How to Eat During Pregnancy What should be considered during pregnancy?

It is known that eating behavior during pregnancy has a direct impact on the baby.

  • To implement a balanced nutritional program with good eating habits during pregnancy, the right choice of food that will have a positive effect on the growth and development of the baby; It will help the baby develop healthily.

As a consequence of the pregnancy of people who eat excessively during pregnancy and who are considered obese according to their body mass index; The baby’s anthropometric values ​​(height, head circumference, birth weight, etc.) differ from normal.

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy; many adverse conditions such as stillbirth, miscarriage, caesarean section, preeclampsia *, congenital abnormalities * and gestational diabetes,Insufficient weight gain in the midwife; It can cause low birth weight and premature birth.

The United States Institute of Medicine recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy are as follows:

BMI (kg / m²2.) Recommended weight gain (kg)
19.8-26 11.5-16
> 26-29 7-11.5
> 29 at least 6.0
Twin pregnancies 16-20.5

BMI: body mass index

Energy and Nutrients During Pregnancy

The term “meal for two”, which is often used to refer to pregnant women, should be considered a myth. During pregnancy, of course; Additional energy is required for both mother and baby. This need is proportional to the development of the baby, 3-6. about 300-350 calories / day between months and 6-9. It is believed to be around 450 calories a day in months. However, no additional energy is required in the first 3 months of pregnancy.

  • energy: The daily energy requirement varies on average between 2200-2500 calories. Increased energy requirements during pregnancy; It should come from nutritious foods like lean meats, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Carbohydrate: It is of great importance that 50-60% of your daily energy consists of carbohydrates. Complex sources of carbohydrates should often be preferred and simple sugars should be avoided.
  • Protein: Providing 12-15% of daily energy from proteins; It is extremely important for the development of the fetus. 60% of the protein sources consumed should come from sources with high biological value. According to the recommendation of the RDA *, the amount of protein to be consumed daily is approximately 60 grams. It is recommended to add 20 grams of protein per day to the diet of pregnant women and vegetarians with a plant-based diet. Attention! Inadequate protein intake can lead to a negative nitrogen balance, which can have dangerous consequences.
  • Oil: It is recommended to get 25-30% of your daily energy from fats. Pregnant woman’s diet, which is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially DHA; Necessary for the development of the fetal nervous system. EPA *, DHA * and AA * have a very important place in the baby’s growth and development. Oily fish such as salmon, trout with polyunsaturated fatty acids, herring and trout with DHA content; Attention should be paid to the consumption of hazelnuts, flax seeds and vegetable oils, milk and eggs. In a report published by ADA *; Consumption of 227 grams of seafood per week and intake of omega-3 fatty acids; It is reported to have beneficial effects on the baby’s cognitive and visual development. However, exposure to more than 1 µg of mercury per day prior to pregnancy; It has been linked to hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder in infants. However, eating two servings of fish per week shows a protective effect against this behavior.
  • Vitamin A: Adequate intake; It is required for fetal growth, visual function, epithelial tissue integrity, and immunity.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D, which is necessary for bone and growth development, is found in fatty fish and eggs. Daily exposure to the sun for at least 20 minutes ensures usability in the body.
  • Iron: Iron needs increase during pregnancy to ensure the baby is getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Therefore, importance should be attached to eating foods high in iron such as red meat, legumes, nuts, eggs, watercress, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruits and leafy green vegetables. Because vitamin C increases iron absorption; Consuming iron-containing foods and foods containing vitamin C together is beneficial. Beverages like tea or coffee reduce iron absorption.
  • calcium: Milk, cheese and yogurt are some of the rich sources of calcium that play an important role in bone development and protection. calcium-containing foods; It must be included in the diet for the health of both mother and baby. For those who do not prefer dairy products, calcium-fortified soy milk and breakfast cereals, some canned fish (such as canned sardines), dark green leafy vegetables (such as cabbage, arugula, and watercress), and oilseeds can be good alternatives.
  • Folic acid: Defect; Congenital malformations * such as neural tube defects and cardiac abnormalities cause anemia, preeclampsia and miscarriages. Due to its protective effect against neural tube defects; Up to the 12th week of pregnancy, a daily intake of 400 µg folic acid is medically supported.


  • During and after pregnancy to protect against foodborne diseases; It is of great importance to protect yourself from bacteria and parasites that can develop in food or, if unsuitable, when cooking and storing.
  • Due to the harm to the mother and baby during and after pregnancy; Alcohol and cigarettes should not be used.
  • Except in cases where the doctor does not deem it appropriate; We recommend an average of 2.5 hours of physical activity per week. Activities with a high risk of falling or injury are to be avoided.
  • Water should be preferred to sugary drinks.
  • A nutritionist should be consulted when consuming caffeine and taking food supplements, and a doctor and pharmacist when consuming drugs.

Preeclampsia: This is the situation when the placenta is unable to feed the baby due to the excessive narrowing of the thin tortuous arterial vessels that line the uterine bed.
Congenital abnormality: abnormal condition that occurred before birth
DHA: docosahexanoic acid
EPA: ecosapentanoic acid
AA: arachidonic acid
ADA: American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

RDA: Recommended dietary supplement
Malformation: malformation

British Nutrition Foundation. (2018, 9 19). Diet and Supplements During PregnancyHealthy Eating Tip of the Month. (2017). Prenatal nutrition.

USDA. (2016). Tips for pregnant mothers.

Uzdil, Z. & Özenoglu, A. (2015). The Effects of Consuming Various Nutrients During Pregnancy on Infant Health. Balikesir Journal of Health Sciences.

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