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Eating for Two? Watch out!

Real weight gain in pregnancy usually starts during the second trimester. This is when the morning sickness has ended, and we are excited to be able to eat freely again. Start watching what you eat after morning sickness subsides. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal; just make those extra calories count towards your baby's nutrition.

In times past, a woman’s weight gain habits in the second and third trimester of pregnancy were often described as “eating for two”. What a wonderful time that was, probably the same time Marilyn Monroe’s curves were en vogue. Unfortunately for us, doctors all around the country are changing their tunes. We are not “eating for two”. We are eating for our baby’s growth and nutrition.

What does this mean? No more twinkies? No more chocolate cream pie? No more extra value meals, supersized? Ugggggggh!

It means you need to eat more, but don’t let chocolate cream pie be your “more”. The typical pregnant woman only needs about 300 calories more per day for adequate nutrition. Try and make those 300 calories count by eating fruits and vegetables, nuts and dairy products, and lean meats. Let your weight gain during the second trimester and third add to your baby's development. Your habits should also include taking a daily prenatal vitamin for the extra vitamins and minerals your body needs to fuel your baby’s growth.

Fatty foods and sweets do nothing for your baby or for you (besides satisfying your craving and contributing to excess weight gain during your pregnancy). In fact, most doctors recommend you only gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. Eating an extra 300 calories per day will usually put you in this healthy range.

There are times when this 300 calorie guideline may not apply. You may be underweight, overweight, carrying twins or multiples, diabetic, or still growing if you are a teen. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

Remember, along with practicing good nutrition, include daily exercise too. As long as your doctor says its okay, be sure to work up a sweat. This will help your body metabolize better, and will give you the ability to lose the weight you gained faster after your baby is born. As a general guideline for exercising during pregnancy , try keeping your heartbeat below 140 bpm.

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