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Should I Be Eating For Two During Pregnancy

Should I be eating for two during my pregnancy?

There's a common belief that women need to be eating for two during their pregnancy. However, it's worth remembering that that second person is only a tiny baby! Everyone is different and needs change as your pregnancy progresses, but you shouldn't need to eat much more than usual until your third trimester. Then, only by about 200–300 calories a day, depending on your build. 

How many extra calories do I need to eat?

Obviously you're going to gain weight during pregnancy – it stands to reason, considering you have a baby growing inside you! But if you have a good pre-pregnancy weight and a healthy metabolism, on average you should only put on between 10 to 13kg (22 to 29lbs). The ideal weight gain may be more or less depending on your starting Body Mass Index (BMI - your weight relative to your height). 

As for the extra calories you need, this really only comes into play when you get to your third trimester. 200–300 extra calories a day should be enough for women who were a healthy weight before their pregnancy. But put aside those visions of double dinners! Just something like two extra slices of buttered wholemeal toast can supply those extra calories. 

What you should eat during pregnancy

How much you eat isn't as important as how well you eat. Your baby is getting their nourishment directly from you, so try and eat a well balanced diet, avoiding too many sugary snacks (which get your blood sugars up and then rapidly down again, confusing your metabolism and probably leaving you feeling quite low or lightheaded at times.)

The main thing is not to be too hard on yourself. Some days you'll feel ravenous, others you'll just want to pick at your food. If you have morning sickness, eating little and often will help too. Just go with your instincts. You'll be amazed how well your body is designed for pregnancy!