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Should I Track Macros During Pregnancy? Tips From a Mom Nutrition Coach

Guest Post
By Ali Macy, Director of Marketing & WAG Coach
Working Against Gravity

More than almost any other time in life, pregnancy offers the unique opportunity to listen to your body, cultivate trust with your hunger cues, and tune into what feels right for you. Pregnancy also requires a lot of your body, and the foods you choose to eat can directly and indirectly impact the health and growth of your little one.

I’m guessing you’re into fitness and at least a little bit into nutrition since you’re here, reading this post and taking the time to learn about how to support a safe and healthy pregnancy. So, you’ve likely at least heard of macro tracking.

If you’re wondering what macro tracking is and if you should track macros during your pregnancy, you’re in the right place. 

What is Macro Tracking? 

Your food has three main macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Each macronutrient is made up of calories. So, counting macros is a more specific way of counting calories.

Counting macros during pregnancy can add a little external accountability and awareness to ensure you get enough of the nutrients that you and your growing baby need

Let’s quickly break down the three macros and what they do in your body during pregnancy.

Adequate protein is crucial to your health—it helps repair and build your body’s tissues, facilitates metabolic reactions, and coordinates bodily functions. Protein also has a slower digestion time compared to the other macronutrients, which is especially helpful during pregnancy to help with blood sugar stabilization and fullness.

During pregnancy, protein requirements increase significantly, but your unique needs depend on your current weight, training, trimester, and more [1]. A pregnancy nutrition coach can help set and adjust protein recommendations based on your stage of pregnancy and the feedback you give them during your time together!

(Use the code MINT at checkout to grab $50 off your first month with a WAG coach.)

Protein is found primarily in animal meats, seafood, dairy products, and vegan and vegetarian protein options.


Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source. These single sugar (glucose) units provide short-term energy for your body. They are stored and used as glycogen in your liver to maintain blood sugar or in your muscles to fuel movement and exercise. Carbs are also full of vitamins and minerals imperative for the growth of your little one. 

Baby is in tune with changes in your blood sugar, so focus on various lower-density, higher-fiber carbohydrates—think, fruits, veggies and high-fiber grains. They provide the energy your body needs without spiking blood sugar levels [2].

Fats facilitate the transport and absorption of essential vitamins and fatty acids. They also support joint health, digestion, brain function, and cardiovascular health. Dietary fats are also essential in healthy hormone production. Like protein, fats digest slowly, so they keep you fuller for longer and are an excellent long-term energy source for your body. 

The quality of the fats you eat during pregnancy is extremely important. Essential fatty acids include omega-3 and omega-3 fatty acids and are a form of polyunsaturated fat. This type of fat supports fetal growth and development and influences your baby’s predisposition to diseases like diabetes later in life [3,4]. 

The decision to track during pregnancy is highly personal and may change from trimester to trimester, week to week, or even day to day. Here are some things to consider as you get going:

Reasons to Track Macros During Your Pregnancy

  • You have been tracking macros for a while, it feels second nature, and you enjoy the process.
  • You need extra accountability to eat enough during pregnancy to support healthy weight gain and reach specific nutrient goals.
  • You need extra accountability to stick with mostly healthy, whole foods when it is more tempting to grab convenient junk foods.
  • Your OBGYN is worried about your rate of weight gain (either too much or too little) and suggests keeping closer tabs on your intake.

Reasons not to Track Macros During Your Pregnancy

  • It is overwhelming or adds more stress to your daily routine.
  • You feel guilty if you don’t hit macros—even if you’re confident you’re listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals.
  • You have been tracking for a while, have a general idea of what your body needs on a daily basis, and want to take a step back.

No matter what you decide, the goal during pregnancy is to eat for nutrient density and quality as much as you can (symptoms allowing), as this is the best way to ensure both you and your baby are getting the essential building blocks for health. 

A pregnancy nutrition coach is the perfect person to help you decide when and if tracking makes sense during your pregnancy. Use the code MINT at checkout to grab $50 off your first month with a WAG nutrition coach.

This article includes affiliate links. WAG only recommends products and resources we’ve tried and loved!


  1. Elango, R., & Ball, R. O. (2016). Protein and Amino Acid Requirements during Pregnancy. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal,7(4). doi:10.3945/an.115.011817
  2. Nichols, L. (2018). Real food for pregnancy: The science and wisdom of optimal prenatal nutrition. Lily Nichols.
  3. Marangoni, F., Cetin, I., Verduci, E., Canzone, G., Giovannini, M., Scollo, P., … Poli, A. (2016). Maternal Diet and Nutrient Requirements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. An Italian Consensus Document. Nutrients, 8(10), 629. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8100629
  4. Blumfield, M. L., Hure, A. J., Macdonald-Wicks, L., Smith, R., & Collins, C. E. (2013, February). A systematic review and meta-analysis of micronutrient intakes during pregnancy in developed countries. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356639

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