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    Nutrition intake for Pregnant Women in terms of Calories

    • 4.7   (5 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 04 Jan 2019 - Written by Dr. Aanchal Agarwal - MBBS, DGO - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    What to eat during pregnancy is one of the most common questions which a pregnant women enquires from her doctor. Pregnant women diet can be taken from diet chart for pregnant lady. Pregnant women must consume protein rich food, calcium, Vitamin C, B6, B12, and D, Iron, Folic acid, Fats, and Healthy Carbohydrates.

    Let’s Discuss in More Details About Calorie Intake for Pregnant Women:

    Calories form an essential part of a pregnant woman’s daily nutrition intake. The daily calorie intake is the most crucial aspect to be taken care of during pregnancy as it ensures the health of the mother and the newborn. According to a survey, the majority of pregnant women are not aware of the right amount of calorie intake when they are pregnant. A woman needs only about 340 to 450 extra calories per day during pregnancy. It is important that the calories consumed be derived from nutritious foods that are beneficial for the baby's growth and development. When a woman is pregnant, whatever she eats and drinks is the main source of nourishment for the baby. Eating right is the mantra; all your peers and Obgyn will tell you during your glowing period. Make sure that you do not consume alcohol during pregnancy.

    Fertility Tracking

    The question worth asking here is about ways to determine the calorie intake and right nutrients and type of nourishment for both mother and baby. It has been found that more than 146 pregnant women in the United States of America debunk various issues regarding calories for women pregnant.

    Common Myths Around Calories for Pregnant Women

    • According to the latest survey, two out of three women think that eating twice of regular intake provides effective nourishment to the baby.
    • More than 60 percent of pregnant mothers believe that eating more calories right from the first trimester is helpful.
    • Many women focus on quantity of foods rather thanquality food or nutrient rich foods during pregnancy.

    How Much Should an Expecting Mother Eat?

    An expecting mother should eat approximately 77,000 calories during her pregnancy. This comes down to 285 calories per day. The mean weight gain of an average woman during her pregnancy should be around 26 pounds or 12 kilograms. To narrow down your searches, we have prepared a list of calorie divide or calorie chart per trimester after intensive research, explained below:

    • 85 extra calories in the first trimester 
    • 285 extra calories per day in the second trimester
    • 475 extra calories during the third trimester per day


    Nutrition for Pregnant Woman

    Nutrition for a pregnant woman should include vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and plenty of water. Including a variety of foods in a meal proportion indicated can be a good start towards staying healthy during pregnancy. Different types of food labels can provide information about the kinds of nutrients present in the foods. The letters RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) found on food labels provide information regarding the amount of a nutrient recommended for a daily diet. Usually, the recommended daily allowance for most nutrients is higher for a pregnant woman.

    Nutrition is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Here is a list of some highly nutrient foods rich in calories that should be consumed by an expecting mother.





    As the baby grows, so does the organs, breast tissue, and blood supply to support the baby’s needs. Proteins meet all these growth requirements. Mothers need a minimum intake of 70 to 100 grams of protein every day during pregnancy.

    Tofu, egg, lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, and peanut butter, Fish and Seafood, Beans and Peas, Nuts and Seeds.


    Iron is needed for red blood cell production in order to prevent anemia.

    Whole grain, red meat, spinach, bread and cereals


    Fat is needed for storing the body energy

    Vegetable oils, red meat, milk and dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, and margarine


    Calcium is very important for strong bones and teeth, muscle contraction and nerve function.

    Milk, dairy products, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, and sardines

    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth; aids absorption of calcium

    Dairy products, fortified milk, cereals, and bread

    Folic acid

    Folic acid helps in blood and protein production and also for effective enzyme function

    Vegetables, dark yellow fruits, beans, peas, and nuts

    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C keeps the teeth, bones, and gums healthy gums, they assist the bone with iron absorption

    Citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, fortified fruit juices


    Carbohydrates are the best source for energy production in the body. Carbohydrates provide energy to support the growing baby during pregnancy.

    Carbohydrates can be derived from starchy foods like bread, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits, and green leafy vegetables

    Vitamin B6

    Vitamin B6 is also called Pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is very important for the development of the baby's brain and nervous system. Vitamin B6 helps in metabolizing the baby’s protein and carbohydrates.

