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Thread: Calorie requirements during pregnancy? page

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    birthdance's Avatar
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    Question Calorie requirements during pregnancy?

    I'm 14 weeks pregnant with my third child and have been eating primal for a bit over a year. I've just started using paleotrack.com to track my diet, and I'm a bit concerned that I'm not consuming enough calories.

    It seems the general recommendation for a pregnant woman of my height and weight is around 2500 calories a day, but I'm also breastfeeding my toddler several times a day, which puts my estimated requirements closer to 2800 calories a day. Are these requirements based on a SAD diet or do they apply to the primal eater? The last few days, my calories have been around 1700 a day, and I'm not feeling like I need any more food. My diet is about 60-70% fat.

    If I should be eating more calories, what are some easy ways for me to boost my calories? I do have cravings for double cream quite often in the evenings, and I'll sit down with a spoon and eat half a tub.

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    I personally believe in following your hunger cues, unless you have something that would inhibit those cues. So long as you are eating, so long as your baby and toddler are growing and you are also healthy (no symptoms such as hair falling out, teeth getting loose, etc), then you should be fine.

    Otherwise, just eat diversely, and you should do great. Also, look up Dragonfly. She's got a lot of great info.

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    You need about 300 extra calories for pregnancy and 500 for breastfeeding. Sinc eyou've got both going on, that's an extra 800 calories a day "they" say you need.

    I agree with zoebird to follow your hunger cues. Make sure everything you eat is nutrient-dense (which it sounds like it is). i think people eating SAD probably need to eat more to get in the nutrients needed. Can you slip some extra protein in somewhere? Eat a 6 ounce burger instead of a 5 ounce one, buy the bigger can of tuna, put a little more steak on your plate? Adding liver would be good, too, for the extra nutrition it provides (I add ground liver to chili, bolangese, etc. to get some in without having to taste it!).

    I'm breastfeeding my 16.5 month old, and eating about 1700 calories (I'm 5'7" and 150 pounds). I feel full most of the time, and my cravings are not for nutrition but for sweets (still. Ugh.) Sometimes I eat some straight coconut oil when I feel the need for an undefined something.

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    Just out of interest, in the UK being pregnant and on the Paleo diet would horrify our midwives and doctors.
    How is it recieved with you?
    I'm not a complete idiot! There's parts missing!!

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    One of the easiest ways to mainline extra calories is a smoothie (make it with all real foods though, don't use protein powder). But if your toddler is satisfied with your milk production and your baby's development is on track and you don't feel hungry, you're probably fine. The food you're eating is more nutrient-dense, so those extra calories might have just been fillers anyway.

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    You can't go by what 'they' say you need. We are all unique in terms of metabolism.

    Your unborn child's needs will be met--if necessary at the expense of your body. So the issue for me would be whether or not you're losing weight. If you are, that means you should eat more. If you aren't, then what you are eating is nourishing both of your sufficiently. And if you are sufficiently nourished, you should have the milk for your nursing child.

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    In general, we tend not to talk about diet here with midwives/doctors. THey usually ask something vague, like "are you eating healthy?" and we usually answer with a vague "yes" -- I find that works best with any doctor.

    I also lie.

    But that's beside the point. LOL And this is n the US. I haven't worked with a Dr/midwife here.

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    When I was pregnant (and Primal), I never really paid attention to how much I was eating calorie-wise. I ate when I was hungry and probably averaged between 1500-2000 calories a day (at 5'9", 150lbs). Every few weeks I would eat a lot more for a few days and then go back to eating as much as I did pre-pregnancy and this always coincided with a growth spurt. I ended up gaining 20lbs. and my son was 8lbs. 15oz. (and apparently I had a huge placenta, too).

    I had home birth so I had prenatal care with a midwife (my mom) and she knew I was eating primally. We didn't spend too much time on nutrition since she understood the benefits of eating this way, but it was brought up at each prenatal appointment and she made sure I was getting enough protein. When I had appointments that included her apprentice or backup midwife, she would mention my eating habits with a bit of pride almost. She also works with a midwife who eats paleo and recommends that to her clients. It seems that home birth midwives do emphasize nutrition more; likely because they know the role inadequate nutrition can play in risking a client out of a home birth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I personally believe in following your hunger cues, unless you have something that would inhibit those cues.
    That's what I think too, I was just a bit surprised how far under the recommendations I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen1968 View Post
    Adding liver would be good, too, for the extra nutrition it provides (I add ground liver to chili, bolangese, etc. to get some in without having to taste it!).

    I'm breastfeeding my 16.5 month old, and eating about 1700 calories (I'm 5'7" and 150 pounds). I feel full most of the time, and my cravings are not for nutrition but for sweets (still. Ugh.) Sometimes I eat some straight coconut oil when I feel the need for an undefined something.
    I try to eat liver once a week. I'm lucky a friend has organically-raised cattle, and she passes on liver to me for free. I ate liver pre-pregnancy and had to choke it down most of the time; interestingly now I'm pregnant I really enjoy eating it!

    I'm 5'8'' and was about 63kg pre-pregnancy (I think that's about 139 pounds?). My little boy I'm nursing will be two next month and eats a wide variety of foods, so I'm not too worried about him getting enough milk from me.
    I find some nights I crave double cream and will eat almost a cup just by itself - which boosts my calories up by about 400, so maybe this happens when I'm a bit low?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattybag View Post
    Just out of interest, in the UK being pregnant and on the Paleo diet would horrify our midwives and doctors.
    How is it recieved with you?
    I'm having a homebirth with a private midwife (as were my first two births) and she hasn't said anything about it. I wouldn't mention it to my GP though!

    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    So the issue for me would be whether or not you're losing weight. If you are, that means you should eat more. If you aren't, then what you are eating is nourishing both of your sufficiently. And if you are sufficiently nourished, you should have the milk for your nursing child.
    I'm not losing weight, I'm actually gaining, but my milk supply has dropped a bit. This happened the last time I was pregnant and breastfeeding, but both times my nurslings have been around 2 and eating well, so it hasn't concerned me.

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