Though experiencing motherhood brings joy to many women’s hearts, gaining too much weight during pregnancy does not.
During the nine months of pregnancy, moms-to-be go on a roller coaster ride of emotions and moods swings. Some women can’t eat much at all during the first trimester, and then can’t eat enough during the following six months. Others experience an insatiable hunger throughout their whole pregnancy!
Pregnant woman (photo: mercymomspregnancyclinic)
Though it’s true that “eating for two” shouldn’t be taken literally, the appetite of some moms may actually double during pregnancy.
However, dieting during pregnancy is highly discouraged as it may negatively affect the health of your unborn baby. Staying in shape and having a healthy baby is not an impossible feat though.
1- Prepare your body for pregnancy
Being fit and healthy before conception increases the likelihood that you will stay that way during your pregnancy. If you plan on conceiving in the future, start a regular workout routine now, focusing on both fitness and core body strength. Eat a balanced diet; get plenty of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, limit your caffeine intake, and avoid fish that is high in mercury levels, such as swordfish and tuna.
2- Remember that what goes into your mouth reaches your baby
With the huge appetite that accompanies pregnancy, many women find it hard to eat in moderation. This is not a problem if you have a healthy diet! To motivate yourself, think of the fact that you need to provide your unborn baby with the proper nutrients.
Don’t buy any junk food, chips, candy, or chocolate bars. Instead, fill up your kitchen with eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, all kinds of fruits, vegetables and interesting salad ingredients. Don’t forget your lean protein as well. Iron-rich foods should be a daily staple in your diet. Thankfully, iron is found in a variety of foods. You can enjoy as much mushroom rucola salad with grated parmesan as your heart desires, without worrying about unnecessary weight gain.
3- Watch the scale
Both the total amount of weight and the rate at which you gain it makes a difference in both you and your baby’s health. The slower you gain the weight, the easier it will be for your body to bounce back into shape.
During the first trimester, it’s normal to gain 1-3 kilograms. After that, weight gain of around 2 kilograms per month, at a rate of half a kg per week should be the norm. Weight gain during the last month of pregnancy may slow down or come to a halt.
It’s important to remember that for a healthy pregnancy, you should gain around 10-15 kilograms in total. Gaining less than this amount may compromise the health of your baby. Women who put on the recommended amount of weight find it much easier to shed than those who gain more.
4- Keep moving
Unless you are experiencing a complicated pregnancy, you should be able to maintain your exercise routine, with some modifications. You should be able to carry on a conversation during your workout — this is an indicator that you aren’t exerting too much effort.
Do not begin a rigorous workout routine during pregnancy; if you haven’t previously exercised, you may keep in shape by walking, swimming, or taking prenatal yoga classes. Exercising during pregnancy should not be painful or uncomfortable.
Pregnancy and childbirth don’t necessarily have to take a huge toll on women’s bodies. The more you take care of yourself the less of an impact they will leave. At the end of the day though, regardless of what you weigh on the scale, your bundle of joy will make up for your softer belly and fuller hips.