Healthy women gain weight during pregnancy-it’s expected and necessary. However, if you, your doctor, or your midwife have concerns about rapid or excessive weight gain during pregnancy, there are healthy ways to get your diet under control without dieting or trying to lose weight.
How much weight should you put on during your pregnancy?
Of course, this question is unique to each individual based on your history and health, and should best be addressed with the aid of your practitioner. However, the March of Dimes recommends a weight gain of 25-35 pounds for a woman of normal weight, 28-40 pounds for someone who is underweight at the start of pregnancy, and 11-20 pounds for someone who is overweight at the start of pregnancy.
Am I putting on weight too fast during pregnancy?
Many women, myself included, start to worry when they put on too much weight too fast. For instance, in my third pregnancy, the end of the first trimester has brought with it a double digit weight gain, when only 3-5 are recommended by the American Pregnancy Association. It happened by eating with my first trimester cravings-carbs and greasy foods.
How do I return to a diet that supports healthy weight gain?
Once you’re out of the first trimester and morning sickness has likely subsided, it’s possible to move towards a well-balanced diet once more. Don’t try to lose weight-but don’t continue to gain at the rate you have been gaining, either. Remember that women only really need a few extra hundred calories every day during pregnancy. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals whenever possible, and eat small, healthy snacks between meals. If your body continues to crave carbs, stick with whole wheat pasta and brown rice, instead of white.
Should I stop gaining weight altogether during pregnancy?
Even if you’ve put on too much weight initially, you won’t want to stop gaining weight during your pregnancy. Your baby will need essential nutrients to continue to grow and develop, and for that purpose, you won’t want to diet during pregnancy. The best course of action, therefore, for dealing with a heavy weight gain, is to try to get your diet back on track and start eating reasonable portions of healthy foods.
Are there other things that I can do to help stop unhealthy weight gain?
Sodas and similar beverages are high in calories, and offer no nutritional value. Cut them out and replace them with water. The same is true of candy and snacks-try to eat fruit or other naturally sweetened treats, instead. Your doctor or midwife is your primary resource here-ask them what they think!
As always, consult your doctor or midwife when you are concerned about your pregnancy weight gain. If you put on too much weight at the beginning, however, don’t despair-there are 40 weeks of pregnancy for you to get your diet back on track.
American Pregnancy Association; Eating for Two When Over/Under Weight; http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/eatingfortwo.html
March of Dimes; Weight Gain During Pregnancy; http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_153.asp