It is perfectly normal to add on extra weight during pregnancy. The increase in your weight actually starts the moment you achieve pregnancy as your body prepares to create a perfect environment for growth and development of the fetus. On average, you are likely to add about 8 kg (leaving out that of the fetus). How do you gain this massive eight kilograms? Well, about 0.9 kg will come from growth of your womb (uterus), 1.2 kg from the increased blood volume, another 1.2 kg from extra fluid in your body, 0.5 kg from growth of your breasts and 4 kg will come from fat buildup for necessary energy during lactation. Your weight by the time you deliver is bound to be huge. Your baby will weighing roughly 3.3 kg, the placenta will weigh around 0.7 kg with other fluids weighing 0.8 kg. You will be weighing additional 13 kg by the time you deliver.
Upon delivery, you are likely to lose 7 kg, leaving you with extra 6 kg to carry. Depending on various factors, you may retain the extra 6 kg and add more, which can be a problem healthwise. Your situation can be made worse in case you achieved pregnancy when overweight. This means that you are likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy (which can extend after delivery), gestational diabetes and the possibility of delivering through cesarean section because of baby size. This does not mean that you need to be underweight before you achieve pregnancy; such can have serious health effects on you and fetus. Because getting pregnant when underweight or overweight has a negative effect on both your health and that of the fetus, it is only important that you get pregnant with a reasonable weight. You also need to take measures to avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy. How do you achieve this?
- Plan your meals – Planning your meals is very important during pregnancy. Failing to plan opens up an avenue fro you to eat anything that you come across. By planning, you know how much nutrients and calories you will consume in any given day. You can effectively control your weight through meal planning.
- Do not skip meals – Skipping any meal means that you are likely to eat more when you finally decide to eat. If it is breakfast (which some women avoid), ensure that you eat your breakfast without fail. It is important to balance it, eat calories with a lot of fruit or vegetable juices and proteins.
- Avoid foods high on fat and sugar – Choose foods that have a low fat and sugar content. If you are used to canned fruits, ensure that you read the label to ascertain fat and sugar content. Note that excess fat is stored by triglycerides in your body, in effect increasing your weight. Sugar also stimulates the storage of fat.
- Cooking – Your food preparation method is very important. In order to avoid excess weight gain during pregnancy, avoid frying your foods. Instead, broil, bake or steam them. Do not worry eating out because many food outlets will understand your dietary need and will provide what you need.
- Shopping – Shopping is the time when you can be tempted to buy foods that will eventually lead to excess weight gain. To avoid the same, go shopping on a full stomach with a prepared list of the foods you wish to buy. Avoid impulse buying. The same goes to parties. Attend parties on a full stomach and watch what you eat and drink.
- Drink lots of water – You are likely to translate dehydration to mean hunger and eat more. It is important that you drinks adequate amount of water daily. Note that water also plays a vital role in your digestive system and overall weight. Make it a routine to drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
Although it is natural to gain weight during pregnancy, it is very important to watch the same in order to avoid excess weight gain, which can be problem not only during the pregnancy but also after delivery. What you need to pay close attention to is the amount of calories you consume. Note that your body only requires a maximum of 2000 calories during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.