SHOULD YOU BE “EATING FOR TWO” DURING PREGNANCY?

Find out if you really need the extra calories.

It’s official—you’re pregnant. One of the first things you’ll probably tackle is changing up your diet. You already know that sushi is a no-go, and that wine has to go. But it turns out most women don’t really know much more than that when it comes to eating during those 9+ months.

Read: SHOULD PREGNANT MOTHERS FAST?

Some do a complete 180 from junk food to strictly clean eating. Others will do just the opposite, from watching their diet to letting loose, driven by the assumption that they will no longer be judged for weight gain.

While many women have strong feelings about what they should eat when pregnant, there seems to be some uncertainty about how much they should eat. More than two-thirds of pregnant women don’t know how many calories they should consume during pregnancy, according to results of a recent survey from the National Charity Partnership in the U.K.

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But should you be “eating for two”?

While this strategy isn’t completely off-base, women should increase their calorie intake during pregnancy. The phrase itself is misleading because they certainly shouldn’t be doubling their diet. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests pregnant women in the “normal” BMI range increase their diet by about 300 calories a day. Plus, gaining too much weight can actually increase your risk for complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, says Dr. Peter S. Bernstein, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.

Read:CAN YOU START EXERCISING JUST AFTER BIRTH?

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