How To Maintain Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

The Basics Of What Happens To Your Belly Fat When Youre Pregnant

How To Maintain Healthy Weight During Pregnancy | 6 Tips To Maintain Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

First and foremost, your belly will increase in size. This is especially true if youre still trying to maintain a healthy weight while youre breastfeeding. Your skin and muscles may also start to change, as your body tries to create more space for the baby. Additionally, your clothes will likely fit tighter, and you may feel like you need to be more active to keep up with your growing child.

Second, dont let your diet go too far off of track. Pregnant women should still enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables, and they can still lose weight by following a healthy diet that fits their needs and lifestyle. However, its important not to overindulge a little bit of Augustus Caesar isnt bad when it comes to gaining weight during pregnancy.

How Much To Exercise

Don’t immediately drop your workout routine when you see the plus sign on that pregnancy test. Regular exercise is good for your overall health, and it will help you burn calories and store fat in the right places, such as in your butt this fat will be easier to burn off after baby than fat around your middle, where loss-resistant adipose tissue is formed.

Celeste Durnwald, MD, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, recommends 30 minutes of light exercise like walking or swimming three days a week for the physical health benefits. Unless you’re experiencing a complication like placenta previa or bleeding, you should be able to continue your pre-pregnancy exercise routine. If you weren’t active before you conceived, you can still start now. Stay motivated by making a walking date with another pregnant friend or your partner. Or, take the kids on a walk to go play at the park.

“Even if you can sustain exercise for at least 10 minutes, you’re getting a benefit,” says Dr. Durnwald. “You can still see some benefits from the natural release of insulin with exercise after 15 minutes.”

What’s Causing The Weight Gain

Much of the weight that you gain during pregnancy is not fat, but is related to the baby. Here is a breakdown of how 35 pounds adds up:

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Placenta: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Fat stores: 5 to 9 pounds
  • Uterus growth: 2 to 5 pounds

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Managing Weight During Pregnancy

Some women are already overweight when they get pregnant. Other women gain weight too quickly during their pregnancy. Either way, a pregnant woman should not go on a diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy.

It is better to focus on eating the right foods and staying active. If you do not gain enough weight during pregnancy, you and your baby may have problems.

Still, you can make changes in your diet to get the nutrients you need without gaining too much weight. Talk to your health care provider to get help with planning a healthy diet.

Below are some healthy eating tips to help you get started.

Healthy choices:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables make good snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat.
  • Eat breads, crackers, and cereals made with whole grains.
  • Choose reduced-fat dairy products. You need at least 4 servings of milk products every day. However, using skim, 1%, or 2% milk will greatly reduce the amount of calories and fat you eat. Also choose low-fat or fat-free cheese or yogurt.

Foods to avoid:

Eating out:

  • Knowing the amount of calories, fat, and salt in your food can help you eat healthier.
  • Most restaurants have menus and nutrition facts on their websites. Use these to plan ahead.
  • In general, eat at places that offer salads, soups, and vegetables.
  • Avoid fast food.

Cooking at home:


How Much Weight Gain Is Normal Duringpregnancy

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight During Pregnancy ...

In general, pregnancy doesnt cause weightgain in the first trimester, which is the 14-week span that begins on the firstday of your last period. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologistsrecommends that women who start out at a healthy weight gain 25 to 35 poundsthroughout the course of pregnancy, whereas those who start a pregnancyoverweight gain no more than 15 to 25 pounds, and those who are obese gain nomore than 11 to 20 pounds.

I tell my patients who are at normalBMIs to break down the weight gain like this:

  • Five pounds in the first half ofpregnancy
  • One pound per week thereafter

After delivery, it can be tough to lose theweight gained during pregnancy. Youll likely be tired and experience somestress in caring for the newborn, which further complicates weight loss.However, carrying extra weight can result in long-term obesity, whichcontributes to a lot of health problems, such as:

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Start At A Healthy Weight Before Getting Pregnant If Possible

Not yet pregnant? You can set yourself up for healthy pregnancy weight gain by establishing healthy food and exercise habits now. If youre trying to conceive, healthy weight loss could actually improve your chances of getting pregnant.

If youre not sure what your healthy starting weight should be, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine a healthy range for your height, age, and activity level.

Interested in learning more about womens health at MedStar Health? View our services here.

Do you live in St. Marys County and needobstetric or gynecology services?Consider making an appointment with Dr. Greenwood.

Eating Right During And After Pregnancy For Maintaining A Healthy Weight

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Women undergo many physical changes during pregnancy. As the baby grows inside her womb, the weight of the body keeps increasing. It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy, however, the amount of weight gain depends on the weight of the woman before conceiving as too much weight gain can lead to undesired consequences.

Excess weight gain during pregnancy has been associated with several complications such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes , longer labour and increased risk of having an emergency caesarean section.

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How Much Weight Gain Is Normal During Pregnancy

Here are some weight gain recommendations during pregnancy. These depend on your body mass index and weight, both before gestation. Remember, these estimates are correct for your target weight at full 40 weeks!

