How much extra should I eat in pregnancy?

The big myth around eating in pregnancy is that you now need to 'eat for two'.

It's likely you'll be encouraged to have extra food or indulge in extra snacks because ‘you’re eating for two now’.

Much as this might be tempting, it's simply not true! Eating lots of extra food now that you're pregnant will not help your baby, and will leave you with lots of extra weight that you may struggle to lose when your baby is born. This is especially true if the extra food you are reaching for is high in empty calories, fat and sugar.

Download Your guide to a healthy diet in pregnancy here.

Your baby takes everything they need from you for the first six months without you needing any extra calories at all. Once you get to the last trimester, you may need to eat a bit more. This is only around 200 extra calories a day, though, which is around half a sandwich.

Our film shows exactly how many calories are in some common foods

 

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  • 200 calorie pregnancy snacks

    How much should you eat in pregnancy? During most of your pregnancy you do not need to take in extra calories (over the recommended 2,000 a day for women). In the third trimester you should eat an extra 200 extra calories a day.

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    Nutrition in pregnancy

    Now that you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat well. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.

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    Healthy eating tips

    Now you're pregnant, people may tell you to have second helpings or to eat more treats '...because you're eating for two'. It’s not true and is likely to lead to extra weight gain.

  • Knife, fork and plate with question mark on it, drawn in white chalk on a blackboard

    Questions about diet in pregnancy

    Common questions about diet in pregnancy answered.

  • Woman drinking a glass of water

    How much water should I drink?

    It's always important to have plenty of fluids during pregnancy. Not having enough to drink can affect you and your baby.

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    Campylobactor and pregnancy

    After the recent report by the Food Standards Agency into the Campylobacter bug in supermarket chicken we’ve had lots of people calling us asking whether it’s OK to eat chicken in pregnancy.

Last reviewed on August 1st, 2016. Next review date August 1st, 2019.

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