‘Eating for two’ is a common statement whilst pregnant, but did you know it’s actually a myth? A recent survey has revealed that most women don’t know what they should be eating whilst pregnant.
Adding in an extra biscuit or bacon roll here and there might sound like heaven but it isn’t necessary. Women don’t actually need to eat any extra calories in the first six months of their pregnancy – a fact that only a third of expectant mothers got correct in The National Charity Partnership (NCP) survey.
2,100 UK women took part in the research, which revealed more than one in three pregnant women think they have to eat 300 or more extra calories every day. The myth of eating for two comes from the idea that an expectant mother needs to eat for themselves and their unborn child.
Typically a woman only needs to eat 2,000 calories per day, which includes food and drink. During the last trimester of pregnancy women should increase their intake by only 200 calories.
Bearing in mind, 200 calories isn’t that much extra – a full avocado or two slices of wholegrain toast and olive oil will do the trick.
Head of prevention at NCP Alex Davies says: “Eating healthily and consuming healthy portion sizes are important before, during and after pregnancy to increase the chances of conceiving naturally, reduce the risk of pregnancy and birth-related complications and stave off health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease in the long-term.”
Eating too much food can be harmful to both mother and baby so it’s important that expectant mothers watch their calorie intake. Turns out ‘eating for two’ is no longer an excuse when it comes to indulging a little bit more than usual – a treat now and then won’t hurt.