There are few experiences in life that are as special and unique as expecting a baby. It is such a brief moment in time, and it is vital to take good care of yourself and the little person who will soon be joining your family.
Taking care of yourself and your baby means eating a healthy and balanced pregnancy diet. Despite this knowledge, many women find themselves in a situation where they give in to junk food cravings and may end up with an unhealthy weight gain during their pregnancy.
A Breakdown Of The Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Babies weigh around 7 pounds at birth, yet most women gain much more than that during the course of their pregnancy.
The weight gained during pregnancy is loosely allocated this way: The baby weighs eight pounds, placenta and amniotic fluid weigh six pounds, breast tissue increases by three pounds, blood supply and uterus increase account for about seven pounds and fat stores increase about eight pounds. In total weight gain should be about 30 pounds.
Each woman is different, but the range of weight gained during pregnancy should be from about 25-35 pounds.
What Is The Appropriate Amount Of Weight To Gain?
The amount of weight that you should gain when you are pregnant is dependent on how much you weighed at the beginning of your pregnancy. Women who are thinner and weigh less than they should must gain anywhere from 28 to 40 pounds throughout their pregnancy.
Women who are above normal weight only need to accumulate 15 to 25 pounds during their pregnancy. Women who weigh an average amount can gain 25 to 35 pounds throughout the pregnancy.
Speak with your doctor to determine exactly how much weight gain during your pregnancy is appropriate for you.
A Healthy Pregnancy Diet Plan
The amount of calories you need to take in when you are pregnant is similar to the standard amount of calories you need when you are not. A pregnant woman only needs to eat around 300 more calories a day to ensure healthy weight gain for her baby and herself.
Eating for two is a misconception that needs to be tossed out. It makes sense as a pregnant woman is not pregnant with another full size adult!
Eating a high fiber diet with foods from all the different food groups will ensure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. Increase the protein and dairy you eat and limit fatty and sugary foods.
Speak with your doctor about a prenatal vitamin that is right for you and make sure to take it every day. Increasing your folic acid, either through a supplement or the food you eat, is also essential.
If you are contemplating becoming pregnant, the time to plan your pregnancy diet is now. It will be difficult to drop unhealthy habits cold turkey, and if you get used to eating in a healthy way before you are pregnant, you will not have to adjust.
If you are already pregnant, it is not too late to get on a healthier course.
Do not let weight gain during your pregnancy become a motivation all its own, you should instead be focused on eating in a way that is healthy for you and your baby and let the weight gain during your pregnancy happen naturally.
Speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or your exercise plan.