Q&A: How much I should be eating to meet my caloric and prenatal vitamin needs?
I have two questions for you. The first regards my diet and the amount of food that my doctor says I should consume. I am trying to take everything that I eat or drink into consideration, to make sure that it is something helpful and not "empty food" but as far as I can tell I am only getting about half of what my doctors want me to. Not being a good eater in the first place, coupled with feeling sick much of the time has made this very challenging. My second question concerns prenatal vitamins. The vitamins containing iron tend to make trips to the restroom very uncomfortable. I just can't seem to take any of the vitamins that my doctor has suggested without suffering this discomfort. At this point he's recommending that I use a prescription, as opposed to an over-the-counter variety. Another issue concerning vitamins is that I have always had difficulty swallowing pills. The queasy stomach compounds that problem. I gag horribly, even on pills I would normally have swallowed without a problem. The multi-vitamin is getting increasingly difficult to swallow. I know that if I become too inconsistent in taking it, it won't be doing me much good at all. I am really frustrated and know that I would feel better if I could get some of this smoothed out. Can you give me any advice on how to do so?
I am getting this nutritional information from “Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week” by Dr. G.B Curtis. While pregnant, you should increase your overall calory intake by 300-800 per day as follows:
- Protein: The recommendation is at least 6 to 7 ounces of protein per day.
- Carbohydrates: There are no set recommendations for that category, but they should make up about 60 percent of your total calories.
- Fats: Again, there is no recommendation on that score. This is rarely a concern since most people’s intake is excessive anyway.
If you need help planning menus to suit your needs, you can ask your obstetrician to refer you to a nutritionist.
As for the prenatal vitamins, there are many types available. PreCare chewables or Vitafol syrup may be better choices in your case since you are finding it difficult to swallow pills. Both of these are prescription prenatal vitamins. I would also discuss with your OB what type of laxative can be recommended to relieve your discomfort. Some laxatives come in chewable or liquid form.