Carbs During Pregnancy (Importances, Intakes)


Carbohydrate is known as the main source of energy for pregnant women. Hence, consuming foods containing carbs during pregnancy is required to keep you full of energy to do your daily activities. In addition, it is needed for the fetus’s growth, development, and metabolism.

This article on Hipregnancy will cover all the important points you need to know about consuming carbs during pregnancy, including benefits, safe amounts, best types, etc.

Keep reading the following article to the end if you want all dos and don’ts about eating foods rich in carbs.

What are carbohydrates?

There are three types of major macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrate. Out of these three macronutrients, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the cells, organs, and muscles of your body.

Carbs are available in simple and complex forms in foods like vegetables, milk products, whole grains, fruits, cereals, bread, rice, and pasta. To learn more about consuming the foods mentioned, check out our article “What can pregnant woman eat“.

When you consume foods containing carbs during pregnancy, your body breaks down the carbs into simple sugars like glucose. Then, your body releases the hormone named insulin into the bloodstream to move glucose into the body cells.

As foods rich in carbs are the primary energy source for the body, you should plan to add these food options into your diet to get the majority of your daily calorie intake from carbs during pregnancy.

Let’s continue to learn the role of carbs while pregnant.

Also Read: feta cheese pregnancy

Importance of carbs during pregnancy

Importance of carbs during pregnancy

Do you want to know how important consuming carbs is for pregnant women and their babies? Or what is the reason for the increase in carbohydrates during pregnancy? This part will show you the importance of eating foods containing carbs during pregnancy.

  • Consuming carbohydrates in pregnancy can keep blood sugar levels stable. Hence, it can be a great option for reducing the chance of getting gestational diabetes. In addition, complex carbs are present in the best diet for gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Adding complex carbs for pregnancy into your diet plan, can lower the risk of pregnancy-related constipation, as these carbs are rich in fiber. Consider that eating foods rich in fiber can enhance the health of the digestive system and regulate bowel movements, reducing the chance of constipation while pregnant.
  • Having complex carbohydrates in during pregnancy can prevent obesity and keep your weight balanced and normal. Consuming complex carbs during pregnancy helps prevent the issues followed by obesity and makes it easier to lose weight after pregnancy, as you are not obese and don’t need much time to lose extra weight.
  • Eating crabs for pregnancy nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness is good. That is why doctors recommend consuming carbs during first trimester.
  • Carbohydrates are energy boosters, though they can help relieve fatigue and tiredness while pregnant. Consuming carbs during pregnancy provides the energy your body and the developing fetus need.

The above list proved that cutting out carbs during pregnancy is harmful for both the mom and the baby, as the carbs are the primary energy source for the body cells. Hipregnancy recommends you consult your doctor about consuming foods containing carbs and then add the best option to your diet based on your doctor’s guidelines.

Also Read: how many calories should i eat while pregnant

Choosing healthy carbs during pregnancy

Choosing healthy carbs during pregnancy

Now you know how important carbohydrate is for the health of both the mother and the baby, but you should know that all carbohydrates are not the same. Consider that complex carbohydrates are better options for pregnant women.

When you consume foods containing carbs during pregnancy, your body breaks down the crabs into simple sugars. The point is that some crabs, known as simple carbohydrates, are broken down quickly and lead to rapid cause in blood glucose levels. Alongside, others are broken down slowly and help your blood glucose levels remain consistent.

The second group is a better choice for pregnant women, as its options provide a slow release of energy over a long period. Let’s see what the best carbohydrates for pregnancy are.

The following list shows some carbohydrates safe for pregnant women and their babies, including;

  • Wholegrain cereals, pastas, and breads
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils and legumes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas

The above foods are rich in carbs, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Hence, they provide essential nutrients needed during pregnancy for the health and growth of the developing fetus.

Avoided carbs during pregnancy

As you might develop a craving for carbs during pregnancy, you should be aware of carbs to avoid while pregnant. All pregnant women must learn about simple carbs, as they don’t offer nutrition and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Here are examples of low-quality and simple carbs which should be avoided while pregnant including;

  • White rice
  • White bread
  • Chips
  • Bakery foods
  • Biscuits
  • Candy
  • Cake (Read more about “can pregnant women eat cake“)
  • Too much ice cream
  • Pastries
  • Corn syrups
  • Last but not least, sweetened beverages.

Suppose you consume complex carbs instead of the mentioned options. In that case, you won’t face any health issues, like gestational diabetes, because your blood sugar levels remain steady after consuming foods containing complex carbs during pregnancy.

So, good carbs for pregnancy are complex ones, not simple carbs!

How many carbs to eat while pregnant?

Although consuming carbs during pregnancy provides several health benefits, you should not have them in excess. Eating too many carbs when pregnant can raise your blood sugar levels and lead to gestational diabetes if consumed excessively.

Hence, you should consult your doctor about the right amount of carbs to add to your diet while pregnant.

However, as a general rule, pregnant women can consume 9 to 11 servings of carbs daily. For example, 1 ounce of cereal is one standard serving, ½ cup of pasta or 1/3 cup of rice.

Another question that arises here: how many carbs should a pregnant woman eat with gestational diabetes? According to studies, pregnant ladies with gestational diabetes can have less than 175g of carbohydrates daily.

It is advisable to check your selected food options with your doctor or healthcare provider to know the standard serving of each food option that can be added to your diet to prevent deficiency of carbohydrates during pregnancy.


Pregnant women should pay extra attention to their diet and consume nutrient-dense food to care for the developing fetus.

Consuming carbs during pregnancy is essential for pregnant ladies and their babies, as carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source. Complex carbs are better options than simple carbs because they don’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.

In this article on “Hipregnancy”, we covered all the important points you must know about eating foods containing carbs in pregnancy.

Is there anything missing about carbs and pregnancy? If yes, do share your points with us.

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