Proper nutrition plays an especially important role during pregnancy, in the interest of not only the mother’s health, but the baby’s, too. Proper vitamin, mineral and nutrient consumption ensures the baby’s development and the mother’s strength, and prepares her physically for the birth and breastfeeding. However, no one should fall into the „eating for two” trap, because energy needs grow by only approx. 15% during pregnancy, and this is in the second half of the pregnancy.
Significant weight gain can come with complications, especially when the expectant mother starts her pregnancy with (significant) extra body weight. It stresses the mother’s system, the cardiovascular system, joints, and the risks of developing gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia and having a premature birth increase. Additionally, it has a negative effect not only during the term of the pregnancy, but afterwards, too, because the risk of developing certain diseases increases several times in the 5 to 10 years after giving birth.
Nutritional needs are different in each trimester, which is why it’s a good idea in normal situations to have a consultation with a dietician at the beginning of each trimester, where a professional dietitian can help create a suitable customized diet.
In what cases is an expertly guided dietary plan especially important?
- If the expectant mother starts the pregnancy with a significant amount – more than 10 kg - of extra weight
- If there is rapid weight gain during the pregnancy (the ideal weight gain during the entire pregnancy is generally 9-12 kg), for example, if the expectant mother gains 4-5 kg already in the first trimester, she needs to be very careful from then on
- If gestational diabetes has developed, or if there is a high risk of the expectant mother developing it (due to family medical history or gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy)
- If there is a history of diabetes or pre-eclampsia (link!) in the family or with previous pregnancies
- If there are food allergies
- If the expectant mother does not eat a balanced, varied diet, e.g. vegetarian, vegan etc.