Pregnancy Nutrition

Cravings and Pregnancy Nutrition

The "pickles and ice cream" choices and other appetite cravings of pregnant women might be reflecting changes in nutritional needs. The fetus needs nourishment, and the mother's body begins to absorb and metabolize nutrients differently. These changes help ensure normal development of the baby and fill the demands of lactation (breastfeeding) after the baby is born.

"Eating for Two"

While you are pregnant, you will need additional calories to keep you and your baby healthy. But that does not mean you need to eat twice as much. You should increase your caloric intake by only 300 calories per day. A baked potato has 120 calories, so getting those extra 300 calories should not be that hard.
Make sure not to restrict your pregnancy diet. If you do, you might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to properly nourish your unborn baby. Low calorie intake can cause a pregnant mother's stored fat to break down, leading to the production of substances called ketones. Ketones, which can be found in the mother's blood and urine, are a sign of starvation or a starvation-like state. Constant production of ketones can result in a mentally retarded child.


Caffeine is a stimulant found in colas, coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, and some over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Consumed in large quantities, caffeine can cause irritability, nervousness, and insomnia, as well as low birth-weight babies. Caffeine is also a diuretic and can dehydrate your body of valuable water. Talk with your doctor about caffeine while you are pregnant.
(Click Caffeine and Pregnancy to learn more.)
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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