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Gaining/Loosing Weight During Pregnancy

In concluding my 3 part series on nutrition and weight, during pregnancy. There will be times when your healthcare provider recommend you gain or loose weight, during your pregnancy. I want to stress that your healthcare provider is not taking at dig at you. However, I do understand that topic of weight should be approached with respect. I must admit. I’ve had patients complain about how I spoke to them about their weight. This has made me become more aware on how I approach my mom’s about weight. The objective is for you and your unborn child to be healthy.

I would also like to clear up any misunderstanding when about the average weight you should gain, during pregnancy. The average of 25- 35 takes into account amniotic fluid: 2 pounds; Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds; increased fluid volume: 2 to 3 pounds; Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds and of course the average weight of a newborn, which varies. Taking all of that into account, shooting for a gain of 18-25 pounds (with a pre-pregnancy BMI of 18.5-24.9) would be ok.

How To Lose Weight?

In order to lose weight, during pregnancy, you might have to do many of the same things you do to maintain it. However, when it comes to cutting down on your caloric intake, it maybe recommend to cut down on more calories than you did for maintaining your weight. You should go with a proper plan, however, and must do as advised by your doctor/midwife. 

Quite often, your healthcare provider recommends waiting until after delivery to lose weight. However, if weight loss is necessary, and you have to cut down on calories, remember that pregnant women must not consume any fewer than 1500-1700 calories a day. That’s the bare minimum to make sure that both the mother and the fetus are getting an ample supply of nutrients and energy. This above number varies for healthcare providers. The numbers I’m giving you are from Medline Plus and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  

A few things you can do to lose weight can include:

  • Eating smaller portions
  • Cutting out condiments
  • Trading baked stuff for fruit
  • Swapping unhealthy fats with plant-based fats (like olive oil)
  • Using vegetables more regularly rather than traditional carbs
  • Cutting down on soda intake and drinking water more often
  • Avoiding junk food completely or it in moderation
  • Work out for 30 minutes every day

When trying to lose weight, take some prenatal vitamins every day for ensuring that you get all the nutrients necessary for your baby. Folate is particularly important because it helps in decreasing the chances of neural tube defects.  

How to Gain Weight?

If you are underweight and your doctor/midwife recommends you to put some weight on during pregnancy, try the following tips. 

  • Eat 5-6 small meals daily
  • Keep some quick and easy snacks with you all the time. This can include nuts, cheese, crackers, raisins, yogurt, etc. 
  • Use peanut butter with toast, crackers, bananas, apples, or celery. A single tablespoon of peanut butter has around 100 calories and it delivers 7g of protein. 
  • Use non-fat powdered milk with mashed potatoes, hot cereal, and scrambled eggs. 
  • Use butter, margarine, gravy, sour cream, cheese, and cream cheese.

While weight gain is normal during pregnancy, you must keep it within appropriate limits. Keep your focus more on nutrition as a healthy diet will help ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy as well. Regularly consult with your doctor/midwife to keep your weight in check. 

**The information given is helpful, but it is not a substitute for your care provider. He or she will have specific information about you and will be able to help tailor your care for your personal circumstances.   These are guidelines and the best care will sometimes mean doing things different than or in addition to what will be outlined today. Information is not being endorsed by any government or public entity. The views expressed are only those of the author**

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