Hi Mums. Today I would like to carry on with our theme of Nutrition. During pregnancy, we go through varying stages, prior to conception through delivery and beyond. Today I will be looking at Pregnancy and Weight Gain.
Weight Gain is Good
First up, weight gain is normal and healthy during pregnancy. So what does this weight gain comprise of?
- The weight of the baby.
- The weight of the amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
- The mother’s increased blood volume.
- The mother’s increased body fat stores, which are required for the production of breast milk, once the baby is born.
Most weight gain will occur during the second half of the pregnancy. Even though the baby is developing rapidly in the first few months, weight gain here should be minimal because he or she will still be relatively small.
Eating for Two?
The myth that many women still believe in today is the need to ‘eat for two.’ Even though an increased calorie intake is required, this should be done in small amounts.
On average an expectant Mum requires an additional 200 kcal per day. This applies only in the third trimester. In the first and second, we don’t require any additional intake. Although, this may vary for any underweight Mums who will need more than the recommended requirements.
Weight gain will vary considerably from woman to woman. Gaining too much or too little can have health implications not only for Mum but for baby as well.
Managing Weight Gain
Weight gain can easily be managed during pregnancy so that it lies within an ideal range (I will discuss these ranges later). To ensure this happens a woman should:
- Consume a balanced, varied diet to include all food groups.
- Eat regular meals and snacks.
- Remember to drink lots of water.
- Resist increasing her amount of calories eaten during her first & second trimester.
- Add an additional 200 kcal per day during the third trimester.
- And stay active.
So that’s it for today, tomorrow we will take a look at the guidelines on weight gain.
Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Baby!