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Just How Much Should You Eat During Pregnancy?

Should you really eat for two when pregnant? Here’s how to avoid overeating.

It’s normal to feel extra hungry during pregnancy. Photo:

Why do you get extreme hunger pangs during pregnancy? You’re not just feeling peckish; the hunger is real… and the pangs can strike at odd hours, such as midnight or soon after you’ve eaten.

It’s normal to feel extra hungry in any stage of pregnancy, says Dr Goh Shen Li, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in S L Goh Women’s Clinic.

The first trimester is sometimes marked by nausea, and, at other times, the need to eat frequently. From the second trimester, your developing foetus requires extra calories, hence prompting the need to eat more.

During the first trimester and early to mid-second trimester, you don’t need the extra calories.

It is only in the last three months of your pregnancy that you will need an extra 200 calories daily to cope with Baby’s increasing growth and provide adequate nutrition.

(Also read: 10 Healthy Snacks You Can Get From The Supermarket)

It is difficult to stick to three main meals a day during pregnancy as hunger pangs can hit anytime, so add a healthy snack in between, Dr Goh advises.

Otherwise, it’s easy to overeat during your main meals, simply because you will feel famished by then.

Consider wholemeal sandwiches, beans or nuts. Yogurt or oats bars are also healthy options, she recommends.

If midnight pangs hit you and it is hard to go back to sleep, get up and have some toast, cereal, crackers or milk.

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(Also read: This Woman Went From 55kg to 100kg From Overeating During Pregnancy)