Weight gain is something most women worry about, especially prior to becoming pregnant. Even pregnant women dread packing on the pounds, especially when they entertain the idea of how they’ll lose that weight following the birth of the baby. Americans are constantly obsessing and fretting over their weight, pregnant and non-pregnant women alike, so it comes as no surprise that expectant mothers worry about the pounds they’re packing on during this nine month journey.
You’re Not “Eating for Two.”
A common saying when it comes to pregnancy, is that the woman is “Eating for two!” Although this may be true in a sense, it shouldn’t be taken too literally. Just because a woman is pregnant, doesn’t mean she should be eating twice as much! Realistically, a pregnant woman only requires 300 additional calories per day. She may require more if she is expecting more than one baby, or has special health concerns to take into consideration.
Weight Gain Varies from Woman to Woman
One of the most common things said by newly pregnant women, is that they will “only gain the minimum” amount of weight required by pregnancy books. It is not a good idea to place limits on yourself while pregnant, or restrict weight gain. Weight gain varies from woman to woman. Although it’s true that that average sized woman gains an average of 25 pounds during her pregnancy, a smaller woman might gain more, while a larger woman might gain less. Some women even lose weight or stay the same weight and have perfectly healthy babies; without dieting or compromising their own health, or the health of their unborn baby. It’s important for women to understand that weight gain varies, and provided that you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting a moderate, pregnancy-appropriate amount of exercise, there is little to no reason to worry about how much weight is gained.
Dieting While Pregnant is a No-No!
Dieting while pregnant is not a good idea; especially low-carb, low-fat, or other especially restrictive diets. Dieting can deprive your unborn baby of the nutrients and minerals he or she needs to grow healthy and strong. Dieting should never be undertaken while pregnant. If you have concerns about your weight, even while pregnant, talk to your caregiver about it. Making simple changes (such as choosing fresh fruit instead of canned or taking the stairs instead of the elevator) can make a huge difference in your overall physical health.
Special Circumstances May Make Weight Relevant
Although for most women, how much or how little they gain is irrelevant, some women may have certain health conditions, such as gestational diabetes, that make weight gain more risky. If this is the case, you should remain in close contact with your caregiver and follow your caregiver’s instructions regarding your diet.
The Bottom Line
Weight can be a tough issue to tackle; no women wants to gain more than she can lose after, but they also want to gain enough to ensure a healthy baby. Although weight gain plays some role in pregnancy, it shouldn’t be focused so heavily on (unless a certain health condition requires it). Weight gain in pregnancy varies from woman to woman; some lose weight, some gain weight, some stay the same. The only thing that matters is that the woman is eating well, exercising regularly, and her baby is on track developmentally.
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