Contrary to popular belief, pregnancy is not an excuse to eat whatever you want.
Pregnancy is a beautiful, scary, life-changing event that affects your body in ways you can't even imagine. Many moms-to-be have no idea what to expect, except for what they hear from other moms. There are a lot of changes your body goes through that no one tells you about. Your body must expand and adjust to make room for your little bundle of joy, which can change how you look and feel both during pregnancy and beyond. There are weird facts nobody tells you about weight gain and pregnancy that we'll share with you so you know what to expect when you're expecting.
How Much Should You Gain?
Many women think that it is okay to eat whatever they want and as much as they want since they are pregnant, but eating too much can be bad for you and the baby. Excessive weight gain can lead to gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and a C-section instead of a vaginal delivery. Any of these conditions can put you or your baby in danger. Plus, the more weight you gain, the harder it will be to lose once you give birth. Weight gain and pregnancy go side by side and the pounds you gained during pregnancy do not just disappear when you deliver. The average pregnant woman should eat between 1600 and 1800 calories a day to gain the right amount of weight, which is about 25-35 pounds. Overweight pregnant woman should gain between 15-25 pounds and underweight pregnant women should put on between 28-40 pounds.
What To Eat When You're Pregnant:
You often see pregnant women on TV eating weird food combinations or eating big meals to help them put on extra pounds. These stereotypes are completely misleading. Yes, you will get cravings, but odds are it will be for something you already eat, like ice cream, not something bizarre like pickles and peanut butter. A weird thing that may happen though is that you may become nauseous when you smell certain foods, including ones you loved before you became pregnant. If you develop an aversion to a certain food and its good for you, like chicken, make sure you substitute it in your diet with something just as healthy. Overall your diet should have lots of whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy and proteins, with plenty of fruits and vegetables so you gain weight at a gradual rate.
How Can You Keep Track Of Your Weight?
Often, pregnant women don't realize how important it is to keep track of how much weight they gain and when. Your physician will weigh you at every visit to see if you're gaining weight properly. He will also measure your stomach with a tape measure to see if your body is adjusting right to your weight gain. Proper weight gain tells the doctor everything is okay. If you gain weight slowly in your last trimester it can be an indication that there is a problem, like preeclampsia, so tracking your weight is extremely important.
Where Does The Weight Go?
When you're pregnant the weight does not just go to your belly. Weight is distributed to several parts of your body to prepare it for childbirth, some of which may seem odd but actually makes total sense. In addition to your belly, weight goes to the following areas:
- Breasts: Extra weight goes here to get you ready to breastfeed.
- Hips: Your hips take on a few extra pounds to help them expand and get ready to push out the baby.
- Feet: Yes, your feet take on some weight to hold up your expanding body. Some women go up one whole shoe size during pregnancy and they usually stay that size even after the baby is born.
Does Weight Gain Affect Your Overall Health?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is not a permanent condition if you diet and exercise after you give birth. If you gain the proper amount of weight it will not leave you with any adverse health effects either. However, pregnancy can change the shape of your body, so it may look different than before. For instance, many women are more pear shaped after birth. Even after going back to their pre-pregnancy weight they do not fit into their jeans because their hips are wider.
Gaining weight during pregnancy safely is best for you and your baby. Many of these changes are slightly odd, but small, and once you are aware of them they are easy to deal with. Consult your physician throughout your pregnancy to make sure you are gaining weight the right way and that you and your baby are healthy.