Excess Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Many of us believe that during pregnancy, we are eating for two. This isn’t entirely accurate. While after the first trimester a pregnant woman does require more calories, remember that the second person of the “two” in that statement is quite small.

Some women take pregnancy as an opportunity to eat as much as they would like, whenever they would like, and this is bad for both mom and baby. Not only will you have more difficulty losing the baby weight afterwards, excess weight gain puts a strain on your heart as well as your back.

How Much Weight Is Too Much?

For a woman who was of an average, healthy weight for her height prior to pregnancy, the recommended weight gain is 25-35 lbs. An underweight woman should gain a little more, while overweight women should gain a little less. This should of course be adjusted for women carrying multiples, who will naturally gain more weight due to supporting more than one baby. Weight gain during pregnancy is absolutely normal, but gaining more than the recommended amount is not.

How to Prevent Excess Weight Gain

The number one key to healthy weight gain during pregnancy is a carefully monitored diet. Make sure that you are not taking in more calories than you need to. Focus your intake on nutrient rich foods and not empty calories that will leave you hungry and lead to weight gain.

Weight loss diets are never a good idea during pregnancy. Your baby needs you to take in the appropriate number of calories comprising all of the necessary vitamins and minerals. However, making healthy changes to your diet is acceptable, as long as it does not cause weight loss or prevent you from gaining the right amount of weight.

The Discomfort of Weight Gain

If you eat right and keep your diet healthy and balanced, you should not have any difficulty with gaining too much weight. However, even the normal amount of weight can be very uncomfortable to a body that is not used to the strain.

Carrying around all that extra weight, especially in the midsection, can make many women uncomfortable. It is hard on the back and the joints and may also make sleep difficult. This level of weight gain, however, should not usually happen until the last months of pregnancy. If you are having trouble with pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor. You may need physical therapy or take your maternity leave early in order to rest.

Wearing comfortable shoes and clothing, and sleeping with a special maternity pillow can help to ease some of the discomfort caused by weight gain. If nothing else, you can at least take heart in knowing that you are nearing the end of the pregnancy and will soon be able to shed those extra pounds.

If you are having trouble with large amounts of food due to the pressure of the baby on your stomach, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. This can reduce the difficulties of trying to fit enough food into an already crowded abdomen, especially towards the end of your pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes

Around the end of the second trimester, most pregnant women will be tested for gestational diabetes. This temporary form of diabetes can cause extra weight gain in both the mother and the baby. If you suspect you have gestational diabetes, talk to your doctor. You will need to be put on a special diet to control the condition.

Work with your doctor to ensure healthy weight gain from a nutritionally sound eating plan, and find ways to relieve the discomfort of your growing belly. Soon, it will be in the past!

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