Important Nutrition for Pregnant Women and Recommended Types of Food

Important Nutrition for Pregnant Women and Recommended Types of Food

Knowing the nutrients that are important for pregnant women will help efforts to maintain a healthy pregnancy. In addition, pregnant women must also be more observant in choosing the type of food so that they are not exposed to health problems due to consuming certain foods.

In choosing healthy foods, nutritional content should be a major consideration. Pregnant women need to know what nutrients are needed during pregnancy. Do not always choose food based on its taste or the tastes of pregnant women only.

Nutritional Needs and Types of Healthy Food for Pregnant Women

A healthy diet can not be separated from the amount and type of food consumed. The amount of food needed varies in each trimester. In the first trimester of pregnancy (up to 12 weeks of gestation), the number of calories needed is still the same as pre-pregnancy needs. The amount of calorie intake needs to be increased when entering the second trimester, and added again when entering the third trimester.

But the addition of the number is not enough, yes, pregnant women. The choice of the type of food is also important. The food consumed must contain balanced amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients. This is needed to support fetal growth. Here are a variety of important nutrients needed during pregnancy:


The recommended serving of side dishes of protein sources is 2-3 pieces of side dishes a day. The portion needs to be added by 1 piece in the second trimester and 1 more in the third trimester. A piece of protein source side dish is equivalent to:
  • Half chicken breast
  • 80 grams of fish or beef
  • Half a glass of tofu
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups nuts
  • 3 cups low-fat milk
Especially for marine fish, make sure the fish that pregnant women consume are not contaminated with mercury. Fish that contain a lot of mercury are usually predatory fish, such as mackerel or tuna. The higher the position of the fish in the food chain and the larger the size, the higher the mercury levels in the body.


Some types of fat are needed for the development of the eye and brain of the fetus, but the amount of fat consumed during pregnancy does not need to be increased. Pregnant women only need to know the types of healthy and unhealthy fats. Eat more avocados and nuts, which are sources of healthy fats. The selection of the type of oil is also important. Choose an unsaturated oil, such as olive oil or corn oil.

Keep in mind, protein sources sometimes contain unhealthy fats in certain parts, so these parts should not be consumed. For example, if pregnant women want to eat chicken meat, throw away the skin. Or if you want to eat beef, choose the part with a little fat.


Carbohydrates are of two types, namely complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Consumption of complex carbohydrates is recommended, while the consumption of simple carbohydrates needs to be limited because it has the potential to cause an increase in blood sugar and weight.

Examples of food sources of complex carbohydrates are rice and wheat (oats). While foods that contain lots of simple carbohydrates, for example, are cakes, pastries, jams, syrups, and candies.

Fiber, vitamins and minerals

In addition to the main nutrients above, pregnant women also need to pay attention to the intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which are found in fruits and vegetables. The recommended fiber intake for pregnant women is 25 grams per day. This amount is equivalent to 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit. This amount also meets the daily needs of vitamins and minerals.


To prevent dehydration, which can lead to lack of amniotic fluid, premature birth, decreased milk production, and fetal defects, fluid intake during pregnancy also needs to be considered. The amount of fluid needed by pregnant women is 1.5 - 2 liters per day, or the equivalent of 8-12 glasses of water. Be aware of the early symptoms of dehydration which is marked by a change in the color of the urine to dark yellow.

Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy often occur due to pregnant women experiencing disturbances in their diet and digestion. This disorder is generally caused by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. If left unchecked, lack of nutritional intake can interfere with fetal growth and development.

If pregnant women experience severe morning sickness, or mood disorders and acid reflux disease (GERD) that affect their diet, pregnant women should consult a doctor. In addition to relieving symptoms and treating the cause, obstetricians can also provide additional nutritional intake in the form of supplements, if needed.