When it comes to pregnancy, expectant mothers are bound to believe one or more urban legends. Some of these, however, can put pregnant women at risk of certain health problems, so they must visit their doctor instead of heeding unsolicited advice from friends and family. Pregnant women must avoid the mantras of “eating for two” and “eating as much as you crave” at all costs if they want to avoid gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Expectant mothers should strive for a healthy weight gain since gaining too much or too little weight might cause health problems.
“If you gain weight during pregnancy, you’re more likely to develop diabetes or have high blood pressure. It is also linked to having a large baby, which might result in delivery problems or the need for a C-section. Obesity is more likely in big newborns as they grow up. It’s also tough for mothers to lose weight after giving birth “Dr. Neha Gill PT, Senior Physiotherapist at Chandigarh’s Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, agrees.
Dr. Gill, on the other hand, advises mothers to gain the necessary weight throughout pregnancy to avoid preterm birth or a baby. “Small newborns are vulnerable to illness and may experience delays in attaining developmental milestones. Breastfeeding can be challenging in the early stages of life “According to the expert.
So, what is the ideal weight gain for a pregnant woman?
The optimal weight gain during pregnancy is determined by pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy BMI (Body mass index).
According to the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, pregnancy weight gain guidelines are as follows:
Pre-pregnancy weight gain Recommended
Underweight (BMI under 18.5)
Normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9) 11-16 kg
Overweight (BMI 25-29.9) 7-11 kg
Obesity (BMI 30 or more) 5-9 kg
According to your health care physician, if you’re having twins or many pregnancies, you’ll gain more weight.
“In general, you should gain roughly 0.9-1.8 kilogrammes in the first three months and about 0.5 kilogrammes every week for the duration of your pregnancy,” Dr. Gill explains.
What role does exercise play in body weight maintenance?
“When we exercise, our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which aids in the maintenance of adequate homeostasis for greater efforts by our physical, metabolic, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. The metabolic system slows down during pregnancy, but when you engage in some form of exercise, your metabolism speeds up “According to the expert.
Tips for maintaining a healthy weight when pregnant
- Keep note of your weight from the beginning to the end of your pregnancy.
- Consume a well-balanced diet.
- Stay away from fatty or sugary foods.
- Participate in a prenatal fitness programme.
- Try to go for a stroll on a regular basis.