1. I am eating for 2 so I can eat as much as I like!
Contrary to this popular belief, your body doesn’t require any additional calories until you reach the second trimester, and even then, you only require approximately 300 – 350
calories extra, the equivalent of 1 ham and cheese sandwich or 3 pieces of fruit. Instead of consuming a whole lot of extra calories, focus on making healthy food choices and keeping your body well nourished by getting the calories you need from good quality food sources.
2. I can gain as much weight as I want during my pregnancy
Gaining the correct amount of weight during pregnancy improves the chances that your baby will be born a healthy weight. However, it is not necessary to put on huge amounts of weight. Guidelines for weight gain depend on your weight and height before pregnancy and are based on body mass index (BMI.) BMI = weight/ (height)2 .
|Prepregnancy weight status||Recommended gain|
|Underweight, BMI <19.8||12.7 – 18.2 kg|
|Normal weight, BMI 19.8 – 26||11.4 – 15.9 kg|
|Overweight, BMI Ëƒ26 – 29||6.8 – 11.4 kg|
|Obese, BMI Ëƒ29||6.8 kg (at least)|
|Twin pregnancy||15.9 – 20.5 kg|
3. I only need to start taking prenatal vitamins when I find out that I am pregnant
Some nutrients play a vital role in early fetal development, so the earlier these nutrients are supplied in the correct doses the better. You should start with a prenatal vitamin as soon as you start trying to fall pregnant.
4. I must stop exercising during my pregnancy
Exercise has many benefits and should be continued during pregnancy with your Doctor’s approval. Exercise is a great stress buster, it may decrease the risk of developing gestational diabetes, decrease labour time, and will also help you to get back to your
pre-pregnancy weight more quickly after delivery. It’s important to get your Doctors go ahead – and don’t overdo it. Partake in light to a moderate exercise regime, ensure that you keep cool and drink lots of fluids during and after your workout.
5. I must avoid fish completely
The guidelines with regards to fish are quite confusing, and often pregnant ladies will avoid it completely for fear of doing the wrong thing. Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthy diet and contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and children’s proper growth and development. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) advises that pregnant and breastfeeding woman can safely consume up to 340g of low mercury fish per week. Some common low mercury fish and shellfish include hake, salmon, anchovies, sardine, crab, lobster, shrimp, trout and tinned light meat tuna. Avoid high mercury fish completely. These include swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and shark.
Feel free to email me if you have specific questions that you would like answered!