The body of a pregnant woman goes through many changes during the course of a pregnancy. Weight gain is one such change, which is an important and necessary adaptation as it prepares the woman’s body for the growing baby, childbirth and motherhood.
On an average, women gain between 11.5 kgs to 16 kgs during pregnancy. Weight gain during the first trimester should be between 1 kg to 2 kgs, after which women put around 0.5 kg each week of pregnancy.
This is an indicator of expected average weight gain during pregnancy. However, depending on their pre-pregnant body weight, nutritional status and presence of multiple pregnancies, expectant mothers tend to put on less or more weight.
Irrespective of whether you are overweight or not, do not try to lose weight during pregnancy. Losing weight during pregnancy is dangerous both for the mother and the child. Instead, focus on eating the right kind of foods that are nutrition-dense and provide a complete range of required nutrients for the growing foetus. Avoid having foods that are filled with empty calories and lack nourishment – for both yourself and the baby.
Excess weight gain during pregnancy is known to lead to a host of complications and is unhealthy for both the mother and the child. Avoiding junk food and sugary beverages goes a long way in weight management during pregnancy.
Weight management during pregnancy becomes simple with a bit of planning. A few tips that can go a long way in ensuring that you remain a healthy weight throughout pregnancy are as follows:
Eat small meals and eat often. Opt for smaller meals that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eating smaller but frequent meals throughout the day prevents overeating, curbs the nausea and controls hunger pangs at the same time.
Have lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables of every colour. Choose whole grains and avoid processed foods.
Make sure you have enough water throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated. Go for fresh fruit juices or vegetable juices between meals to load up on minerals and vitamins.
Cravings are an internal part of pregnancy and can wreck plans of a healthy diet. One simple hack is to keep in mind that you are allowed to occasionally binge on certain foods.
If you were physically active before pregnancy, then you can safely continue your routine during pregnancy, with certain precautions. Any activity or exercise that puts pressure on the abdomen should be avoided.
Even if exercise was not a part of your lifestyle before, then pregnancy is the perfect time to start exercising. Go for walks, or start practising yoga under a qualified teacher. Make sure you inform your yoga instructor about your pregnant status.
Exercising during pregnancy not only helps you to remain fit, but eases delivery , reduces the backache that accompanies pregnancy and helps to get back in shape faster after delivery.