How to Deal with Weight Gain during Pregnancy

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12:39 pm December 7, 2011

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Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable. You’re going to have to add several healthy pounds on the scale if you want to have a normal baby.

The average weight gain during pregnancy actually depends on how much you weighed before you got pregnant. Women who have a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) should expect around 25 to 35 pounds of gradual weight shoot-up. These extra pounds constitute not only your baby’s additional weight, but also more fat reserves, blood supply, and the development of amniotic fluid and the placenta.

Weight Gain during Pregnancy for the Overweight

Overweight women can have a perfectly healthy pregnancy. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no chance for complications. If your BMI is above the normal range of 18 to 24, you are overweight and you have to be sure that the slow but steady weight gain during pregnancy does not pose you at risk for gestational problems. Diabetes, for instance, is common in overweight pregnant women, and so is high blood pressure. Too much weight gain during pregnancy also makes it more difficult for your doctor to measure the size of your uterus and detect a baby’s heartbeat. This can also pose a problem during normal delivery if you have a larger than normal baby.

Healthy Weight Gain

Pregnancy is not an excuse for you to eat whatever you want. A small gain of four pounds in the first trimester and a more gradual shoot-up of about one to two pounds per week during the rest of the pregnancy mean you only have to add around 200 to 300 calories of healthy snacks everyday. That’s around the number of calories you can get from a bowl of whole-grain cereal with skimmed milk or a slice of toast with peanut butter or cheese.

Here are more nutrition tips to make sure that weight gain during pregnancy doesn’t go over the top:

  1. Get your carbohydrates from the whole-grain varieties of rice, bread, and pasta. Don’t overdo your carbs, however. They should comprise only around one-third of a well-balanced diet.
  2. Stock up on low-fat versions of dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, because they provide calcium, folic acid, and minerals needed for a healthy pregnancy.
  3. Eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday. Weight gain during pregnancy should be set off by filling your body with fresh fruit juices that contain vitamin C and beta carotene, such as orange juice, apricot juice, and grapefruit juice.

Keep on Moving!

If you’ve been keeping yourself in shape before the pregnancy, now is not the time to stop moving. A healthy weight gain during pregnancy should stay there until after giving birth, but research shows that women who exercise for 30 minutes everyday during their pregnancy find it easier to shed off the excess weight after childbirth. What exercises are fit for pregnant women, then? Walking is most recommended by doctors. It is low-impact and carries very little risk for injury.

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