Pregnancy is an important time in terms of a woman’s health. However, pregnancy is not the time to be thinking about dieting or weight loss. Gaining weight is an important part of being pregnant. If a woman does not gain enough weight during pregnancy, her baby will not gain enough weight, and be able to develop and grow correctly. For example, a woman who is slender should gain somewhere around 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. A woman who is underweight should plan to gain more like 30 or 40 pounds. For a woman that is overweight, weight loss is still not the best situation; it is still important to gain at least between 12 and 25 pounds during pregnancy. Here is where all of that weight goes, for a woman who is of an average weight before pregnancy:
– 7.5 pounds will be baby
– 1.5 pounds will be placenta
– 4 pounds will be increased fluids
– 2 pounds will be the uterus
– 2 pounds will be increased breast weight
– 4 pounds will be extra blood volume
– 7 pounds will be stores of nutrients and fats
– 2 pounds will be amniotic fluid.
During your first trimester, weight gain will not be as pronounced as it will be later on during your pregnancy. During that first three months you should only expect to gain around three to five pounds overall. By the end of your first trimester, your weight gain will probably barely be noticeable, and often the most noticeable gain will be in the size of your breasts.
During the second trimester, weight gain becomes more steady. You should begin to gain around 1 to two pounds every week. This rate will continue through the duration of your pregnancy.
During the third trimester, you will gain just as steady. However, this is the time that your baby will gain the most weight, and your center of gravity will most noticeably change. It is important at this stage to continue eating a balanced diet that includes enough nutrients and calories for both you and your baby.
There are specific foods that you should make sure you are getting throughout your pregnancy. You should get between 3 and 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. One of these should be of a dark orange vegetable, and two should be of leafy dark green vegetables. You should have two servings of extra-lean meats, chicken, fish, or cooked peas or dried beans. You should drink eight glasses of water. You should have six servings of grains, and three servings of nonfat or low fat milk products.
In addition to nutritional needs, a woman should be certain that she is getting enough physical activity while she is pregnant. Exercise can be a safe and an important part of your pregnancy. While you probably aren’t going to typically feel like running a marathon while pregnant, many women do experience a number of benefits from exercise while pregnant, including a relief of aches and pains, reduction of constipation, better sleep, stress relief, and a body that is more prepared both for birth and for postpartum weight loss.
If you are not gaining weight during your pregnancy, you should contact your health care provider. She may be able to help determine why you are not gaining weight, and what the best solution for the problem might be.