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HomeSchoolNews › Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation


Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation

Food guidance for healthy eating has been around since the 1940s.   From the Basic Four, to the Seven Food Group Plan to the Food Guide Pyramid and now the April 2005 MyPyramid, government officials, advocates, nutritionists and researchers have all contributed to these government guidance systems in hopes of encouraging the general population to take:

Steps to a Healthier You

MyPyramid Image





The newest component of the MyPyramid website, released October 25, 2007, is the:


MyPyramid for Moms





MyPyramid for Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you have special nutritional needs. This section of is designed just for you. It has advice you need to help you and your baby stay healthy.

First — visit your health care provider if you haven’t already. Every pregnant woman needs to visit a health care provider regularly. He or she can make sure both you and your baby are healthy. Your provider can also prescribe a safe vitamin and mineral supplement, and anything else you may need.


Next — get your own MyPyramid Plan for Moms. Your Plan will show you the foods and amounts that are right for you. Enter your information for a quick estimate of what and how much you need to eat.


Then — learn more by choosing a topic from the menu below. The “Sources of Information” will take you straight to the government’s best advice on pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Eating for two is important but does not mean doubling the caloric intake.  

During pregnancy and lactation women need extra calories to provide the developing baby nutrients while in utero and to promote healthy growth and development after birth. 

~300 extra calories a day during pregnancy 340/day 2nd Trimester  452/day 3rd Trimester
~500 extra calories a day while breastfeeding 

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy breaks down as      

2-5 lbs                  First Trimester     
¾ to 1 lb / week     During the 2nd and 3rd Trimesters         Gradual & consistent gain 

Recommended weight gain during pregnancy is related to prepregnancy weight        

             Standard Weight          BMI 18.5-24.9             25-35 lbs
             Underweight                BMI < 18.5                 28-40 lbs           
             Overweight                 BMI > 25-29.9             15-25 lbs
            Obese                        BMI > 30                    15 lbs minimum
            Twin Pregnancy                                           25-45 lbs 

In addition to adequate calories special attention needs to be focused on the following nutrients:            

Protein    Carbohydrate    Vitamins D    Folate    Iron    Calcium    Zinc    Fluoride 

Food intake and caloric needs are very individualized depending upon the woman’s prepregnancy weight and nutritional status and her post pregnancy weight loss plans.  No one plan fits all women. 

This new site will allow for the creation of a personalized “MyPyramid Plan for Moms”. 

A pregnant woman can enter her:

  Pre-pregnancy weight 
  Physical activity level
  Due date   

A breastfeeding woman can enter similar information, plus

  Baby’s birth date
  Feeding practices         breast milk only   or supplementation with formula.   

The resulting Plan shows what and how much to eat from each food group during each trimester or breastfeeding stage.  It can be viewed on-screen or downloaded as a full-color printout.  In conjunction with early and consistent prenatal care, the MyPyramid for Moms will provide pregnant women and their family/caregivers with useful and reliable information for optimum nutrition during pregnancy. 

University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, An Equal Opportunity University
Copyright 2011, Questions/Comments - Last Updated: March 13 2013 14:51:04