A series of five articles on the MOVE blog explores the training journey of our two amazing members, Annika and Ketter, during and after pregnancy. Through stories of their experience, we provide tips and tricks on how to exercise during pregnancy, resume training after giving birth, and how and when to find training opportunities with your baby.

Former athlete and teacher Annika is supported by MyFitness personal trainer Monika Kahro, who has many years of experience as a personal trainer and nutritionist. Monika’s daughter is just over a year old; trainer managed to remain active and athletic during pregnancy, and to this day.

Musician Ketter is supported by MyFitness personal trainer Ethel Igatt. a mother of 4 with 24 years of coaching and 10 years of nutritional experience. Ethel has successfully supported many women who have sought to regain their former physical form after pregnancy and childbirth.

PART V: The importance of nutrition during pregnancy

Annika, tell us how your eating habits changed during pregnancy. Did you take something off the menu?

By the time I got pregnant, I was used to not eating breakfast until 11 o’clock and I only ate meat three times a week. During my pregnancy, I started eating smaller portions more regularly and eating meat more often. Going without food for more than 12 hours would be very bad for the fetus. Of course, I drank a lot of water, because I was very thirsty.

Before and during my pregnancy, I tried to follow the healthy plate rule, where a quarter of the plate should be carbohydrates, a quarter should be protein sources, and half the plate should be vegetables. I also ate a lot of fruit. I must say that during pregnancy there was a tradition to eat a hamburger at least three times a week, because I really craved it.

I always kept salty cookies in my pocket in case I got sick. It helped prevent nausea while teaching at school. Of course, I stopped drinking wine. I also avoided classic things that are not recommended to eat during pregnancy, such as undercooked eggs, meat and fish, and unpasteurized dairy products, such as goat cheese. Additional information on why these products should be avoided can be found in the ”Food safety during pregnancy” materials.

If earlier I drank three cups of coffee a day, then during pregnancy I drank only one. In the first trimester, the craving for coffee even completely disappeared, but came back later. Due to the great fatigue, the midwife recommended taking a vitamin complex for pregnant women. I did it for several months.

Describe your physical condition during pregnancy.

I found out that I was expecting a baby in the sixth week, and immediately began to eat much better. By the end of the second month, I had already gained 3 kg. Later it turned out that weight gain is not required in the first trimester. I tried to eat sensibly, but I had a wild appetite. It turned out that during pregnancy, energy consumption is higher, but not significantly. Besides appetite, there was much less exercise due to nausea and fatigue, and I gained weight easily. According to, the additional energy requirement during pregnancy is as follows:

  • I trimester 100 kcal;
  • II trimester 200 kcal;
  • III trimester 300 kcal;
  • during breastfeeding up to 650 kcal.

The website also lists the recommended weight gain. I thought this number was important because I had no idea exactly how much was healthy to gain. If I hadn’t looked for this information, I would have gained 25 kg instead of 18 kg, because my appetite was limitless. Luckily, regular exercise and walking helped keep my appetite under control. The pregnancy and sports activity guide also indicates how much weight is recommended to gain.

However, if you gain more weight during pregnancy than you would like, then you should not worry about it. The main thing is that the health of mother and child is in order and that the expectant mother is cheerful, because the mother’s mood also affects the child.

What determines weight gain during pregnancy?

I was wondering, if a child weighs about 2.5-4.5 kg at birth, then why the mother gains so much weight. The consolation was that there was no point in minimizing weight gain. I found the answer in the book “Pregnancy” by Dr. Anne Dean. In addition to the weight, the circumference of the chest also increases, for example, so that the internal organs can move. It turned out that the added weight includes:

  • 39% child;
  • 22% blood;
  • 11% amniotic fluid;
  • 9% placenta;
  • 8% breasts.

Did you develop any cravings?

I developed a very strong appetite for sweet and sour things. For example, I could eat a jar of pickles and drink the liquid. Another similar oddity was the craving for lemon juice. The appetite for chocolate and cookies was also insane. I tried to suppress sweet cravings by eating fruit.

Monika, what nutrients does the body need more than usual during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is very important that your basic diet is as balanced and nutritious as possible. If there was a deficiency of any mineral or vitamin before pregnancy, then the need for this nutrient may increase even more. A doctor can help identify a deficiency of the certain nutrient. Learning about a balanced nutrition and following the basic diet certainly helps to reduce deficiency.

Iron deficiency in the body increases immediately during pregnancy. Drinks containing caffeine should be avoided next to food. Dairy products can also interfere with the absorption of iron from food. Lighter iron-containing foods should initially be added to the daily menu. Examples of these would be: cereals, spinach, lentils, beans and beetroot. It is also recommended to consume the liver or red meat of an animal from a clean field several times a week.

I would also highlight magnesium, which is one of the main minerals for the body. Many people simply need it to be absorbed by their own body. I recommend adding foods containing magnesium to the menu. Examples include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beans and peas. Be sure to eat nuts too.

You can also add a magnesium supplement to the menu. Especially if you feel excessive muscle tension, muscle cramps, poor overall sleep, or severe leg discomfort. Be sure to drink plenty of water during pregnancy. It supports all the functions of your body, helps to improve well-being, supports natural skin changes. The baby in the belly literally grows in water, so drink up!

How much does a woman have to change her diet during pregnancy compared to her usual diet? How much does the need for energy increase as the baby grows in the womb?

The body’s need for energy increases significantly. Most expectant mothers also move less than before pregnancy. In fact, you can continue to eat in large quantities. As physical activity increases, the number of meals should also be increased. You should definitely keep your main diet as balanced and nutrient-rich as possible. If there is a need to eat something in addition to the basic food, then this is completely allowed. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal.

What foods should be avoided during pregnancy?

By following a healthy and nutritious diet, you won’t have to cut anything off your menu. Instead, you should monitor your own feelings. When something no longer excites your appetite or you feel like you don’t feel like it. In this case, the body says that you do not need to eat this food. When eating a large amount of a certain food, it is worth examining its nutrients. It can cause something in the body when consumed in large quantities.

I recommend leaving fibre-rich foods in the first place in the main diet. Eat high-fibre whole grains with every meal. It maintains the balance of blood sugar, contains vitamins and minerals. In turn, they support a healthy pregnancy and help prevent or control gestational diabetes.

Carrying a child and recovering from childbirth next to a small child is a very natural and personal experience. It is highly recommended that your nutrition comes first on this journey. Listen to your body and monitor how you feel. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Breastfeeding’s only enemy is mother’s stress (or certain medications). You must find ways to manage stress and give yourself time to rest and enjoy your new life. This will definitely help support the production of breast milk and the natural development of the baby.

Be sure to listen to your body during pregnancy. After the baby is born, you should give your body two months of rest before starting training. On the recommendation of a doctor, you can do pelvic floor exercises and light walks. You should also eat as well as possible so that the body receives enough nutrients. We wish you a wonderful time growing up together; remember –every mother is the best mother for her child!


MyFitness newsletter

Join our newsletter and be always informed about our latest trainings, club news and offers!

*I authorize AS My Fitness to use tracking pixels in emails sent to me for the following purposes:
1. For the analytical purpose of collecting quantitative information to assess what kind of email content people are interested in, in order to design the content of emails accordingly.
2. To confirm the receipt of the email, to prove in the event of a possible dispute whether the person has received the information contained in the email or not.

Please review our privacy notice.


Log in

Not a member yet? Join!

Forgot your password?