Here’s How To Gain Appropriate Weight During Pregnancy
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Putting on weight for the mom-to-be is necessary, within limits, and there are ways to do it. Find out how.How much weight gain is healthy for pregnancy? Well, it totally depends on one’s body-mass index (BMI) before pregnancy – calculated on the basis of weight and height.
On an average, an underweight woman will need to put on 13-18 kg, a normal weight woman should gain 11.5-16 kg, an overweight woman should gain 7-11.5 kg, and an obese woman should put on 5-9 kg.
Some pregnant women feel the need for eating extra, while others are simply unable to eat. In both cases, a healthy calorie count must be maintained. The recommended weight gain is necessary for the developing foetus, placenta, fats for milk production etc.
Here are some steps to ensure a healthy weight gain during pregnancy:
- Slow and steady – Pregnancy weight must be gained gradually, though sometimes weight gain happens in spurts, depending on the ongoing trimester. Generally, a gain of 0.45 kg per week in the second and third trimesters is healthy.
- Don’t eat for 2 – Though it is very common to consider doubling one’s diet during pregnancy, it is not necessary, or healthy. Normally, for the first trimester, you don’t need extra calories. About 300-500 extra calories a day are sufficient for the second trimester, and an extra 500 calories a day for the third trimester, for the healthy growth of the baby, and the healthy weight gain of the mother. If you are carrying more than one baby, add an extra 300 calories per day for each.
- Balanced diet – It is very important to have all the necessary nutrients present in the diet of an expecting mother, for a balanced increase of body weight, and for the development of the foetus. A balanced diet ensures that there are no nutrient deficiencies that may throw the body metabolism out of gear, and lead to excess weight gain or loss.
4. Snacking – Having frequent, small meals is a wise approach to eating for the mother-to-be. This helps her remain satiated, and thus, avoid overeating during main meals. But, of course, these small meals should not be calorie heavy. It is best to take the advice of a nutritionist, and have a diet planned out especially for you.
5. Go the healthy-fat way – Generally, pregnant women tend to feel hungrier than usual. Keeping in mind the necessity of eating more, one should stick to healthy-fat food options like toned milk, light cheese, and broiled chicken breast. Don’t overlook foods such as avocado, nuts, nut butters, olives, and fish low in mercury, such as salmon. Be sure to bunk the tempting fries, mayo, and starchy foods.
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6. Reduce salt – Water retention is common in pregnancy, and adds to the weight. To reduce water retention, one has to lessen the quantity of salt intake (not water intake), as salt tends to retain water. You should also have an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Salt is important for the body, especially during pregnancy, so make sure you speak to your doctor regarding the sodium levels your body needs. Try and forego products such as chips, cookies, cakes etc., which are not high on the nutrition scale, pregnant or not.
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7. Sweet tooth troubles – Many pregnant women like to gorge on sweets. Traditional wisdom says this happens when the mother is carrying a boy! But boy or girl, mothers should avoid sugary drinks, sweetmeats, pastries, etc. as much as possible, to keep the calorie intake in check.
8. Cooking style – During pregnancy, concentrate more on baked, boiled, or grilled foods, and less on fried stuff, so as to reduce fat intake, and keep indigestion at bay. As it is, during the advanced trimesters, the stomach gets pushed back by the growing uterus, making digestion difficult.
Did you know that healthy weight gain helps avoid fatigue, backache, indigestion, and other pregnancy-related problems? So eat well, and with care, for the right increase of weight for you and for your baby.