pregnancy (increased demands)

Last reviewed 09/2021

During pregnancy there is an increased nutritional requirement. This is the result of an increase in the mother's basal metabolic rate and the demands of the growing fetus.

There is a nutritional requirement of approximately 10,500 kilojoules per day (2,500 calories). There is a net protein production during pregnancy and therefore a relatively high protein diet is required. The approximate intake of protein, fat and carbohydrate is approximately 100g of protein, 100 g of fat and 300 g of carbohydrate.

Other increases in demand as a result of pregnancy include those of calcium, iron and folic acid.

The importance of folic acid in the diet in the preconceptual period and during the first trimester of pregnancy is discussed in the linked item.