Weight Gain and Pregnancy (Q&A)
How to Avoid Gaining Baby Weight
Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural, expected, and healthy. It is important for the proper development of your baby and the healthy adaptation of your body to its new needs and functions. By gaining too much weight, you may put yourself at higher risk of gestational diabetes, a difficult delivery, stubborn postpartum weight, and a number of other health conditions. Learning how to achieve the recommended weight gain during pregnancy without going over is important for your health, and may make losing baby weight after delivery much easier.
Adopting Healthy Eating Habits
Know your target weight gain for pregnancy.Knowing how much weight you need to gain while you are pregnant will help you monitor your progress. If you are gaining too much or too little weight, you can make some changes to your diet or physical activity habits. Your doctor can also help you stay on track.
- For women at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy, doctors typically recommend gaining 25 to 35 pounds. Underweight women should aim for 28 to 40 pounds, overweight women should aim for 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women should shoot for only 11 to 20 pounds.
- If you are pregnant with twins or multiples, women at healthy weights should gain 37 to 54 pounds, overweight women should gain 31 to 50, and obese women should gain 25 to 42 pounds.
- Aim to gain only 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester, and about 1 pound per week thereafter depending on your total weight gain needs.
- If you are very overweight, your doctor may want you to lose weight during your pregnancy. Losing weight during pregnancy should always be supervised by a doctor. Note, most women should not be losing weight while they are pregnant.
Plan your weekly diet.Taking the time to think through a sample menu for the week will help you incorporate foods with important nutrients for a balanced diet during pregnancy, such as whole grains,lean protein,and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Buying groceries with a weekly meal plan in mind can help reduce the chances you will opt for fast food or load up on unhealthy junk foods.
- Avoid fish that is high in mercury such as swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and shark.
- Restaurant and fast food versions may contain significantly more calories than their homemade counterparts, so ask for low-calorie menu options if available when eating out.Alternately, by preparing foods yourself you can cut out the extra fat, salt, and sugar that many pre-packaged and restaurant foods contain. This will allow you to eat a greater quantity of nutritious food and help save calories and fat that can add unnecessary and unhealthy baby weight.
Obey cravings in moderation.It is not clear why pregnancy cravings happen. Some people think cravings may be your body asking for nutrients that it needs.Your pregnancy cravings are normal, and you can learn the best way to satisfy them.
- If you simply can’t resist a calling for chocolate cake, ice cream, cheese fries, or another unhealthy food, have a small serving size to satisfy your craving without mindlessly consuming the entire serving.
- By measuring out a small portion and putting the rest out of sight, you can reduce the chances of reaching for a second helping. Often, a few small and mindful bites can be just as satisfying as an entire serving, without the eventual guilt or weight gain.
Eat around 300 extra calories per day.Eating for two does not mean you need to eat twice as much food. You do not need to eat extra calories during the first trimester. In the second trimester, you should eat an extra 340 calories per day. In your third trimester, you should eat about 450 more calories per day.. You may need more calories if your are very physically active while you are pregnant.
- Make sure your extra calories come from healthy foods to avoid empty calories and unhealthy amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. Similarly, keep your diet balanced by avoiding a focus on any single food group. Get your calories from a variety of healthy sources such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
- If you constantly feel hungry, choose foods that are bulky and filling but low in calories, such as popcorn, rice cakes, raw vegetables, salads, soups, yogurt, oatmeal, and fresh fruits. Being able to eat a large quantity of a healthy and low-calorie food may help satisfy your urge to eat without piling on extra pounds. Eating protein also helps with this problem because it is slower to digest so it keeps you feeling full longer. Simple carbs get digested the quickest so will leave you feeling hungry sooner.
- Sample foods to add 100 calories are a spoonful of peanut butter on fresh celery sticks, a cup of non-fat yogurt with a drizzle of honey, a 1/2 cup of sweet corn with seasonings and a small smear of butter, or 10 tortilla chips.
- Examples of snacks and meals of approximately 300 calories include a scrambled egg with buttered toast and fresh strawberries, a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes plus 1 cup of vegetable soup, or a bowl of low-fat granola with 1/2 cup skim milk and a handful of berries.
