During pregnancy your body is changing in ways you may have never imagined it could change. One of these changes is an increase in your metabolic rate. During pregnancy, you and your growing baby are relying on the nutrients that you consume for health and energy. Your metabolism must increase to compensate for this extra burden. Making changes to your diet can make this easier for your body to do.
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Metabolism During Pregnancy
Metabolism is faster during pregnancy. Your body, the fetus, placenta and uterus are all vying for the energy that you are consuming. The combination leads to an increase in the total calories you and your fetus as a whole burn.
Identifying an increase in your body's metabolism is easy. Conditions such as an increase in the insulin hormone as well as an increase in your body temperature indicate that you are using more energy. The changes regarding insulin and glucose metabolism might surprise you. According to a report published in "Seminars in Reproductive Endocrinology" in 1999 the way your body uses glucose changes throughout your pregnancy term. In the beginning months of pregnancy, insulin release increases, allowing your body to fully take advantage of the glucose in your blood. However, during the final months of pregnancy when the fetus is growing fast and is in need of energy, this changes. The mother's body becomes slightly resistant to insulin as a means of giving most of what she consumes to her child.
A side effect of your increasing metabolism is a propensity for dizziness during pregnancy. Faster glucose clearance from the blood may lead to low glucose levels. This can cause lightheadedness or dizziness until you eat something. Eating small, frequent meals can help keep dizziness at bay.
Eating During Pregnancy
Consider a few things when eating during pregnancy. Your body is sustaining your life and the life of your growing baby. This takes extra energy, and extra energy means extra calories. The American Pregnancy Association recommends increasing food consumption by 300 calories per day. Getting enough of the energy, vitamins and minerals you need will keep you and your baby healthy during gestation.
- World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists; Physiological Changes Associated With Pregnancy; 1998
- American Pregnancy Association; Pregnancy Nutrition; October 2008
- Amerian Family Physician; Exercise During Pregnancy; Thomas W. Wang, M.D., et al.; 1998
- "Seminars in Reproductive Endocrinology"; Fuel Metabolism During Pregnancy; C.J. Homko; 1999