Use this calculator to determine how many calories you will need per day when pregnant. Although, in the first trimester, your calorie intake may not need to increase, in the second and third trimesters, you will need to take in additional calories.
Click on ‘START’ above to calculate your calorie intake.
Note that this calculator is sourced from the United States Department of Agriculture and the recommendations are based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 – 2025.
For more information, you can download the document with the link below.
The number of calories you require during pregnancy depends on various factors, such as your pre-pregnancy weight, activity level, and even the stage of your pregnancy. Due to these factors, we see the need for personalized calorie recommendations using the guidelines provided by the U.S. government. In this article, let’s take a look at a few things you need to know about your calorie intake during pregnancy and how you can make use of the ‘calorie needs calculator pregnancy’ to determine your calorie intake at each stage of your pregnancy.
What is the Calorie Needs Calculator Pregnancy?
The calorie needs calculator pregnancy is a valuable tool that estimates the number of calories an expectant mother should take daily during her pregnancy. The calculator takes into account various factors that influence an individual’s calorie needs, including weight, height, physical activity, and the current stage of pregnancy.
Formulas Used by the Calorie Needs Calculator Pregnancy
The calorie needs calculator pregnancy is obtained from the authoritative dietary guidelines provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and their MyPlate initiative.
Their recent dietary guidelines for Americans will reflect strongly in your results in order to achieve the best results you need.
It is essential to have reliable and evidence-based information to ensure that pregnant women are meeting their nutritional needs adequately. On that ground, the USDA strongly provided a well-balanced diet for pregnant women emphasizing consuming nutrient-dense foods in appropriate proportions for healthiness and the right amount of calories.
Supported by their research, the amount of calories to be taken is influenced by:
- Pregnancy stage
- Activity level
- And Height.
As we stressed at the very beginning of this article.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans for Pregnant Women (2020-2025)
The dietary guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 provide essential recommendations for pregnant women to support a healthy pregnancy and ensure optimal health for both the mother and the growing baby. Let’s take a look.
Calorie Intake for the First Trimester
During the first trimester, the calorie intake does not significantly increase. In fact, there is no additional calorie requirement during the first three months of pregnancy. However, you can focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods during this period to ensure proper nourishment for the developing fetus.
Calorie Intake for the Second Trimester
The second trimester is a period of more active growth for the baby, and there is a slight increase in calorie needs during this time. The USDA recommends an addition of 340 calories per day during the second trimester. This means it’s in addition to your pre-pregnancy calorie intake.
Calorie Intake for the Third Trimester
During the third trimester, the baby develops rapidly and more energy will be required. On average, pregnant women are required to add an extra 452 calories to their pre-pregnancy calories.
Note: These estimates are for women who had a healthy weight before getting pregnant. If a woman was overweight or obese before pregnancy, it’s best for her to talk to her healthcare provider to get advice on the right amount of calories she should consume during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Estimates are based on Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) set by the Institute of Medicine. Source: Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2005.
Estimated Change in Calorie Needs During Pregnancy and Lactation for Women With a Healthy Prepregnancy Weight
The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that breastfeeding mothers should follow the calorie intake stated in the table below.
|Stage of Pregnancy or Lactation||Estimated Change in Daily Calorie Needs Compared to Prepregnancy Needs|
|Pregnancy: 1st trimester||+ 0 calories|
|Pregnancy: 2nd trimester||+ 340 calories|
|Pregnancy: 3rd trimester||+ 452 calories|
|Lactation: 1st 6 months||+ 330 calories|
|Lactation: 2nd 6 months||+ 400 calories|
Healthy U.S.-Style Dietary Pattern for Women Who Are Pregnant or Lactating, With Daily or Weekly Amounts From Food Groups, Subgroups, and Components
|CALORIE LEVEL OF PATTERN||1,800||2,000||2,200||2,400||2,600||2,800|
|FOOD GROUP OR SUBGROUP||Daily Amount of Food From Each Group (Vegetable and protein foods subgroup amounts are per week.)|
|Vegetables (cup eq/day)||2 ½||2 ½||3||3||3 ½||3 ½|
|Vegetable Subgroups in Weekly Amounts|
|Dark-Green Vegetables (cup eq/wk)||1 ½||1 ½||2||2||2 ½||2 ½|
|Red & Orange Vegetables (cup eq/wk)||5 ½||5 ½||6||6||7||7|
|Beans, Peas, Lentils (cup eq/wk)||1 ½||1 ½||2||2||2 ½||2 ½|
|Starchy Vegetables (cup eq/wk)||5||5||6||6||7||7|
|Other Vegetables (cup eq/wk)||4||4||5||5||5 ½||5 ½|
|Fruits (cup eq/day)||1 ½||2||2||2||2||2 ½|
|Grains (ounce eq/day)||6||6||7||8||9||10|
|Whole Grains (ounce eq/day||3||3||3 ½||4||4 ½||5|
|Refined Grains (ounce eq/day)||3||3||3 ½||4||4 ½||5|
|Dairy (cup eq/day)||3||3||3||3||3||3|
|Protein Foods (ounce eq/day)||5||5 ½||6||6 ½||6 ½||7|
|Protein Foods Subgroups in Weekly Amounts|
|Meats, Poultry, Eggs (ounce eq/wk)||23||26||28||31||31||33|
|Seafood (ounce eq/wk)||8||8||9||10||10||10|
|Nuts, Seeds, Soy Products (ounce eq/wk)||4||5||5||5||5||6|
|Limit on Calories for Other Uses (kcal/day)||140||240||250||320||350||370|
|Limit on Calories for Other Uses (%/day)||8%||12%||11%||13%||13%||13%|
How to Use the Calorie Needs Calculator Pregnancy
Some information you need to have at hand when you are ready to make use of the calculator.
1. Your pre-pregnancy weight.
The calculator will typically require your pre-pregnancy weight before estimating the number of calories you need.
2. The activity level
This is the level of your physical activity while pregnant.
Your height is also important in determining your results. Do note that failure to fill one of the spaces means no results.
Now, let’s walk you through how to use the calculator.
To use the calculator, start by clicking on the start bar.
Select your age in the space provided.
Choose your sex (female).
At the pregnant/breastfeeding forum, choose pregnant.
Choose the stage of your pregnancy (first, second or third trimester)
Enter your weight before pregnancy.
Select your height in feet and inches.
Select the level of your physical activity
Done? Click on the bar below that says “calculate food plan”.
The calculator goes ahead to predict the amount of calories you need. It presents the amount you need for your trimesters. The results are in addition to the number of calories you take during pre-pregnancy.
Do Pregnant Women Need More Calories?
Of course, pregnant women need more calories. While the additional calories needed may vary during the different stages of pregnancy, a balance in calorie intake is essential. This means, at the different stages, an increase in the number of calories is compulsory. For instance, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the USDA recommends an addition of 452 calories in the last trimester. This is to support themselves and the growing baby within them. Appropriate calorie intake can also help prevent poor fetal growth, constipation, anemia, and many more.
Your Calories, Your Needs
Pregnant women do require additional calories to support themselves, their babies, and their growth and development. While it’s essential to increase the calories during the trimesters, quality over quantity is essential. Emphasize nutrient-based foods for your calorie needs. Listen to your body and seek personalized advice from healthcare professionals.
Sources used for this article: