How to Gain the Right Amount of Weight during Your Pregnancy
When it comes to baby weight, one size doesn't fit all. Figure out what's right for you and your baby with these guidelines.
: Always consult your doctor before embarking on any diet.
Step 1: Know what "eating for two" means Realize that "eating for two" doesn't mean doubling your food. It means remembering that every morsel you put in your mouth affects your baby.
Step 2: Know the weight guidelines Know the recommended weight guidelines: 28 to 40 pounds if you're underweight; anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds if you're normal weight; and 15 to 25 pounds if you're overweight. Women may gain more if they are pregnant with more than one baby.
TIP: Most pregnant women only need to consume between 100 and 300 more calories a day than they did before.
Step 3: Gain weight gradually Gain the weight gradually. The general recommendation for a woman of normal weight is to gain two to four pounds during the first trimester, and about a pound a week for the remaining six months.
TIP: Research shows that women who gain too much in the first trimester have a more difficult time shedding their pregnancy weight than those who gain weight gradually.
Step 4: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables Eat at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day, with the rest of your calories divided among whole grains, dairy, and lean protein. For help in devising a food plan based on your height and weight, go to mypyramid.gov.
TIP: If you use a sugar substitute, use sucralose, marketed under the name Splenda. It's considered the safest one for pregnant women.
Step 5: Exercise Exercise while you're pregnant for at least 30 minutes a few days a week. Not only is it healthier for your baby, it will also allow you to enjoy some treats without gaining all your allotted pregnancy pounds in the first trimester!
FACT: Two to three pounds of pregnancy weight are gained in the mother's breasts.