    Nuts, lean meat, pork, ham, bananas, fortified bread, cereals, and fish are a good source of vitamin B6.

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the health of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 when combined with folic acid during pregnancy, helps in preventing
    spina bifida and other spinal and central nervous system birth defects in the baby.

    Meats such as pork, fortified bread or cereals, green peas, oats, whole grain pasta, salmon, nuts, lentils, dried beans, and nutritional yeast.

     However, an expecting mother should not go beyond the daily calorie intake as too much weight gain can cause problems of breathing and acidity.

    Food Cravings During Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, women can crave for specific food items that may be attributed to hormonal changes. These cravings often end after the third month. A woman’s body goes through numerous hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy, which can affect both the mother and the baby’s health. Food cravings do not necessarily mean that all of the favorite foods have to be avoided during pregnancy. However, it is important to keep favorite foods in balanced with nutritious foods so that any of the important vitamins or minerals is not missed.

    foods craving during pregnancy

    Most of the women usually crave for the following food during pregnancy:

    • Ice cream
    • Sour foods
    • Chocolate
    • Spicy foods
    • Fruits
    • Mashed potatoes and pickles
    • Pizza, doughnuts, and burgers

    There is no harm to give in to these cravings sometimes, especially if the foods make a part of a healthy diet. Mindful eating should be practiced because food aversions can be problematic if they involve foods that are important for the baby’s growth and development.

    Consult a doctor if there is an adverse reaction to foods you should be eating during pregnancy. Consider foods that the doctor suggests to compensate for the lack of certain nutrients in your diet.

    Foods and Drinks to Be Avoided During Pregnancy

    There are certain categories of food to be avoided during pregnancy such as:

    • Junk foods
    • Alcohol
    • Too oily or too spicy foods
    • Unregulated carbohydrates
    • Reduce your caffeine intake
    • Cut back diet and soda drinks
    • Avoid food which contains artificial flavors and added sugars
    • Raw meat and eggs
    • Unpasteurized cheese, blue cheese
    • Undercooked food
    • Processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats
    • Fish that are high in mercury content such as mackerel, shark, swordfish, tuna, and marlin.

    Most of the pregnant women can meet their nutritional needs by choosing a diet that includes a variety of healthy foods. Apart from eating well, make sure you drink at least seven to eight glasses of water every day and take prenatal vitamins. Consult a doctor about specific prenatal vitamins that you should take to stay healthy.

    Follow Ela woman blogs to get regular updates on fertility health and treatments. If you are looking for the best gynecologist in Delhi, can help you in your search. For complete information on normal delivery cost in Delhi, consult Ela. Feel free to call on the given number for any inquiry or advice: +917899912611.

    Dr. Aanchal Agarwal

    Written by

    Dr. Aanchal Agarwal is an infertility specialist and gynecologist who has graduated MBBS from University of Delhi in 2001 and then pursued DGO from University of Delhi in 2004. Dr. Aanchal specializes in treating patients with IVF, IUI, High-risk pregnancy care and Normal vaginal delivery procedures. Dr. Aanchal Agarwal is at present practicing at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi. You can find more information on




    Rajat Kumar

    Although sushi is rich in carbohydrates and calorie but avoid them during pregnancy as there may be parasites inside the Sushi and consuming this may lead to infections.

    Oct. 10, 2018, 12:57 p.m. 5.0


    Prakriti Rawal

    Try to avoid raw eggs and lettuce during pregnancy. Uncooked egg or vegetables may contain salmonella virus.

    Feb. 17, 2018, 7:34 p.m. 4.5


    Suganya Banerjee

    Diet and pregnancy health go hand in hand. This article has a wonderful combination of veg and non-veg foods to consume in daily diet and the foods which one needs to avoid at the time of pregnancy.

    Oct. 25, 2017, 2:58 p.m. 4.5


    Michelle Bahre

    I think it is very difficult to set absolute and right calorie levels, especially for women. This is because every women has got different body composition and activity levels. Still some health authorities have set certain parameters where they say that a woman should take 1200 calories per day.

    Oct. 25, 2017, 2:27 p.m. 4.5


    Manu Rajput

    It is hard to find out the regular intake of calories for me. Please suggest some easier and accurate way to evaluate daily calories intake. Does Ela app help in this?

    Aug. 7, 2017, 3:11 p.m. 5.0

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