Carbohydrates and Pregnancy Weight Gain

Weight gain is often a concern for those who are or are not pregnant. Carbohydrate intake plays a big factor in the amount of weight we gain in pregnancy, and in our ability to lose it once baby’s here. Refined (call them empty) carbohydrates are what most of us should eat less of. To make this easy to remember, I often tell clients that empty or refined carbohydrates are the white things in our diet: pasta, rice, tortillas, bread, crackers, pancakes, and cereal are all examples of these “empty” carbohydrates that contribute to weight gain both in and out of pregnancy. Instead, I suggest a colorful diet with fewer white items as a healthy regimen for all of our clients. When planning a meal, rather than centering it around the pasta, rice or “white” item, focus on the protein or vegetable source and add a small portion of the white stuff to your meal. 

That being said, there is one thing that gets a free pass in the “white” world of carbohydrates, nutrition, and growing healthy babies: eggs! Eggs are a superfood, especially during pregnancy. They are full of choline, which supports fetal memory development, and DHA, an essential omega-3 acid that has been linked to IQ development. And speaking of weight gain, I must say that eggs are very low in carbohydrates! They’re packed with nutrition AND they help control weight! 

So bring on the eggs, the protein, and all the colorful fruits and vegetables, and you’ll gain the perfect amount of weight for you and your baby. 

Jane Wrede, a Certified Nurse Midwife at Willow, has four children and two labradors, Marley and Peanut. Her interests include lake time and activities, attending her kids’s sporting events, gardening, traveling, baking and enjoying family and friends.