Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition during pregnancy:

The requirement for energy intake is increased during pregnancy for every single nutrient.

Weight gain during pregnancy

The recommended gain for a woman who begins pregnancy at

  • Healthy weight                             25-35 pounds gain (11-15 kg)
  • Underweight                                 28-40 pounds’ gain
  • Overweight                                   15-25 pounds’ gain

Weight gain pattern

  • During 1st trimester                 31/2  pounds
  • Each week thereafter              1-pound weight gain

Factors that influence weight gain during pregnancy are

  • Blood volume increases
  • Amniotic fluid increases
  • Placenta increases
  • Fetus weight increases

Nutrition during pregnancy

  • Fetal growth and pregnancy demand additional nutrients
  • Prominent changes during pregnancy
  • Uterus enlarges and strengthen
  • Blood volume increases to carry extra nutrients and material
  • Joints become more flexible
  • Feel swelling in response to estrogen hormone as fluid retention helps in delivery.
  • Breast enlargement for the preparation of milk.

Energy:

Metabolic rate increase by 15 % in pregnancy. Nutritionally dense foods are more required than energy needs.

The 2002 DRIs for energy are

  • 1st trimester                                              0 kcal/day
  • 2nd trimester                                           +340 kcal/day
  • 3rd trimester                                            +450 kcal/day
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Legumes
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Low fat milk and milk products
  • High fiber foods

Protein

  • First half of pregnancy                                  0.66 g/kg/day
  • Second half of pregnancy                             71 g/day
  • During entire pregnancy                             +25 g/day

Get enough protein intake by selecting

  • Meat
  • Milk products
  • Plant foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds

Essential fatty acids:

  • Long-chain poly unsaturated fatty acids are important to the growth and development of fetus.
  • Brain depends upon omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for its growth and for eyes.

Nutrients for blood production and cell growth

  • Iron                                                27 mg/day
  • Zinc                                                12 mg/day (<18 years), 11 mg/day (19-50 years)
  • Vitamin                                         B12 6 µg/day
  • Folate                                            600 µg/day

Nutrients for bone development

The AI requirement for the following nutrients do not increase during pregnancy

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D

Nutrient Supplements

  • Folate                                              400 µg
  • Zinc                                                15 mg/day
  • Iron                                                30 mg/day
  • Vitamin C                                     50 mg/day