Nutritional Guidelines: Healthy Helpings

Pregnancy nutrition is serious business. What you eat is what your baby-to-be eats too. And contrary to old sayings about "eating for two," it's what you eat, not how much, that's really important. A pregnant mom only needs to increase her diet by 200 to 300 calories a day during the second and third trimesters '- that's not much extra food for all the extra nutrients mom and baby need. Here's how to eat well '- and what to avoid '- during pregnancy.

Keep following the federal dietary guidelines, formerly the food pyramid, but up your daily protein servings to at least three and dairy servings to at least four.

Weight gain: If you start pregnancy at a healthy weight, then you should gain about 25 pounds. Only two to four pounds of that goes on during the first trimester, and the rest is added at about a rate of three-quarters of a pound to one pound per week throughout the rest of your pregnancy. Underweight moms will need to put on 28 to 40 pounds. If you've started with a substantial amount of extra weight, shoot for only 15 to 25 pounds. Because little weight is gained during the first 14 weeks, you needn't worry if you just don't feel like eating during that trimester. When the nausea has calmed down, it will be time to start tipping the scales.

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