Gaining too much weight can increase the risk of health problems for you and your baby.
If you are pregnant, you can expect to experience steady and gradual weight gain throughout your journey. In fact, weight gain is perfectly normal during pregnancy, but it is important to understand that gaining too much weight could actually increase your risk of health issues, both for you and your baby. So, how can you ensure that you maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy? Read on to learn how you can manage your weight in ways that are healthy and sustainable…
What influences weight gain during pregnancy?
There are a few factors that can influence how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. These include how and what you eat, as well as how active you are throughout your journey. If you experience symptoms like nausea and fatigue while you are pregnant, this may affect your weight gain. Similarly, changes to your appetite, such as food cravings and aversions, can also have an impact on how much weight you gain. Fluid retention is another important factor to consider.
How can you monitor your weight gain?
One of the best ways to stay on track with your pregnancy weight is to get continual feedback from your dietician, doctor, or midwife. They will be able to help you see if you are on the right track or if you need extra support when it comes to managing your weight gain.
You can also chat to your dietician about how to monitor your weight with the use of a pregnancy weight tracker. You can then jump on the scale every week or two at home and plot your progress on the chart they provided.
How can you manage your weight during pregnancy?
If you find that you are not gaining enough weight during your pregnancy, try to make sure that you have three meals a day, as well as snacks in between. If you are concerned, chat to your dietician, doctor, or midwife about ways in which you can increase your weight gain.
If, however, you are gaining too much weight, you should look more closely at what you are eating, as well as your portion sizes. Ask yourself if you are eating for two, and whether you are engaging in regular exercise every day.
In order to manage your weight during pregnancy, it is advisable that you eat regular meals with a good variety of foods from the five food groups. Limit your intake of foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugars, and added salt — these include cakes, biscuits, and sugary drinks.
It is also a good idea to try and remain active during your pregnancy.
What kind of snacks should you eat?
When choosing snacks, remember that a variety of foods every day will provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition that you and your baby need. Some good options include fresh fruit; dried fruit, nuts, and seeds; cheese and crackers; raw fresh vegetables; hard-boiled eggs; grainy bread with toppings like avocado, vegemite, eggs, sardine, baked beans, and peanut butter; and milk drinks like milo, fruit smoothies and Ovaltine.
How can we help?
Katrina Ridout is a dietician and nutritionist who loves to share her knowledge of health and nutrition with mothers-to-be and mums alike. If you are pregnant and need some support and advice regarding your nutrition and weight gain, please don’t hesitate to arrange a consultation.
Katrina offers a range of services to guide her patients from pre-conception through pregnancy and beyond. She also offers advice and services related to nutrition for fertility.