• mamasmaternalhealth

What does it exactly mean when eating for 2? Or eating for 3? Or 4?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019


We have all heard the phrase, 'eating for two' when a woman is pregnant. This assumes the position that a woman should consume double her caloric needs while carrying a baby. However, in all reality, this is certainly not the case.


In fact, this can cause both unnecessary overeating as well as a fear of under-eating.


Did you know?


The majority of a pregnant mother's weight gain does not occur until the second and third trimester. (To learn more about weight gain during pregnancy---click here.)


ALSO: Extra calories are indeed necessary -- but not to the extent that one may believe. In fact, no additional calories are needed until the second trimester.


The average additional calorie needs are stated below:

1st trimester: 0 additional cals/day

2nd trimester: 340 additional cals/day

3rd trimester: 452 additional cals/day


What about breastfeeding?:


Breastfeeding requires approximately 500 additional calories daily.


Multiples?


Now when it comes to multiples, that is twins, triplets, etc., additional calories will be added to this baseline.


More information...


For twins, a pregnant mother's metabolic rate is considered 10% higher than those during a singleton pregnancy.


This makes the mother's caloric needs 40% higher than when compared to their non pregnant caloric intake.


On average, this could be the equivalent of an additional 500 calories daily in the second trimester and an additional 700 calories in the third trimester for most women.


For triplets and more, we add additional calories similarly to that of twins. This may be an additional few hundred calories per day depending on the mother.


All mother's have individualized caloric needs during pregnancy. This is due to body composition and if the mother is having a single child, or twins+. At Mamas Maternal Health, we will individualize your maternal nutrition needs to help you carry out a happy and healthy pregnancy, join us today!


Until next time!


Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors


References:

Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5104202/


Photo by Melanie Brown on Unsplash


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