Having a baby almost always requires weight gain on the part of the pregnant mother. However, by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet you can ensure that the weight you gain is healthy weight and that you are providing the baby with all of the nutrients he/she will need.
The common saying “eating for two” is not actually necessary. While it’s true that you need extra calories from nutrient-rich food, you generally need only 100-300 additional daily calories when pregnant.
Weight gain during pregnancy will vary. A woman of average weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women should gain 28-40 pounds during pregnancy. Overweight women may need to gain only 15-25 pounds during pregnancy. Depending on your pre- pregnancy weight, you may need to gain more or less weight. Be sure to ask your doctor about your personal weight gain expectations during pregnancy.
Here’s an approximate breakdown of where the gained weight will be going: (Total- 25 to 35 pounds)
- Baby- 8 pounds
- Placenta- 2-3 pounds
- Amniotic fluid-2-3 pounds
- Breast tissue- 2-3 pounds
- Blood supply- 4 pounds
- Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding- 5-9 pounds
- Uterus increase- 2-5 pounds
While in some cases extremely overweight woman may find it safe to lose weight while pregnant, it is important to consult with your medical provider before dieting while pregnant. In most cases women should not try to lose weight during pregnancy.
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy
Eat five to six small, frequent meals every day. Keep quick, easy snacks on hand, such as nuts, raisins, cheese and crackers, dried fruit, and ice cream/yogurt. Spread peanut butter on toast, crackers, apples, bananas, or celery. One tablespoon of creamy peanut butter will provide about 100 calories and seven grams of protein.
Weight Management after Pregnancy
After pregnancy many women are looking to thin down and lose most, if not all, of the weight they put on while pregnant. This “baby” weight can be slowly burned off with a healthy diet and eating habits as usual. If you are struggling to lose weight after a pregnancy, come to see us at Comprehensive OB GYN of the Palm Beaches and we’ll help you lose weight safely and effectively. While a doctor can help guide you and design an eating plan, you should also consult with a physician about resuming an exercise regimen.