When you get pregnant, a lot of things are going to change. Your relationship dynamics with the family, your roles and duties, what you eat, what you wear and the many, many emotions that you get. Although it is advised to eat healthy while pregnant, we can’t help but cave into our cravings sometimes. For some of us, we tend to cave in more often than others. We still intend to eat healthy for the sake of our little ones as well as our own health and well-being.
It is commonly known about how women gain weight during pregnancy. Did you know that many women often LOSE weight during pregnancy? This usually happens to obese women and they may face weight loss in the 1st and 3rd trimester of their pregnancy due to the morning sickness and indigestion. If you too are losing weight drastically, you should consult your doctor about it.
You cannot hide from gaining weight out of the fear that you won’t be able to lose it later. Your baby needs that extra bit of nourishment so you need to eat to make up for that. Here are a few guidelines on how you can manage your weight gain effectively during pregnancy.
1. Eat smaller frequent meals
The key to gaining weight in a healthy way is not to eat a lot at one sitting. Rather, you should eat a little bit at each meal time and eat about 5-6 times a day. This is an effective way to manage portion sizes. Ensure you get the right amount of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals at each meal. In addition to this, you should have 2 glasses of milk every day for your calcium intake.
2. Understand your needs
It is important to consult your doctor about everything your body needs in order to have a healthy and safe delivery to a healthy and happy baby. Ask them what nutrients you need to take and about any exercises you may need to do to strengthen your body. Figure out how much weight you need to gain and how many calories you need to consume per day. Those who are underweight would have to eat more than those who are at a normal weight and those who are obese would not have to gain much weight. Once you come to terms with what you and your baby need and why you need it, you will feel more motivated to stay healthy.
3. Consider taking supplements
If you feel that you are not able to take in enough nutrients on a daily basis, you should consider asking your doctor for supplements. They will be able to guide you on what supplements you need to take based on your body’s requirement. This is especially useful for those who have food allergies and can’t eat certain foods like dairy, meat or nuts.
4. Exercising is important
Not a lot of people know this but exercise is important even during pregnancy. You shouldn’t stop exercising now just because you are pregnant. Even when you aren’t pregnant, you should be exercising 5 days a week, switching between cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility. The only difference is that the intensity of the workouts and type of workouts will change when you are pregnant. There are exercises that will help you strengthen your back to make labour easier for you. There are also exercises that help position your baby in the right position. Discuss with your doctor to decide what exercises you should do and how often.
Fact: Mango is a great fruit to eat during pregnancy as it is rich in folates, iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Potassium - all of which are vital during pregnancy.
5. Start out healthy
This is actually a tip for before you are pregnant. Ensure that you are in the ideal weight range for your height and that you are eating healthily and exercising regularly. Drink plenty of water and incorporate healthy living before trying to conceive. This way, your body will be prepared for the baby long before you get pregnant. Also, if you make it a habit to consciously eat healthily, you are less likely to give in to just every craving you have during pregnancy.
6. Drink plenty of fluids
One way to ensure that you keep your weight and health in check is to drink adequate fluids on a regular basis. If you don’t consume enough water, your body will not be able to function properly. This can lead to worsening of your pregnancy symptoms like indigestion and heartburn. So make sure you stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle near you at all times.