Pregnancy is the perfect excuse for expecting mums to indulge in their favorite food without feeling guilty. After all you are eating for two! But are you worried about getting fat? Would dieting during pregnancy be harmful to the baby? Are you stressed about getting back to your pre-pregnancy figure as soon as possible after delivery? Then, read on to know how to maintain healthy weight during pregnancy.
Ideal Weight During Pregnancy:
Women gain around 11-13 kilograms during pregnancy. They gain around 1.5 to 2 kilograms in the first trimester and almost none during the last. Weight gain is the most significant in the second trimester with women gaining almost 6 to 7 kilograms during this period.
Weight gain, however, differs from person to person and depends on a lot of factors like level of activity and genetics. Follow this Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator to determine ideal weight gain according to your height and pre-pregnancy weight.
Not all weight gained during these nine months is fat. Most of this is the baby’s weight, but what about the rest? Here’s how weight gain can be broken down:
- Baby’s Weight: 3 to 3.6 kilograms.
- Placenta: 900 grams to 1.3 kilograms.
- Amniotic Fluid: 900 grams to 1.3 kilograms.
- Uterus: 900 grams to 2.26 kilograms.
- Large Breasts: 900 grams to 1.3 kilograms.
- Fat: 900 grams to 4 kilograms.
Maintaining Healthy Weight During Pregnancy:
Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is not that difficult. Some women gain weight easily while some are already overweight before pregnancy. Either way, doctors do not recommend expecting mothers to flit from one diet to another. But there are certain suggestions that can help you know how to maintain healthy weight during pregnancy.
1. Eating For Two Syndrome:
Yes, pregnancy means having to eat for your baby and you. But 20 grams of extra protein and 300 Kcal of extra energy is all you need to manage a healthy weight gain. Besides calories and proteins, the body also needs essential nutrients like folic acid, Vitamin B12, and Calcium.
Nuts provide protein while milk and cereals provide extra calories. Eggs and Yoghurt are a great source of protein, calcium and Vitamin D. Spinach is high in folic acid and should be included daily in your diet. Red meat provides iron. Women who end up eating too much during pregnancy risk becoming obese and can develop problems like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during the third trimester. They are also more likely to deliver by cesarean. But if you’ve not gained enough weight, you may risk going into premature labor.
[ Read: Calorie Requirements In Pregnancy ]
2. Skip Junk Food, Alcohol And Fatty Food:
Junk foods like chips, ice creams, cookies, cakes, and fries are unusually high in salt and sugar content. Opt for spicy Indian chat food like Pani Puri, Bhel Puri or Dahi Puri. They satiate your food cravings and yet do not fill you up with empty calories. Avoid cream, cheese, mayonnaise, sauces and deep-fried food. Alcohol causes birth defects and learning difficulties among children. Aerated juices and soft drinks are loaded with sugar and offer only on empty calories. It is okay to indulge on rare occasions, but make sure that you limit your intake to a single glass. Similarly, do not make it a habit to eat out often. Restaurant food contains high amounts of sodium and can be harmful to the baby and you.
3. Say Hi to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain very few calories, yet packed with essential nutrients. Enjoy a guilt free dessert with plenty of fruits and some nuts added for extra crunch. You don’t have to spend a ton on imported fruits. Seasonal fruits sourced locally are a better alternative to the exotic fruits sold at high-end department stores. Did you know that Amla is the richest natural source of vitamin C?
4. Salads, Soups And Sandwiches:
The typical Indian thali consisting of dal, chawal, roti, sabji, dahi and some salad is the best for a pregnant woman. To break away from routine, try making salads and soups. Tarla Dalal’s website offers plenty of soup recipes for pregnant women.
5. Carry Your Lunch To Work:
Pregnant women are too tired to prepare lunch for work. If the morning rush seems overwhelming, try making them the day before. Sandwiches, parathas, and rice are the easiest to make. Incorporate veggies into the diet, mince/puree them and blend them when making parathas. Eat them with curd for a complete meal. Similarly, veggies can be added to rice to make vegetable pulao and fried rice. Even the humble curd rice has proteins and calcium!
6. Moderate Exercise:
Exercising during pregnancy isn’t wrong per se, but it should be done only through proper guidance. Gym instructors in India aren’t always well informed about the right pregnancy exercise plans. It’s best to stick to basic exercises like walking and swimming. They relieve you of problems like backache and constipation and also help to sleep better. Speak to you gynecologist to formulate an exercise plan adapted to your body condition.
[ Read: Benefits Of Walking During Pregnancy ]
7. Make A Conscious Choice:
A healthy lifestyle is all about making a conscious choice when eating. The cheese burst pizza topped with fat oozing bacon and other toppings is drool-worthy but does nothing to help your baby or your body. Every time, we opt for a healthy food, we make a conscious decision to respect our body.
8. Accept The Changes:
Respecting your body also means accepting for what it is. Gaining weight is normal during pregnancy and, in fact, essential for your baby’s health. Shed those extra kilos after your baby is born. But don’t stress yourself about losing the added kilos immediately after delivery. Your immediate priority is your child and the family. Spending time with your precious bundle of joy is a hundred times better than spending hours in the gym chasing a perfect figure.
Now you know how to maintain weight during pregnancy. Is the stork set to visit you soon? What are your plans to manage your weight gain during pregnancy? Share your concerns and questions with us.
- Is It Safe To Run/Jog During Pregnancy?
- Is It Safe To Swim During Pregnancy?
- Is It Safe To Diet During Pregnancy?
- Is It Safe To Take Diet Pills During Pregnancy?
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