Eat and drink frequently.Eating small meals throughout the day helps with pregnancy related heartburn, nausea, and indigestion. As your baby grows, you will have less space for big meals as well. Eating smaller meals throughout the day will help you meet your nutritional needs.
- Plan on eating about 5 or 6 times per day, spreading your calorie consumption over several small meals and a few healthy snacks.Eating every 2 to 3 hours can help keep you energized and keeps your metabolism active and your blood sugar stable, which will keep you from overindulging and may reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.
- Keep healthy, pre-measured snacks on hand at home and on the go. By making it convenient to grab a healthy snack in appropriate serving sizes, you reduce the likelihood of purchasing fast food or vending machine options or finishing an entire bag of potato chips when you need a snack.
Drink plenty of water.. You should have about 10 cups of fluids a day while you are pregnant. Water carries nutrients to your baby and can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and excessive swelling, and urinary tract and bladder infections. Your 10 cups of fluid does not have to be water only.
- Avoid sugary and fatty drinks such as flavored coffees, sports drinks, sodas, and whole milk. Opt instead for skim milk or non-dairy alternatives, decaf coffee you flavor or sweeten yourself, a small glass of 100% fruit juice, plain decaf tea, or water.
Staying Active While You Are Pregnant
Consult with your doctor.Before you begin an exercise program, make sure your doctor approves. This applies if you were exercising before you were pregnant or if you are starting a new routine.Benefits of exercising while pregnant include prevention of back pain and discomfort, improved sleep, prevention of excess weight gain, increased endurance and muscle strength, and improvements in your mood and energy levels.
- Your doctor will help you develop a personalized exercise plan that takes into account your previous exercise habits and any other medical problems you may have.
- Exercising could be harmful if you have a low placenta, a weak cervix, a previous history of miscarriages, or a history of early labor.
Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.Walking, low-impact aerobics, swimming, and cycling on a stationary bike are recommended. You should be able to talk while you are exercising. If you are unable to talk, you may be exercising to vigorously.
- If you exercised regularly before getting pregnant, you should be able to continue the exercise for most of your pregnancy. Exceptions to this may be those who participated in dangerous, high-intensity, or very strenuous activities. If you previously jogged, swam, danced, biked, or practiced yoga, chances are it will be safe and beneficial for you to continue.
- If you were inactive before pregnancy, it is still advisable to begin light forms of exercise, such as taking regular walks or swimming a few laps. You should start with 5 minutes of physical activity a day and build up until you can do at least 30 minutes a day.
- You should always warm up and cool down and drink plenty of fluids while you are exercising.
Consider prenatal yoga.Prenatal yoga incorporates many exercises that will help you with strength, flexibility, relaxation, and breathing.Yoga is a nice compliment to aerobic exercise and is a great way to meet other pregnant women.
- Look for instructors who are trained in prenatal yoga. If your instructor is not trained, let them know that you are pregnant. You may need to modify poses as your pregnancy progresses.
- Avoid hot yoga which will cause your body temperature to increase too much. If you are new to yoga, you should avoid power yoga.
Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester.This position puts pressure on a major vein, your vena cava, and can decrease blood flow to your brain, heart, and uterus.. This can make you feel dizzy or have shortness of breath.
Be careful with certain activities.Scuba diving, contact sports, activities that may cause injury to your abdominal area, and activities with a high risk of falling should be avoided. Strength training is fine, but you should not be lifting extremely heavy weights (nothing over 20 pounds).
- Avoid exercising outside on extremely hot and humid days.
Listen to your body and make adjustments.Pay attention to how you feel during exercise. If anything does not feel right, you should stop immediately. Your body is constantly changing and requires more oxygen and energy than before you were pregnant. You should never exercise until you are exhausted.
- Keep in mind that extra pregnancy weight puts more stress on your joints and changes your center of gravity. Pregnancy hormones also cause your ligaments to loosen which increases your risk of injury.
- Make sure you are eating enough because exercise burns calories. The recommended 300 extra calories per day may not be enough if you are exercising regularly.Monitor your weight gain and make adjustments to your diet.
- Stop exercising if you have any of these symptoms: pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, chest pain, abnormal vaginal fluid, muscle weakness, irregular or rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain, feel dizzy or lightheaded.Contact your doctor if your symptoms continue after you stop exercising.
