Many women gain more weight during pregnancy than normal or, conversely, less. And if exaggeration is often encountered, then scarcity is less discussed. In pursuit of harmony, many are ready to diet even during pregnancy, so as not to spoil the figure. Let’s talk about how dangerous it can be.
How to determine – how much can be added during the birth of a baby? Body mass index or BMI is often used as a screening tool. Under this indicator are underweight, normal or healthy weight, overweight and obesity.
If you are underweight, do not panic. This may not always be the cause of serious health problems. Lack of weight gain may be due to your pre-pregnancy weight or malnutrition.
Some women find it difficult to gain weight early in pregnancy. They may even lose weight in the first trimester due to morning sickness with nausea and vomiting. This is not a dangerous sign, as the baby does not consume as many calories or nutrients during this period as at the end of pregnancy.
How many pounds should you gain during pregnancy
In this case, there is no universal solution. You need to consider your BMI, weight before pregnancy, daily activities, food intake.
According to the general guidelines, there are weight gain options for pregnant women based on their initial weight.
- Low weight (BMI <18.5) - we gain from 13 to 18 kg.
- Normal weight (BMI from 18.5 to 24.9) – from 11 to 16 kg.
- Overweight (BMI from 25 to 29.9) – from 7 to 11 kg.
- Obesity (BMI 30 or more) – 5 to 9 kg.
If you expecting twinsexperts recommend the following weight gain indicators.
- Normal weight (BMI from 18.5 to 24.9) – from 17 to 25 kg.
- Overweight (BMI from 25 to 29.9) – from 14 to 23 kg.
- Obese (BMI 30 or more) – about 11 to 19 kg.
The recommendations suggest that women in the second and third trimesters who have a low BMI (<18.5) should aim to gain between 1 and 1.3 pounds each week until the weight reaches the normal range.
Discuss with your doctor the specific weight gain program, diet and exercise, not only during your first visits, but also throughout your pregnancy. You can develop a diet plan to meet the nutritional needs for steady weight gain throughout the trimesters.
3 main risks for the baby
- Low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg).
- Premature birth (37 weeks ago).
- Babies born to obese mothers (BMI <18.5) may be younger for gestational age (gestational age), ie smaller in height and weight, weaker.
A woman’s body undergoes natural and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to meet the nutritional needs of your body and your unborn child through a healthy and balanced diet.
Read about your estimated daily calorie requirements for the first, second and third trimesters based on BMI. For women who are underweight, it will be slightly above the standard in order to gain a normal body weight.
- The first trimester practically does not require extra calories: only the normal rule of calories.
- Then you need to add an extra 400 calories a day in the second trimester and about 400-600 calories a day in the third trimester.
The proposed limits are very approximate. Every woman has her own nutritional needs. Therefore, only an obstetrician-gynecologist will advise you how much weight to gain during pregnancy.
Nutrient intake during pregnancy
Your diet should include adequate amounts of both macronutrients (major nutrients) and micronutrients. Protein, carbohydrates, essential and healthy fats such as omega-3 (DHA), vitamins and minerals (folate, iron, vitamin D, calcium, etc.) are vital for the expectant mother.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all pregnant women consume 30 to 60 mg of elemental iron and 0.4 mg of folic acid daily. If a pregnant woman is deficient in calcium, a daily calcium supplement of 1.5-2 g is recommended.
Additional supplements may be required by every woman. Your doctor will recommend the necessary vitamin and mineral complexes.
How to prevent weight loss during pregnancy
Your ideal goal is to have a healthy BMI and normal weight before planning a pregnancy. In other words, you need to recover at least to the lower limit of normal weight. In the context of a deficiency, problems with conception can begin due to inhibition of hormone synthesis and ovarian function.
However, if you have become an obese and extremely thin mom, your goal is to gain a healthy average weight during your pregnancy. Obese women generally tend to eat a low-calorie, low-protein diet throughout their pregnancy. Therefore, doctors urge you to follow the recommendations.
Do not skip meals. Breakfast is a very important meal – it can either make or break your day. You can add protein to your meals, use healthy fats (vegetable and butter). Eat more fresh fruit smoothies and dried fruits between meals.
- Include high-fat foods in your diet (Nuts, avocado, honey, cheese and yogurt)
- Eat fresh fruit or drink fresh juices without sugar from oranges, carrots and apricots to get enough vitamins.
- Avoid junk food.
- Remember to take special, prenatal vitamins and supplements as recommended by your doctor.
- Keep a weekly scheduleto monitor weight gain during pregnancy. This will help you know when you are out of range.
How to gain weight during pregnancy
Weight gain during pregnancy can depend on a number of factors, such as daily diet, pre-pregnancy weight, metabolism, level of physical activity, or any underlying medical condition. In addition to the steps in the previous section, the following tips may be helpful when trying to put on those extra healthy pounds.
- Make healthy food enjoyable, including certain spices, sauces. For example, instead of eating boiled or mashed vegetables, you can add spinach or broccoli soup to your diet.
- Eat small but high-calorie meals. Focus on diet, not quantity. For example, a boiled egg, a slice of pasteurized cheese or yogurt can give you those extra calories, as well as help with pregnancy-related problems such as nausea and heartburn.
- Take healthy snacks with you (banana, orange or apple, as well as dried fruits or nuts). This will increase the intake of nutrients. If it is difficult to eat, you can drink these calories. Make a shake with yogurt or milk and add protein powder (as recommended by your doctor).
- Treat yourself to your favorite (albeit unhealthy) food, but only occasionally. However, do not forget about physical activity and try to move more so that the weight does not exceed.
A well-balanced diet is all you need. Weight gain can not happen overnight and you need to eat right every day. Once you reach the desired weight, you will need to adjust your diet again to maintain your desired body weight.