During pregnancy, a proper diet is extremely important for both the health of the mother and that of the child. As this 9-month period is accompanied by weight gain and food cravings, it is important to be aware of exactly how many pounds the mother should be gaining. Knowing this information can help prevent conditions, such as gestational diabetes and birth defects.
A series of weight gain recommendations for full-term pregnancies has been formulated based upon the mother’s pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index. A list of these recommendations is shown below:
· Underweight: 28-40 lbs.
· Recommended weight: 25-35 lbs.
· Overweight: 15-25 lbs.
· Obese: 11-20 lbs.
Weight gain will increase for those expecting twins (with no set recommendation for underweight mothers-to-be):
· Recommended weight: 37-54 lbs.
· Overweight: 31-50 lbs.
· Obese: 25-42 lbs.
In addition, increased energy needs are based on that of trimesters, but should be gradually increased as the pregnancy progresses:
· No extra calories are needed for the first trimester.
· An added 340 calories per day is advised for the second trimester.
· The mother should consume 450 calories more calories per day (than when not pregnant) in the third trimester.
This added energy should come from foods high in nutrients rather than those high in fat and/or sugar. Such foods include: lean proteins, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.
These guidelines should be combined with 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day if the mother seems to be gaining more weight than is recommended for her BMI.
Lastly, it is important to consult a physician concerning any exercise routine or additional supplements taken during the pregnancy.
These guidelines and more can be found at: http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/pregnancy/prenatal-wellness/healthy-weight-during-pregnancy