Before you start thinking about pregnancy, there are a few key diet changes that need to be considered. To learn more information on the subject, I sat down with Dietitian, Bobbi Kumley. Bobbi is currently obtaining a Master of Science in Dietetics at the Ball State University.
When a woman is pregnant or trying to conceive, she needs to keep the following information in mind in regards to her diet.
Protein: Women need an extra 25 grams each day throughout their pregnancy. The extra protein is necessary to help the fetus develop. However, you need to keep in mind that most women consume plenty of protein in a day already. It is important to be mindful of how much protein you are consuming before increasing it.
This is how you calculate the grams of protein you need to consume each day:
Women need .8 grams per kilogram (your weight) per day.
Take your weight in lbs and divide it by 2.2 to obtain your weight in kilograms. Then, you multiply .8 by that number.
For example: 130 lbs/2.2 = 59.09 x .8 = 47.27 – how much protein you need every day. If you were pregnant, you would need up that number to 72 grams of protein a day.
Foods rich in protein: any type of meat and fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, or beans. Each serving of meat or fish should be about the size of a deck of cards (4 ounces).There is approximately 28 grams of protein in 4 oz of steak and 24 grams in 4 oz of chicken. One cup of milk contains 8 grams of protein. One half cup of beans contains about 8 grams. One large egg contains 7 grams.
Calcium: If mom is not consuming enough calcium, your body will take the calcium from your bones and give it to your baby. In order for the pregnant mother to prevent a loss of calcium during pregnancy, they need to have 1,000 milligrams per day.
Foods rich in calcium: Dairy such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses are rich in calcium. Drinking fortified orange juice and soymilk are other ways to incorporate calcium. You need to eat three servings of calcium rich foods daily. Bobbi recommends choosing dairy products fortified with calcium as well as vitamin D as often as you can. Vitamin D intake is necessary for calcium absorption.