hand, a pregnant woman should not feel entitled to go wild on sweets. Overindulging can lead to excessive weight gain, and, in extreme cases, problems in delivering the baby safely.
A pregnant woman might consider making a great schedule to help make sure she does not overindulge in sweets. Likewise, a woman should be aware of the sweets that she eats and make healthy decisions. Also, a pregnant woman should consider low-calorie sweets or sweets that are made with the all natural sweetener of stevia which is better than regular old sugar. Lastly, a woman may want to consider eating desserts that can be found on the Paleo diet which tends to be fairly healthy choices when it comes to desserts.
3 Know The Numbers
When it comes to a pregnant woman and eating healthy it is not all about the foods that she eats. It also had a lot to do with her numbers. A woman should know how much weight gain is ideal for her. After all, being pregnant is neither a license to put on a massive amounts of weight nor should she attempt to not put on any weight. There is actually a right amount of weight a pregnant woman should gain.
A woman needs to be aware of what her weight or more specifically her body mass index is before becoming pregnant. This determines how much weight a woman should gain while pregnant. Generally, one should gain between 25-35 pounds during the pregnancy, if a woman was of average weight before being pregnant. An underweight woman should have a weight gain of 28 to 40 pounds, while an overweight woman should gain only 15 to 25 pounds. The goal, of course, is to have the average weight gain for a woman's size.
2 Increase Meal Frequency
Just because a pregnant woman is not eating for two does not mean that she is not required to eat more than usual. A woman should not eat twice as much as she usually does, but she might want to consider eating an extra meal. Having 4 instead of 3 meals a day might not be a bad idea for pregnant women.
During the first and second trimester, a pregnant woman requires only 300 to 350 extra calories per day. However, it is during the third trimester that the body requires up to 500 extra calories per day.
A pregnant woman may eat 4 meals a day instead of 3, to assure she is getting those extra calories. This could also help a woman not to over do it while she is eating during mealtime.
1 Adding Something More In
To eat a healthy diet during pregnant, a woman may think it is all about cutting things out of her diet. That, however, is not true as some things actually need to be increased in a woman's diet. One such thing is fiber. A healthy amount of fiber is essential in a pregnant woman's diet.
A good source of fiber is whole grains. It turns out that a pregnant woman needs a fair amount of whole grains in her diet. A woman needs up to 11 serving of bread, cereals, and grains. At least 4 of those servings need to be whole grains. Pregnant women should increase the amount of fiber they take in because it helps reduce the risk of conditions like high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Fiber may also help with constipation. All and all it is recommended that a woman takes 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day.
Sources: Parenting.com, TheBump.com, Healthline.com, BonFireHealth.com, Nutrition.org, Nih.gov, EverydayHealth.com