Being pregnant is one of the very few times it is actually healthy to gain weight. However, forget that business about eating for two. You eat and gain weight to provide nutrients for your baby so they grow at a healthy rate. Pregnant weight gain: what to expect and strive towards.
Guidelines for Healthy Weight Gain
Nothing is written in stone since every woman is different. How much weight each woman should gain is based on her pre-pregnancy weight and her BMI. Staying within a healthy weight during pregnancy helps to avoid complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery.
The extra weight a woman gains during her pregnancy is shared by the larger breasts, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, fat storage for delivery and breastfeeding, and the larger uterus.
Most women need only 300 more calories a day than before pregnancy.
Suggested Weight Gain
The suggested weight gain is as follows:
- A woman of average weight should gain 25 to 35 pounds.
- A woman who is underweight should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
- A woman who is overweight should gain 15 to 25 pounds.
- A woman having twins should gain 35 to 45 pounds.
The goal is to eat a nutrient rich diet during the pregnancy.
Eat 1800 calories a day during the first trimester, 2200 calories a day during the second trimester, and 2400 calories a day during the third trimester.
Managing Your Weight
Focus on eating the right foods, and it’s important to stay active. Talk with Capital Women’s Care to help you plan your particular diet whether you are overweight or underweight. You need to gain enough weight for a healthy baby, but avoid gaining too much.
Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day, and keep healthy snacks available like raisins, nuts, cheese, crackers, dried fruit and yogurt.
Choose peanut butter on toast. One tablespoon of peanut butter is 100 calories and 7 grams of protein.
Foods to avoid include food and drinks with added sugar, corn syrup, sweetened drinks, and junk food like chips, cookies, candy, ice cream and fast foods.
Contact Capital Women’s Care at (301) 424-3444 (Rockville) or (301) 593-5595 (Silver Spring) if you are gaining too much weight or not enough and need assistance with a meal plan.