Planning to Become Pregnant
Speak with your doctor.You should make an appointment for preconception counseling. Your doctor will discuss your medical history, current medications, family health history, your weight, exercise habits, your home and workplace environment, and other lifestyle factors. This visit will help you become as healthy as possible before you become pregnant.
Lose extra pounds if you are overweight.Being at a healthy weight before you become pregnant is important for your health and the health of the baby. You should talk to your doctor to determine how much weight you should lose. Even if you do not meet your weight loss goal, losing some weight will still be beneficial.
- You should lose pre-pregnancy weight in a healthy manner. A good diet and exercise program are recommended.
Engage in regular physical activity.Moderate aerobic activities (i.e. walking, jogging, dancing, and swimming), Pilates, yoga, and weight training are good exercise options.Your exercise routine should increase your endurance and build strength. Having strong core muscles and pelvic floor muscles will help you when you are pregnant.
- Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about a safe exercise routine. Be careful of extremely vigorous exercise such as marathon training or super intense exercise classes. Exercise puts stress on the body. Vigorous exercise may make it more difficult for you to conceive.
- You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise each day.
Have healthy diet.Your pre-pregnancy diet should include all of the necessary nutrients: lean protein, complex carbohydrates, dairy products, and 5 to 9 nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Your daily caffeine intake should not be more than 200mg a day which is equivalent to 12 oz. of coffee.
- You should have a sufficient daily iron intake. Iron rich foods include eggs, nuts, green vegetables, and dark meats. Vitamin C will help your body absorb plant sources of iron.
- Omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats should be in your diet as well. Walnuts, spinach, and flaxseed are good sources of these fats. You may also take a fish oil supplement 1 to 2 times a week.
- It is also a good idea to stop drinking alcohol when you are planning to conceive.
- You should begin taking prenatal vitamins as well. These vitamins will provide your body with any nutrients that your diet does not provide. The most important vitamins and minerals are folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium.Your doctor may prescribe you a specific type of prenatal vitamin.
QuestionHow can I lose weight after giving birth?
Obstetrician & GynecologistObstetrician & GynecologistExpert AnswerLosing weight after pregnancy can be very difficult. You will need to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink each day, and increase your activity. Quick weight loss methods or diets don't tend to work in the long term, so these should be avoided. It may help to talk with your doctor about how to lose the pregnancy weight, since every woman is different and has unique needs.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I reduce the size of my hips during pregnancy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't, because wide hips make room for the baby to come out. Wait until after the baby is born.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best exercise during pregnancy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPrenatal yoga is the best way to go if you would like to exercise while pregnant. Not only will it help when you give birth, but it helps maintain a form for after the pregnancy.Thanks!
QuestionShould I worry if my sister is saying my baby is too big?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are worried, go to your doctor and ask them if there should be any cause for concern with your baby.Thanks!
- Invite your family members or friends to join you in your exercise routine during pregnancy. Having a baby is a great opportunity to start new healthy habits, so take advantage of it to get all of your loved ones motivated to improve their health.
- Do not attempt to lose weight or totally avoid weight gain during pregnancy unless advised by a health professional. Some extra weight is essential during pregnancy to provide your baby with the nutrients necessary for building and nurturing a new body.
- If you do not begin to regularly put on weight during the second and third trimesters despite your attempts to increase your calorie intake, add some additional nutrients every day and consult a health professional or dietitian. Certain health concerns or problems with the baby’s development may make weight gain difficult during pregnancy.
Video: How Much Weight Should You Gain in Pregnancy? | Kaiser Permanente
Japans Princess Is Giving Up Her Royal Title to Marry a Commoner
How to Learn Persian
New Face of of Miu Miu LEau Bleue Stacy Martin
Why Ivanka Trump’s response to Charlottesville is so important
Alexa Chung Reveals the Dress That Changed Her Life
35 Stylish Ways to Wear a Pair of ConverseSneakers
How to Prepare for a Horse Show
Most Americans Still Not Using Sunscreen
How to Feed an Amazon Parrot
Victorias Secret Angels Are Not So Angelic In NSFW Editorial
Women and wealth—the greatest opportunity of our time for change
How to Burn Trash
How To Sleep In Hot Weather: Simple Tips And Tricks For A Cool Night’s Sleep
Helpful Tips On Shopping For Plus Size Prom Dresses