The Ministry of Health states that ‘’The quality of maternal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the factors that can significantly influence the health of the mother and the unborn child, not only during the fetal and neonatal period, but also during the adult life and elderly. It is wise to pay attention to nutrition of pregnant women, from the pre-conceptional period, ie before conception, until the time when the child is breastfed.’’
In a nutshell, the diet is very important during this period and should not deviate much from the one that should be followed on a daily basis, with the difference that the calorie intake should be higher and some essential nutrients that must be present. This does not mean that the pregnant woman has to “eat for two”, indeed, the body weight should always be checked not to exceed certain parameters rigidly established.
It is good to take an adeguate amount of calories and do a quality selection of food, geared to the special needs of the period. It is also important to know your weight and evaluate it on the basis of ‘height before conception to calculate the Body Mass Index.
The RDA (reference intake levels of nutrients and energy for the Italian population) suggest an additional requirement of 350 kcal/day for the second half of pregnancy and 460 kcal/day for the third quarter. Regarding the protein, it is a recommended daily increase of 6 grams.
The purpose of proper nutrition during pregnancy is to ensure the right amount of macro-and micronutrients to ensure the health of the mother, the unborn child and the proper progression of gestation until birth of the child.