  • Underweight
  • Single pregnancy expected weight gain: 1120 pounds
  • Twin pregnancy expected weight gain: 2542 pounds
  • As you can see, an average woman with a healthy weight before pregnancy only needs to gain 25 to 35 pounds! Always remember to eat healthily and to maintain physical activity during pregnancy.

    How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy

    How To Maintain Healthy Body Weight During Pregnancy/ Losing and Gaining Weight During Pregnancy

    How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is based on your body mass index before pregnancy. BMI is a measure of body fat calculated from weight and height.

    Weight Gain Recommendations

    If before pregnancy, you were You should gain
    BMI greater than or equal to 30.0 11- 20 pounds
    Weight Gain Recommendations for Women Pregnant With Twins

    If before pregnancy, you were You should gain
    BMI greater than or equal to 30.0 25-42 pounds

    Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancyexternal iconfrom the Institute of Medicine. If youre pregnant with triplets or more, talk to your health care provider about your weight gain goals.*All recommendations are from the Institute of Medicine, with the exception of underweight women with twins. Source: Luke B, Hediger ML, Nugent C, Newman RB, Mauldin JG, Witter FR, et al. Body mass index-specific weight gains associated with optimal birth weights in twin pregnancies. J Reprod Med. 2003 48:21724.

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    Reducing Your Daily Calorie Intake

    The first step to take if you must cut down on calories is to keep a food log. Yes writing down what you eat really helps keep you accountable in making nutritious food choices. If you normally consume far more calories than this, consider cutting down gradually. For example, you can: exercise with other people. Just walking can help you manage your weight and build strength that youll need during labor and delivery.

    Dont forget to drink water. Its important to stay hydrated, and youll feel fuller between meals and snacks.

    What To Eat After Delivery To Shed The Extra Weight

    Pregnant women must understand that they must give their bodies some time to recover after delivering the baby. The stress experienced by new mothers may result in the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol results in increased appetite and allows fat to accumulate in the lower abdominal region.

    New mothers must eat healthy food along with regular exercising, such as brisk walking to allow fat loss and not muscle mass depletion. There are certain measures that can help new mothers lose weight effectively and these include:

    • Do not skip breakfast as it helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
    • Consume at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Eat lots of fibre-rich foods such as oats, lentils, whole grains, and beans to improve digestion.
    • Avoid fatty, sugary and processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries and carbonated beverages.

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    Plan Your Calorie Intake

    According to the American Academy of Dietetics, ladies with healthy pre-pregnancy weight require around 2,200 to 2,900 calories a day . Based to your trimester-wise target weight, you’ll know how many extra energy you need to consume every day, relying on the trimester. Heres how you wish to have to lift your calorie consumption trimester-wise.

    • During the first trimester, you want no longer building up your calorie intake.
    • From the second one trimester, on the other hand, you need to consume an additional 340 energy in line with day.
    • Then, from the third trimester, you wish to have to devour an additional 450 energy or extra per day than whilst you were non-pregnant.

    If you have been overweight or obese sooner than pregnancy or won weight too quickly during pregnancy, making an attempt for weight loss isnt beneficial. Instead, you must consume a well-balanced nutrition and take a look at maintaining your weight in the recommended range.

    Managing Your Weight At Home

    How To Maintain A Healthy Weight During Pregnancy?

    I advise women to monitor their weight gain athome during pregnancy, especially because early prenatal visits might be weeksapart. Here are some tips:

    • Track your weight: You can keep track on paperor by using a digital tool such as the pregnancy weight tracker from the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention.
    • Weigh yourself at the same time every day: Forexample, always weigh before or after bathing so theres no confusion about theweight of clothing.
    • Stay active: Combat the extra calories youmight eat by getting the recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days aweek.
    • Watch out for cravings: Go ahead and enjoy apint of fresh raspberries every day. But be careful about the amount of Ben andJerrys Chunky Monkey ice cream you eat late at night! Try to choose nutrient-densefoods to curb your cravings.

    Having a sweet tooth or other cravings duringpregnancy is totally normal. I know how it can feel Ive been there. But theimportance of keeping your calories in check and getting a steady dose ofexercise can go a long way in ensuring your weigh-ins during prenatal visitsare as expected, which can help pave the way for long-term health for you andyour baby.

    Also Check: Mayo Clinic Pregnancy

    Tips For Managing Your Weight During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy isnt only about managing a healthy weight but also ensuring that you and the baby receive the proper nutrients you both need during this developmental time. Getting a variety of foods, nutrients, and necessary vitamins will help ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy. Every experience may be different, so were here to help answer some of the common questions you might have throughout the process. Between types of food groups, proper portion control, and frequency of meals, lets discuss our top 5 basic tips for managing weight during pregnancy.

