It’s easy to just assume that a pregnant woman will, logically, put on some pounds, but pregnancy weight gain is something an expecting mother should monitor. The rate of weight gain during pregnancy tells a mother whether she is able support another life or is at risk for conditions such as gestational diabetes or even preeclampsia.
Another important thing to remember is that healthy pregnancy weight gain is dependent on providing adequate nutrition for both the mother and the child. It is quite unnecessary to eat for two as an additional 200 to 300 calories daily should be sufficient. Expecting mothers should take the nutritional value of their food seriously. Eating foods rich in folic acid, which is found in dark green, leafy vegetables and fruits like avocado, will help support your baby’s brain development. Eggs and fish are great sources of protein and amino acids, while sesame seeds, nuts, and spinach can supply you with iron which is essential for red blood cell production.In order to ensure healthy pregnancy weight gain, the first step is to monitor one’s weight. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman with normal pre-pregnancy weight can gain one to 4.5 pounds during the entire course of the first trimester. In the second and third trimesters, the rate of weight gain during pregnancy increases to a pound or two per week. A total weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for the entire pregnancy is to be expected. Of course, everything changes if the woman is already obese or malnourished to begin with. In such situations, it is important for your doctor to monitor your weight gain, depending on your health condition.
If you think you are gaining too much weight too quickly, it can be tempting to go on a diet, but this is, unless advised by a doctor, the worst time to deprive yourself and your baby of essential nutrients. Instead, take note of what you have been eating and remove unnecessary sources of fat and sugar. Instead, replace them with high-fiber and nutrient-packed options which can satisfy your cravings without needlessly adding to your pregnancy weight gain. You may also want to check out your pregnancy exercise options. These can consist of regular walking, gentle yoga and stretching, and other low-impact workouts. Pregnancy exercise does not only keep your weight in check, but also eases many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
As always, keep your doctor in the loop and remember that healthy pregnancy weight gain is a good thing — both for you and your baby!