Pregnancy and Weight Management
These days the epidemic of obesity is so acute that it is not possible to talk of health without taking about obesity. The concern about being overweight and obese especially amongst women is so acute that is often lingers into pregnancy – a time when body weight does matter but not in the ways most women think. Unfortunately, a good many doctors and dietitians too often give bad advice about weight gain in pregnancy and our friends add to the problem. In general, people feel that more weight you put on during pregnancy, the more difficult it becomes to get back in shape after delivery.
First of all, we need to understand that all pregnant women, irrespective of their pre-pregnancy weight, have to compulsorily gain a minimum of 10 to 11 pounds in weight. If you were underweight before pregnancy than you need to gain even more weight – it would have to be in the region of 20 to 30 pounds and mind you, these figures are for woman carrying a single baby. Moms expecting multiples will need to gain more weight.
Why should pregnant women gain weight?
Pregnant women are creating a new life – a life that needs nourishment to grow healthy. There is enough evidence and no doctor will contradict the fact that babies of women who deprive themselves of good healthy food during pregnancy have a higher incidence of health complications including very often, neonatal death.
Gaining weight safely
Eating for two does not mean eating two portions of everything. All you need to do in reality is add approximately between 200 and 350 calories a day to your present consumption remembering that all the calories need to come from healthy food made from all the essential food groups. Expecting moms often resort to taking the easy way out by snacking on a plate full of French fries or a burger. Avoid it. If you feel hungry between meals, have some fresh fruit of a wholesome tuna or turkey sandwich.
During the early stages of pregnancy, most pregnant woman will find that they have added roughly three to five pounds without actually beginning to eat more. This is the water weight and materials that are needed to help the baby grow. During this early stage, the weight gain will be quite evenly spread out – about a pound a week, and maybe up to two pounds towards the end. Also, contrary to expectation, it is quite common to experience a slight weight loss at the very end of pregnancy term.
The key to good pregnancy and a healthy baby is nutrition. Always eat a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy. If you were overweight before pregnancy, avoid nut butters or nuts as a protein source select instead, tuna or low-fat cheeses. If you were underweight, add a lot of dairy-food to your daily meal.
Distribution of Weight Gained during Pregnancy:
- Baby: 7-1/2 pounds (3.38kg)
- Maternal stores: 7 to 10 pounds (3.15 to 4.5kg)
- Fluids: 4 pounds (1.8kg)
- Uterus: 2 pounds (0.9kg)
- Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (0.9kg)