MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY: 5 SIMPLE STEPS

As an expecting mother, it is not very unusual for you to have qualms and apprehensions. As you find yourself craving for food like never before, you’re stressed about gaining excessive and unhealthy weight. As a woman waiting to embrace motherhood, you’ll be aware of the risks of gaining excessive weight during pregnancy, which include gestational hypertension (high blood pressure), gestational diabetes, increased exertion and body ache, pre term labor, increased chances of C-section delivery, difficulty in ultrasounds, amongst other complications. At the same time, a lesser nutritious diet and an underweight condition has its own implications. As the best maternity hospital in Chandigarh, we are by your side and so, we present to you five simple steps to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.

1. “How much weight can/should I gain?”: Know the limit of healthy weight gain

A pregnant woman should not try to lose weight in the course of pregnancy. Instead, the woman shall consume nutrition-rich diet. However, the weight gain can be monitored, without indulging in a weight-loss diet. So, the first step is to know the limit of healthy weight gain, which differs from person to person. The amount of weight that a woman should ideally gain during pregnancy depends upon her pre-pregnancy weight and Body Mass Index (“BMI”). While most women shall gain between 11.5 and 16 kilograms, the following table is a more accurate parameter of weight gain during pregnancy, based on the pre-pregnancy situation.

2. Know your calorie needs: Increasing calorie intake with each trimester

It is a common myth that during pregnancy, you need to eat for two, and thus increase your calorie intake by two times. To the contrary, your calorie intake in the first trimester, which shall be adjusted as per your weight gain goal, shall only be increased by 300-400 calories per day in the second trimester, and in the third trimester, you need 450-500 extra calories per day.

Pre-pregnancy situation 

How much weight should be gained during pregnancy? (in kilograms)

Underweight
BMI, less than 18.5

12.5 – 18

Normal
BMI, 18.5-24.9

11.5 – 16

Overweight
BMI, 25-29.9

7 – 11.5
Obese
BMI, equal to or higher than 30
5 – 9

3. Plan your meals: Smaller portions at regular intervals

In order to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, it is of significant importance to plan your meals well ahead. More specifically, it is advised by nutritionists across the globe that pregnant women shall focus on small meals at frequent intervals. Having a healthy meal and snack in every 3 hours prevents overeating at one meal, ensures regular supply of nutrition to the growing baby, and also keeps the blood sugar of the expecting mother stable without any unhealthy weight gain.

4. Know the essentials to a healthy diet: What to eat and what to avoid?

  • Carbohydrates shall be consumed in the right amount. They provide the required dosage of energy to the expecting mother. The fiber content improves digestion and solves constipation. However, it has been advised that rather than turning to starchy food items such as white bread and wheat, the expecting mothers shall consume complex carbohydrates, generally found in food items like brown rice, whole grain breads and pastas, etc.
  • Fruits and vegetables shall be made an essential part of your diet, for they are rich in fiber, essential vitamins, iron and other nutrients. 4-5 servings of fresh fruits can be tasty and healthy substitutes for fat-rich and fried snacks.
  • Proteins are essential for the tissue growth of the growing baby. 2-3 servings of protein rich food shall be incorporated in a healthy diet for a pregnant woman. Healthy food choices which are enriched in protein and thus ideal for a pregnant woman include fish, lean meat, beans, eggs, peanut butter, and soy products.
  • Dairy is a primary source of calcium, which is crucial to aid in building bones and teeth of the growing baby. However, it is strongly suggested that in order to maintain healthy weight during pregnancy, women shall choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Fats should be consumed is no different manner. It is imperative to be light on fats to maintain a healthy weight. Differentiate between healthy fats (fish, olive oil) and unhealthy fats (cooking oils, butter, mayonnaise, cream cheese, sauces and gravy). Avoid trans fat which is found in deep-fried food items, junk food, cookies, frozen pizzas, crackers etc.
  • Consumption of artificially sweetened foods and drinks increase your calorie-intake. Therefore, it is advisable to turn to natural sweeteners in home-cooked food and beverages.
  • As an expecting mother, you are allowed to have cravings that you can occasionally give in to. Therefore, you can occasionally savor small portions of full-fat food items.

5. Regular movement and moderate physical exercising

Upon consultation with your expert team of specialists, as a mom-to-be, you shall resort to moderate physical exercises to burn excessive calories and maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. If your pre-pregnancy lifestyle included physical exercise of some kind, you should stick to it, with modifications in the intensity and movement with your girth growth and change in centre of gravity. The same shall be upon consultation with your doctor. Also, pick a hospital which offers fitness classes. For a pregnant woman, walking and swimming are the most recommended physical activities which are safe and effective in maintaining a healthy weight. Besides everything else, it is crucial for expecting mothers to have a team of experts, who resolve to assist them at every step. It goes without saying that you must “talk to your doctor, nutritionist and fitness counselor”. As we claim to meet all the standards and check all the boxes for being a top-notch mother and child care facility, we take pride in our affordable and accessible skill-sets and full-time experts. To know more and book your consultation, click here: https://healinghospital.co.in/mother-and-child-care-hospital-in-chandigarh/

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