When it comes to weight gain during pregnancy, you need to take into account how much you weigh before getting pregnant. Regardless of where you start, though, you need to eat healthy foods. By healthy, I mean natural. Anything packaged in cans or plastics is subject to the chemical issues discussed elsewhere, so eating raw fruits and vegetables or cooking fresh food is the preferred recommendation. Fast food is usually not health food, so try to avoid it. I know it’s going to be hard to make dramatic lifestyle changes, so do whatever you can as often as you can. You don’t have to be perfect to do better.
Pregnant women should gain about 20% of their ideal weight (which would be 26 pounds for a 130-pound woman) to insure healthy growth for their baby. Don’t stuff yourself, but don’t starve yourself either. That requirement generally translates to about 300 extra calories a day, including 10 to 12 extra grams of protein. You should also probably take a prenatal vitamin or at least a good multivitamin as certain vitamins like folic acid have been shown to reduce neural tube defects by as much as 60%. You might even take some additional Vitamin D, as low levels of vitamin D have been linked to autism and even schizophrenia. In addition, make sure you are getting plenty of iron and Omega 3 acids, because your baby will need both from your breast milk, so “pre-load” your supply. Generally, listen to your body. Your cravings are probably your body telling you what it needs. If you eat too little in an attempt to keep your girlish figure, your baby may be pre-programmed for a scarcity of food. When she is born into a healthy family with adequate food, her pre-programming may lead to obesity as her body built itself to survive on minimum nutrition.
An interesting side note is that later in the pregnancy your baby will taste and smell the foods you put into your body. Your baby will be born with a predisposition, created by what you eat during pregnancy, to like what you eat.
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