Pregnant women seem to fall into two categories where weight is concerned. Some take advantage of pregnancy as a time to eat anything they want with no concern about gaining weight. Others obsess over every bite of food and count every calorie. Neither of these is ideal. You can control your weight gain without starving yourself, or your baby.
Gaining too much weight while pregnant can pose health risks to both mom and baby, including:
* Gestational Diabetes
* Pre eclampsia
* Complications in labor and delivery
*An increased need for interventions during delivery
* Greater risk of needing a C section
* A large baby, requiring help from a vacuum extraction, forceps or c section
Not gaining enough weight during pregnancy can be just as dangerous. A growing fetus needs proper nutrition for healthy growth. Dieting and restricting food intake can pose serious risks to the unborn baby, including low birth weight. Pregnant women need to avoid becoming obsessed about weight gain. Unfortunately, the super model pregnant moms who seem to bounce back a week after the baby is born don’t help.
While dieting isn’t recommended, you can control weight gain with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s important to meet your baby’s nutritional needs while watching for excessive weight gain. I had to learn to do this after my second pregnancy. I craved hot wings and french fries. I indulged this craving way too often and ended up gaining 40 pounds. Losing that weight was difficult. When I finally did lose it, I found I was pregnant with my third baby. I vowed not to go crazy with food again.
Choose lean sources of protein, such as skinless chicken breast. Select whole grains and complex carbohydrates and avoid refined sugars and processed foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose low fat milk and drink plenty of water. Stay away from snack foods, cakes, soda and candy. It’s ok to indulge once in a while, but don’t make these foods a regular part of your diet.
Talk to your doctor about exercise. Exercising during pregnancy is good for most women. If you were active prior to becoming pregnant, chances are it’s fine to continue. Check with your doctor, as each woman’s situation is different. Exercises such as walking, swimming, using a treadmill, yoga and prenatal fitness classes can keep you in great shape and prepare your body for labor.