Pregnancy is the one time when you do not really mind putting on a few extra kilos. However, hold it there, by putting on extra kilos you should not mean being over weight. Healthy weight gain is important during pregnancy but gaining too much weight than your pre-pregnancy scale is certainly not healthy for you or your baby. It is important that you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and put on the pounds over the whole duration of the pregnancy as the baby grows.
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One of the most common reasons of quick weight gain during pregnancy is that you might actually have started taking the saying “eat for two” a way too seriously. However, if you have noticed your quick weight gain already then you can easily control it. You should not lose weight during pregnancy but you can stay at the already gained weight for the next few months of the pregnancy to balance the scale perfectly.
Too much of extra weight comes with an increased risk of health concerns, like, hypertension, gestational diabetes and other obesity related issues. It can also take a toll on your mental health. So, while you should gain weight during pregnancy it is important that you maintain a healthy weight in this span.
How much weight gain is “healthy weight gain” in pregnancy?
Well, this is certainly the first thing to come in your mind because to understand if you are maintaining the right weight or not you need to have information about the right scale. It is your gynecologist who will be best able to give you details about how much weight you should gain every month during your pregnancy in order to maintain a healthy weight.
For a pregnant woman with a proper pre-pregnancy BMI, the weight gain should not be more than 1-2 kilos in the first three months. The weight gain through the 4th and 8th month of pregnancy should not be more than 2 kilos a month on average. On the 9th month, typically, the weight gain stops even though the baby reaches its full size.
This scale is only a general idea and you should get the exact scale of healthy weight gain for you from your gynecologist as soon as you get the pregnancy confirmation.
The key to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy
So, now let us tell you the secret of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy which will make it much easier for you to carry the pregnancy without complications and will also make it stress-free to lose the pregnancy weight after the delivery of your baby.
Know the healthy weight gain pattern
To maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy it is important that you are well aware about how much weight you should gain every month during the span. Unless you have a clear idea about how much is healthy and when you will cross the bar, it can be really difficult for you to make sure that you do not gain unnecessary kilos during pregnancy. Once you have received details about exactly how much will be a healthy weight gain during pregnancy, it is only wise to maintain a chart of your weekly weight gain to ensure that you are gaining only the right weight at the right time.
“Eating for two” is not something you should do
It is a very common saying that when you are pregnant, you are actually eating for two, but in reality your baby hardly needs as much food as you do. So, though you can safely eat more than what you take usually during pregnancy, you should never start consuming for “two”. Eating a lot is sure to add up to your body weight unnaturally making you obese during your pregnancy even if you had started with a healthy pre-pregnancy body weight.
Cut down on empty calories
In order to maintain a healthy body weight during pregnancy it is really important that you get rid of the empty calories in your daily diet because these calories do not really help your baby in any way, they just add up in your frame as fat. So, yes, you cannot enjoy as much fatty and junk food as you wish just because you are pregnant. You need to keep an eye on how much free calories you are actually taking in without adding any real nutrition to the body. If you are not already overweight, you might enjoy junks once in a week but make sure that you do not make them a part of your daily diet. Also make sure that what you are eating is actually giving nourishment to your body instead of just adding extra fat to your frame.
Live on healthy foods
You might not have been such a health conscious person in your life to make sure that you live on a healthy diet always but now that you are pregnant it is important that you opt for a diet that is nothing but healthy for your body. What you eat during your pregnancy has a direct impact on the growth of the foetus. Deficiency of a single nutrient in your body can be harmful not only for you but also for your unborn child. The good thing is, once you start living on healthy foods, your weight gain will naturally become healthy.
As a thumb rule, include more of vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. However, make sure that you wash them clean pretty well before consumption or preparation to ensure that they are free from pesticides and any harmful chemicals. You can also indulge on dry fruits unless you are already gaining weight quickly than you should. In that case, stay away from dry fruits completely because they can quickly add up to the calories.
Apart from fresh fruits and vegetables, you also need to include grains in your daily diet. Grains work as the primary source of carbohydrate in the body which works as the primary source of energy. So, include rice, pasta or cereal in your daily diet in proper quantity. However, if you are on the heavier side, in order to ensure that you do not gain more extra weight it is only wise to opt for whole grains than the refined and white ones.
Protein is the other crucial nutrient that your body needs during pregnancy. Include animal as well as plant proteins in your daily diet but it is only wise to opt for the proteins with less amount of fat if you are gaining weight too quickly during your pregnancy. Dairy products are also great for expecting mothers but opt for the low fat varieties to stay healthy. You should focus on taking healthy fats that you can have from fishes, seeds and nuts. Changing your regular cooking oil to olive oil can also be highly effective to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Getting pregnant should not mean taking a leave from your work out routines, unless your doctor has suggested you otherwise. One of the main reasons of unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy is that often expecting mothers leave their active life and opt for a more sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy. Pregnancy might not be the right time to go for a steep workout routine but you should not stop exercising all together in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Opting for low impact aerobics, free hand cardio vascular exercises can be very useful to maintain the right body weight and also to enjoy a complication free pregnancy. Going out on a brisk walk, opting for some safe pregnancy exercises to going out for swimming regularly can be actually the key to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Never go on a diet
During pregnancy, going on a diet or eating less than your body needs at this stage is never a wise decision and can even be seriously harmful for the expecting mother as well as the baby. In order to keep your body weight during pregnancy in check, you can cut down on the consumption of fats and calories but not on the amount of nutrients your body needs.
So, even if you have already gained more weight than you should during the beginning months of your pregnancy, your objective should not be to eat less but to discard the unhealthy calories and fats from your diet, which will help you to maintain the same weight for the next months’ thus balancing the scale as a whole.
[ Hindi version ]