Monday, July 13, 2009

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Pregnancy and weightloss

An inevitable part of your pregnancy will be weight gain. Of course, you might wonder just how much weight is appropriate for you to gain. It all depends on your pre-pregnancy size and how many babies you’re carrying.

Standard guidelines use body mass index (BMI) to determine how much weight you should gain. The Institute of Medicine updated its recommendations on maternal weight gain during pregnancy, increasing them from previous guidelines. See the table below for the current recommended weight-gain guidelines:

Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain
Underweight BMI less than 19.8 28–40 pounds
Normal weight BMI of 19.8 to 25 25–35 pounds
Twins 35–45 pounds, regardless of pre-pregnancy weight
Overweight BMI above 25 15–25 pounds

If women don’t gain weight enough during the 9 months their baby is growing, there’s a greater risk of low birth weight.

This means you should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.

When you’re pregnant, everything you do either contributes to you and your baby’s health. Mothers who eat an unhealthy diet during pregnancy may be putting their children at risk of developing long term health issues.

Higher intakes of protein and micronutrients are also required to support fetal development and milk production. An additional 25 g (EAR=21 g) of protein per day is recommended for pregnant and lactating adolescents

Keep record of your weight pre-conception so your doctor can more accurately pinpoint your target weight gain. You should definitely meet the minimum weight gain suggested.

Here is a few tips to keep you and your baby healthy
- Try to eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals while pregnant
- Limit the caffeine you get each day to 200 milligrams
- Get 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily foods
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it
- Avoid Herbal supplements
- Fish oil supplements instead of fish. Most commercially available fish oil supplements have been tested for heavy metals such as mercury.

Some experts think that pregnant women should try to avoid excess weight gain as much as possible. So if your BMI is at or above 30, talk to your doctor before starting a diet during your pregnancy.

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