For some women, gaining weight during pregnancy can be a stressful process. If you were overweight before your pregnancy this may be an important concern, as excessive additional weight gain could put your health in danger and lead to potential complications that may have otherwise been avoidable. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can make to prevent this from happening. Use these tips to maintain a healthy weight throughout these important nine months.
- Know how much you need. The amount of weight that’s healthy for you to put on during your pregnancy will depend entirely on your specific body. There’s no prescribed number that applies to every pregnant woman, so relying on an arbitrary number won’t serve as a good reference point. Your melbourne obstetrician should give you a certain figure to aim for and let you know what their advice is where your particular needs are concerned. Follow their advice and attend all of your check-up appointments so they can make sure you’re progressing on the right track.
- Understand your needs. While your relatives may make casual quips about you ‘eating for two’, in reality you certainly don’t need to double the amount of food you eat everyday. Unless you were significantly underweight to begin with, this strategy is a fast track to unhealthy weight gain and will make the later stages of pregnancy pretty uncomfortable. Put simply, you only need a significant increase of calories during the third trimester – up until then you should focus on the quality of your food, rather than the quantity.
- Consider counting calories. If you’re someone who’s always struggled with your weight and don’t want things to spiral out of control during pregnancy, tracking you calorie intake could be a simple way to make sure you’re staying within the right limits. A nutrition-tracking app can make this easier, but it’s important to keep a close eye on the actual serving sizes of your food to get an accurate sense of the calorie count.
- Work with a dietician. If you have one available to you, a dietician can be a helpful resource during pregnancy. They’ll help you monitor your weight gain to ensure it’s progressing as it should be, recommend particular meals or foods that will offer the nutrients you need, help you gain the correct amount of weight, and give you guidance on how to organise your nutritional intake to optimise your diet for your body. This may also be helpful if you’ve struggled with disordered eating or a clinical eating disorder in your past, as they’ll support you in gaining the weight necessary for your baby in a healthy and sustainable way.
- Be wary of processed foods. When choosing the food to eat during your pregnancy, it’s best to focus on whole foods rather than processed options. Vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and good-quality protein sources will provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients without adding excess sugar and saturated fat to your diet.
- Get active. Exercise may be a little more difficult when you’re pregnant, but it will definitely help you stay physically fit as your baby grows and curb any unnecessary weight gain. Seek out pregnancy-friendly fitness classes and take relaxing walks in the fresh air to stay active in an enjoyable way.