It can be challenging to stick to the guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, especially if you’ve never craved carbohydrates so much in your life and it seems like everywhere you turn, people encourage you to eat for two.
But gaining too much weight while pregnant can raise your risk for birth complications like c-section delivery and premature birth. And even if you start pregnancy overweight or obese – like more than half of American women – sticking to the recommended range of weight gain can significantly reduce your risk of health problems like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Excessive maternal weight gain is associated with pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes among other complications. If you have already gained excessive weight, your goal should be to slow the rate of weight gain, but not to lose weight.
The chief way to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy is to choose nutrient dense foods (those supplying many nutrients at reasonable calorie levels). A good way to look at food needs for pregnancy is to think in terms of food groups.
Tips for Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain
Eat moderately and often
Not many extra calories per day is required to nourish your growing baby. Current guidelines call for 340 extra calories per day in your second trimester and 450 extra calories per day in your third trimester if you’re starting pregnancy at a healthy weight. (If you’re underweight or overweight, these numbers will differ based on your weight gain goal.)
Focus on small, frequent meals that are high in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.Then choose healthy snacks between meals.
Ingesting a healthy snack every three hours should help you avoid overdoing it at mealtimes. Not only will you be providing good nutrition for your baby, but your blood sugar will stay level throughout the day so you’re less likely to feel starving at dinnertime.
Fruit with lots of fiber and high water content – like grapefruit, oranges, apples, berries, pears, and plums – can also help you feel full and keep constipation at bay.
Drink up water
It is essential to avoid dehydration during pregnancy – and drinking enough water has the added benefit of helping you feel satisfied between meals and snacks.
Drinking water also eases constipation, one of the less happy side effects of growing a person inside of you. During pregnancy , your digestive system slows down, which ensures that you wring every possible bit of nutrition from your food. Getting enough fluids will help keep things moving along and prevent uncomfortable bloating.
Make starches work harder
If you are battling the nausea and vomiting of morning sickness during pregnancy carbohydrates are your best friend. But simple starchy food such as white bread, rice, and pasta raise your blood sugar without giving you the nutrition that comes with whole grains.
Preferable to reach for complex carbohydrates – such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain breads and pastas – which not only provide you and your baby with more nutrients, but will help you feel full for longer and make you less likely to give in to unhealthy cravings later in the day.
Start a simple walking regime
The valuable thing any pregnant woman can do is walk. For expecting moms who are new to exercise, it is recommended to walk for 10 minutes a day and keep track of when they do it. Every 30 days, patient has them add another 10 minutes, so that by the end of the first trimester they’re walking 30 minutes daily, which they can continue to do for the rest of pregnancy.
It’s not just important for managing weight gain. You’ll have a lot fewer aches and pains as you get to the end of pregnancy if you stay active.
Make weight a regular discussion
A consultation about weight gain with your doctor or midwife at every prenatal visit will help you stay on track and make changes if you need to.
Seeing where you are at the beginning and then watching your trajectory is very important.
Get Enough Sleep
Not sleeping enough can also get in your way of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. A study reports that inadequate sleep can contribute to excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Though sleep troubles are common during pregnancy, certain measures like regular physical activity, a routine sleep pattern, dietary improvements, and the right sleeping postures can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Cut Out Stress
One more crucial factor that can contribute to increased pregnancy weight gain is stress. It can negatively impact your dietary choices, making you crave for foods high in fats and sugar. Practice calming exercises like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to keep your stress levels in check.
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