You can protect your health and your growing baby with a healthy diet. Keep in mind that what and how you eat during pregnancy will affect your child's future health. Pregnancy is a time of "extras": extra tender love and care for you and your new life inside, and extra weight!
In terms of nutrition during pregnancy, you'll need extra calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. All these foods will give your body the energy and nutritional resources it needs to support the developing fetus.
How much weight do you need to gain? Put it this way: pregnancy is not the time to lose weight or diet. During your pregnancy you should aim to gain about 20 to 35 pounds, although this might vary depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.
Your weight gain during pregnancy likely will not be steady at first: most women typically gain between 2 and 8 pounds during the first trimester. A good rate of gain after the first trimester is approximately 0.75 lbs each week, and you should aim to gain weight slowly but steadily during the last half of your pregnancy.
Keep in mind that these are average figures for many women, so if your weight gain pattern is different, it doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong.
Whatever your previous weight, now's the time to adopt a sensible approach to eating well. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian about what is an appropriate weight gain during pregnancy for you.
Keep in mind the following tips:
- Your weight before pregnancy will determine what is considered to be a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. While weight gain is normal during pregnancy, you should contact your doctor if you experience any sudden changes (gains or losses).
- Dieting is strongly not recommended during pregnancy, as it may be harmful to the development of the baby.
- You should choose from a variety of healthy food choices to ensure you are getting the best nutrition possible.