    Frequency Of Meals And Summing Up Managing Weight During Pregnancy

  • Make sure to eat within half an hour to an hour of when you wake up every day. As we know, wake-up times can vary from day to day, therefore, remembering to have meal #1 before the first hour of waking can be applied to any time throughout the morning. From there, it helps to maintain meals every 2 to 4 hours throughout the rest of the day.
  • Within the parameters of each meal, make sure to always combine carbohydrates like grains and starches with your protein sources in your first meal. It also helps to have this combination in your meals on an empty stomach or when choosing an evening snack.
  • With each meal, make sure to manage your portions. Its easy to not realize how much we are eating especially during pregnancy when you are allotted an extra 300 calories more than your maintenance calories. The easiest way to not go overboard is to measure your meal portions. Use your whole hand up to the tip of the middle finger for easy measuring practices.
  • Calories arent the only important aspect of pregnancy. Make sure to drink plenty of water! This means 80 to 100 fluid ounces of water or more daily. This can also include sodium-free seltzers but doesnt include sugary drinks or juices! That also means avoiding sugar-free drinks. They may be sugar-free, but unfortunately, most sugar-free drinks use artificial sweeteners as a substitute. Those are not healthy, especially during pregnancy.
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    Do I Need To Take Any Supplements During Pregnancy

    Folic acid and iodine are the only supplements that all pregnant people need to take.

    • Take a folic acid-only tablet from 4 weeks before you are pregnant until the 12th week of your pregnancy. Ideally you would start this when you are trying to conceive. Some pregnant people, such as those with a BMI over 30, diabetes, epilepsy or with a personal or family history of neural tube defects, should take 5mg of folic acid.
    • Take an iodine tablet from the start of your pregnancy until you stop breastfeeding.

    If you are taking a multivitamin, make sure that it is one specifically for pregnant people , as some multivitamin tablets contain vitamin A which should not be taken during pregnancy. You should only take supplements on the advice of your doctor or midwife. Talk to your doctor, midwife or dietitian if you think you may have any nutrient deficiencies. If you are a vegan, your healthcare team may advise you take vitamin B12 supplements.

    Many pregnant people will need to take iron tablets. However, these are only prescribed when you are low in iron or anaemic and are not given routinely for everyone.

    Some pregnant people will be prescribed vitamin D.

    If you have risk factors for pre-eclampsia, your doctor or midwife may prescribe you calcium tablets.

    Read more about avoiding nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy.

    How Do I Keep My Diet Healthy And Balanced While I Am Hap/pregnant

    How to Maintain a Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

    During pregnancy your appetite can be affected by pregnancy-related issues such as morning sickness, indigestion or having cravings for certain foods. However, eating a healthy balanced diet is important for you and your baby. Make sure you eat a variety of foods including:

    • plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit
    • grain foods, mostly whole grain and those naturally high in fibre
    • some milk and milk products, mostly low and reduced fat
    • legumes, nuts, seeds, fish and other seafood, eggs, poultry and/or red meat with the fat removed.

    Other tips to eat healthily during pregnancy include:

    • having small, regular healthy meals and snacks and drinking plenty of fluids
    • avoiding fatty or spicy food if you have nausea or indigestion
    • your family or whnau supporting you by preparing meals for you at home, rather than getting takeaways
    • distracting yourself from your pregnancy cravings for less healthy foods by chewing sugarless gum or having a hot drink or healthier snacks.

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    Vitamin D And Pregnancy

    Vitamin D is essential for your babyâs growth and development and your own health during pregnancy.

    We get most of our vitamin D from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun produces vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D. Only a small amount of our vitamin D intake comes from our diet â from foods such as eggs, oily fish, margarine and milks fortified with vitamin D.

    Women who are at most risk of vitamin D deficiency:

    • have dark coloured skin
    • wear covering or concealing clothing for religious or other reasons
    • spend much time indoors.

    You may need a blood test at the beginning of your pregnancy to assess your vitamin D levels. If so, your doctor will arrange this. Depending on your results, you might need to take vitamin D supplements.

    If you are considering taking vitamin D or any other supplements during pregnancy, always discuss it with your GP first.

    Risks Of Overweight Or Obesity During Pregnancy

    Many overweight women have healthy pregnancies and babies. But there are health risks linked with being overweight or obese in pregnancy.

    These risks increase if you gain too much weight while youre pregnant. The higher your pre-pregnancy BMI and/or the more weight you gain, the higher your risk of health problems or complications.

    These are some of the risks linked with being overweight or obese and/or gaining too much weight during pregnancy:

    • Gestational diabetes: this is raised blood sugar levels in pregnancy, which can affect your short-term and long-term health and your babys. Most women are offered a test for gestational diabetes at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. If you have a family history of diabetes or a BMI over 30, you have a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes.
    • Labour and birth complications: women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have induction of labour and longer labours. They have a higher chance of needing birth interventions, including caesareans , and a higher chance of birth complications like shoulder dystocia.
    • Medical complications: these complications include problems with managing pain during and after the birth for example, it can be harder to get womens bodies and medical equipment into the right position, and harder to keep pain relief going. Theres also an increased risk of bleeding straight after the birth, pre-eclampsia, sleep apnoea, longer wound healing time after caesarean, and postnatal depression.

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