Pregnancy Weight Gain Guide
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guide

by Nicole Galan

You're already gaining weight, so it makes sense that many new moms might think of pregnancy as an excuse to fill up on favorite foods. But it's actually important for you and your health care provider to monitor your weight gain during pregnancy.

Experts now know that putting on too many pounds can increase the risk for developing serious pregnancy conditions, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and also up the chance of a premature delivery.

Keep these tips in mind in order to gain at a healthy pace while expecting.

Gain Weight Gradually

Experts says that most of the weight gain should occur during the second and third trimesters, and at a gradual pace. Your health care provider is the best resource for how much and when to gain during your pregnancy, and you'll be weighed at each prenatal visit.

If you're gaining too much, too fast, opt for healthier food choices, eat six small meals throughout the day instead of three larger ones, and talk to your doctor about starting an exercise routine. If you gain an excessive amount, your doctor may suggest waiting until after your pregnancy to lose the weight.

Eat well

Turns out that you don't need to eat a lot more to properly nourish yourself and your new baby when you're pregnant. You only need an additional 150 to 200 healthy calories each day when expecting during the first trimester, and about 300 during the second and third.

Instead of munching on junk food, look for nutritious snacks that are high in protein and vitamins to support your growing baby. Cheese and whole wheat crackers, nut butter and apple slices, sliced vegetables with hummus, and even frozen fruit bars are all good options.

Don't rush it

It may be tempting to get back to your pre-baby size as soon as possible, but losing the baby weight too fast can leave you without enough energy to properly take care of your new baby.

Stick to a nutritious diet and exercise routine (once your doctor gives you the go-ahead), and put the focus on your health instead of your weight.

Of course, pregnancy is definitely a time to indulge a little.

While it's fine to give in to cravings occasionally, it's important to keep control of your weight and your diet, not only for your sake, but the health of your new baby, too.

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Women's Health: Pregnancy Weight Gain Guide