If there is one myth that is constantly circulating about pregnancy, it is the myth that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and however much you want without retribution. After all, you are “eating for two” and therefore can and should be eating constantly. This is a myth and stereotype that is only heard less than the idea that all pregnant women like pickles and ice cream together. The truth is that the pickles and ice cream stereotype is more accurate than being able to eat whatever you want.
Especially if you have gestational diabetes, it is important for all pregnant women to maintain a healthy diet. Your doctors will track your weight gain, and will likely discuss with you how much weight you should gain for a healthy pregnancy.
Complications of Gaining Too Much Weight
Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are more likely to have complications that could lead to needing a Cesarean birth. There is also a higher likelihood that they will have babies with high birth weights, tearing during labor, and excessive bleeding. Studies have suggested that these babies may also have an increased risk of having problems with obesity later in childhood.
Recommended Weight Gain
There is no one size fits all answer for how much you should gain. This is a question that is typically best to ask your doctor, as they are aware of your specific case and your body type. For the most part, however, doctors follow this general idea:
Underweight: 28 to 40 pounds
Average Weight: 25 to 35 pounds
Overweight: 15 to 25 pounds
Obese: 10 to 20 pounds
As you can see, these values range quite a bit. Your doctor will use your BMI, as well as your medical history and body type, to figure out how much you should gain for a healthy pregnancy.
Tips for Weight Management
• Healthy Options: Choose healthy foods to feed you and your growing miracle. Lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and plenty of fresh produce are the best foods to build your diet with.
• Portion Control: Eating for two is not a real thing. Instead, pregnant women should really only include a small amount of extra calories, depending on trimester. Most recommendations suggest 150 calories during the first trimester, 250-300 during the second, and 400-450 in the third trimester.
• Meal Planning: Following a meal plan can help you track and manage your diet all day, every day. You are less likely to make poor decisions if you already have everything planned and prepared for your daily meals and snacks.
• Exercise: The idea that you can’t exercise during pregnancy is another myth. Depending on your condition and how far along you are, you should still get some exercise. Low impact exercises include walking, swimming, and bouncing on a birthing ball.
Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain and how to best manage your weight. Discuss your options for healthy exercise and a good eating plan. Weight management during pregnancy might not sound like a lot of fun, but it is important for the health of you and your baby. Check out my sister site for more information about gestational diabetes.