Weight gain is a normal and healthy part of pregnancy. Most women observe slight gain in the weight at the beginning of the pregnancy. The gain in weight increases towards the later stages of pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy varies from woman to woman and also depends on the body type plus the severity of morning sickness. Ideal weight gain during pregnancy is slow and at a steady rate. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, which is a total of 40 weeks. Major weight gain must occur during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. During the 1st trimester, you may not put on much weight in fact, you might even lose some. Usually once the nausea and vomiting settles, the appetite returns and weight gain occurs. The right type of pregnancy weight gain is essential for both the mother as well as the baby. Your baby’s growth and development entirely depends upon the weight that put on during pregnancy. Proper weight gain during pregnancy can lower your chances of stretch marks, back ache, fatigue, indigestion, shortness of breath etc. to a great extent. The extra weight that is gained during pregnancy not only provides nourishment to the developing fetus, but is also stored for lactation after the delivery.
Too much or too little weight gain during pregnancy can prove to be detrimental both you and your baby. And those of you fearing the extra weight will remain after the delivery; the right weight gain is the kind that is much easier to lose. A large growth spurt is observed during the middle of pregnancy up to almost the 32weeks of pregnancy. It is ideal to slow down the weight gain over the next 4-6 weeks of pregnancy prior to labor. Research has shown that a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is ideal during pregnancy. Women who are underweight for their height before conceiving often tend to put on more weight during pregnancy. The main reason is to maintain the necessary fat stores and also support breast feeding after delivery. Underweight women should ideally gain about 28 to 40 pounds during the entire pregnancy. While for women who are overweight before conceiving put on very little weight. This is because the existing fat stores in the body get depleted to meet the pregnancy demands. Overweight women should ideally gain about 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy, while obese women should gain 11 to 20 pounds. For those of you who are expecting multiples, then you will need to gain more weight than a pregnant woman with a single fetus. The weight gain in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy is crucial for healthier babies as well as the mother’s health too. Gaining the appropriate amount of weight at a steady rate during pregnancy is a good sign of a healthy fetal development. The proper diet during pregnancy involves a little bit of concentration from your end towards what you eat. You must choose whole foods more which are dense in nutrients. You must make sure you intake a proper amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in every meal. Choosing foods which are high in fiber is also a very good option. It will help you be relieved from the common problem of constipation.
Eating crackers, cereal or pretzels helps reduce the sensation of vomiting to a great extent. You must eat small and frequent meals throughout the day than hogging at once. You must also avoid fatty, fried and greasy foods lest you might develop acidity problem. Milk intake is also absolutely essential so that you get sufficient calcium. Drinking ample water is also important during pregnancy so as to keep you well hydrated. Vitamin C can be obtained naturally through oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, cauliflower, green peas, sprouts, tomatoes etc. Intake of folic acid is very important for the development of brain and other vital organs of the fetus. You can go with the folic acid pills along with dietary sources like green leafy vegetables, legumes etc. Folic acid intake also helps in reducing the chances of neural tube defects in the growing fetus. Vitamin A can be obtained from carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots, pumpkins etc. Iron intake is very important during pregnancy. Iron helps in increasing the resistance towards stress, irritability, tiredness, weakness, depression and diseases. The best iron sources include food items enriched with grain products, meat, poultry, fish, green leafy vegetables etc. Maintaining a proper diet with all the nourishment that is essential for fetal development is elementary for the health of both mother and fetus.