Pregnancy Myths Exposed

Do genes determine everything? Can you really eat for two? Find out the truth behind the tales and what you can do to have a healthy baby.

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Myth #2: You're Eating for Two

What we know Gaining too much weight during pregnancy, particularly for women who begin their pregnancies overweight, puts moms-to-be at risk for complications such as gestational diabetes, which in turn can threaten the health of a developing fetus.

What you can do Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet that gives you slightly more calories than usual and supplement with several important vitamins and minerals.

  • Calorie counting guidelines In the first trimester, add an extra 100 calories daily to your normal diet. That's the equivalent of one extra glass of skim milk. In the second trimester, you can bump that to 250 calories, or a handful of walnuts. In your third trimester, you can consume an extra 300 calories daily, or 2 pieces of fruit.

  • Make time for a multi Take a multivitamin that contains both folic acid and iron. Folic acid prevents spina bifida, a congenital disorder in which the spinal cord does not completely close, and it can also reduce cancer in kids by 50-60%. Iron is a critical building block for red blood cells, and the baby will take what it needs from you, leaving you iron deficient.
  • Bone up on calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D While these are all building blocks for strong bones, scientists are discovering that vitamin D (link to daily dose) plays a critical role in supporting your immune system. During pregnancy, when your immune system has to tolerate a foreign body living within you, it actually weakens a little to do so, which makes vitamin D a critical nutrient to help you fight infection while you're expecting.   
  • Go for Omega-3s Getting enough Omega-3 fats is one of the most important steps you can take to help your growing baby, because they directly affect brain development. Research also indicates that they can decrease your risk of depression. Some prenatal vitamins now include Omega-3s and they can be found in wild Alaskan salmon and walnuts.