|Pregnancy - 39 weeks|
Pregnancy is not a good time to go on a diet - if you're overweight it's much better to try and address the issue before you become pregnant. However you can change the way you eat to ensure your diet includes all the right nutrients for pregnant women, leave out the foods to avoid when pregnant and do your best to avoid piling on extra unnecessary pounds.
Remember, eating for two doesn't mean eating twice as much! It does mean eating carefully to ensure you include all the right nutrients for you and your baby, without adding extra calories that won't benefit either of you. A healthy pregnancy diet only needs to include around 250-300 additional daily calories - but not until the third trimester!
So what is a normal weight gain in pregnancy?
Most pregnant women gain between 8-14 kgs (17.5- 30lbs) - the average is around 12.5 kg (or 27.5 lbs) which is of course considerably more than your baby will weigh.
So how is your extra pregnancy weight made up?
At birth the average baby weighs around 3.3 kg (7.3lb)
Expect the placenta to weigh 0.7kg (1.5lb)
The amniotic fluid weights around 0.8kg (1.8lb)
Your breasts will grow in size - that extra cleavage will add around 0.4kg (0.9lbs) to your weight
And your body will store around 4kg (8.8lb) in preparation for feeding your baby
The muscle layer of your uterus increases and will add around 0.9kg (2lb) to your weight
Pregnant women have an increase of around 50% in the volume of blood circulating in their body -and this adds another 1.2kg (2.6lb)
And extra fluid adds 1.2kg (2.6lb) to your pregnancy weight
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can affect your health and increase your blood pressure, increasing the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. There is a higher risk of C-section deliveries amongst obese women and it can be difficult to shift the pregnancy weight after the birth.
Gaining too little weight during pregnancy can cause problems such as premature birth or a baby with a low birth weight - although plenty of naturally slim, fit and healthy women remain slim during pregnancy and produce healthy, normal weight babies.
Staying active and continuing to exercise during pregnancy will help you to maintain a normal weight gain whilst pregnant. If you are overweight and not used to exercising when you become pregnant it doesn't rule out any exercise at all - you can still include walking, swimming or even some gentle aerobics or pregnancy work outs. And if you already include exercise as part of your pre-pregnancy lifestyle continuing to exercise regularly will be beneficial.
Eat well, choose healthy options and aim for 30 minutes exercise a day! And if you have any issues regarding your weight, diet or exercise talk it over with your midwife or doctor.
Alexandra McCabe is a founder of https://www.fittamamma.com, the healthy pregnancy experts. FittaMamma is a free resource to help women enjoy an active pregnancy with workout videos, recipes and step by step yoga guides. Read here for tips on what to eat when you're pregnant, how to avoid pregnancy weight gain and recipes to include your important pregnancy vitamins http://bit.ly/14RGCWV