When a woman becomes pregnant, she is offered an array of blood tests, urine test, ultrasound scans etc. to check if everything is fine for her to carry the baby in the womb. In addition, weight and height is checked to calculate the BMI (Body Mass Index).
As pregnancy progresses, you will start gaining extra weight as the baby in the womb starts growing. During the first trimester, you will not gain much weight as your baby is small and you might suffer from morning sickness and nausea. In the second trimester, you will start picking up weight. During the third trimester, you will gain more weight as your baby develops at a faster rate.
Monitoring Pregnancy Weight
The weight of the baby is not the only factor responsible for weight gain. Placenta, amniotic fluid, increased volume of blood, bigger size of the uterus, fat that gets stored in the body etc. are all responsible for the extra weight. So, in order to check whether the pregnant woman is within the optimal weight range, it is standard procedure to record her weight at each antenatal check-up. Monitoring weight gain of the pregnant woman helps to check the following:
- It helps in keeping a check that the pregnant woman does not gain weight outside weight gain recommendation.
- It helps in monitoring the growth of the baby closely. Weight gain higher than normal may lead to a big baby, while weight gain lower than recommended may lead to a small baby. Both cases are not good for the baby.
- Weight checks help in detecting preeclampsia. The sudden gain of excess weight leads to different types of health complications.
Though weight monitoring is not the only way to check the wellbeing of the mother and the baby, weight recording during the prenatal check-ups will keep you updated about the extra weight you are gaining during the whole pregnancy period.
Being pregnant is one of the best feelings a woman could experience during her married life. And it is natural for women to gain weight during pregnancy. Some are even already overweight when they get pregnant. But in both cases, women should not try to lose weight or use weight loss /restrictive diets during pregnancy. It is an acceptable fact to gain weight within permissible limits during pregnancy.
In order to remain strong and active, the mom-to-be should focus on healthy and right type of foods in appropriate quantities. Being pregnant does not literally mean eating for two! Only a small increase (+350 Kcal) in food intake is required from the 4th month of pregnancy. So you need not eat a lot or eat whatever you want! It’s the quality of the diet that’s more important than the quantity eaten. Gaining too much weight will lead to complications during delivery.
The baby in the womb should receive all the vital nutrients for healthy development. So, it is better to follow the diet chart given by your doctor or nutritionists. This will let you and your developing baby get the required nutrients without gaining too much weight.
Foods necessary during pregnancy without adding too much calories:
- Food enriched with high fibre such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains etc. These vitamin rich and low calorie food fill you up for a longer period of time.
- Fibre-rich foods make a good snack an d can be taken at regular intervals reducing your cravings for high-calorie food.
- Having plenty of berries, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and spinach will add lots of nutritive value without adding calories.
- You can opt for snacks made from whole grain or legumes/beans – either boiled, roasted or sprouts.
- Have skimmed milk which will help to reduce your calories as four to five servings of milk is extremely necessary.
- Skinless chicken breast, fish and egg whites are low calorie non-vegetarian food items.
- Water is an ultimate diet beverage which helps to keep you hydrated without adding calorie to your daily intake. You can make it enjoyable by adding a slice of lime, fresh basil or a cinnamon stick.
Avoiding the following will let you stay fit and healthy:
- Avoid artificial sweeteners in your food or drink and try to have foods with natural sweeteners.
- As most drinks are high in calories, read the ingredients list before consumption. This way you will avoid high calorie drinks.
- Try to avoid deep-fried vegetables and gravies as they have high-calorific value.
- Avoid junk foods, cakes, cookies, chips, ice-creams, soft drinks etc. It is better not to bring home such products during pregnancy.
Pregnant women can follow these tips to remain active without getting too fat:
- Make meals at home using low-fat cooking ways
- Boiled, sautéed, baked and grilled foods are healthier options
- Do moderate exercises as recommended by your doctor
- You can do yoga during your pregnancy
- You can start a simple walking regime
- Leisurely swimming as per your doctor’s advice
Enjoy this wonderful phase of your life in a healthy manner!