Pregnancy and Weight Gain: Balancing Weight That is Needed Vs. the “Extras”

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Everyone knows that pregnancy changes a women’s body, it is inevitable.  Weight gain, those dreaded stretch marks, and sometimes certain body parts don’t sit as “Perky” as they used to.  But don’t worry, the end result makes all those changes worth it; when you are holding your precious bundle (or bundles!) the last thing on a mother’s mind is her pre-pregnancy body.

Here are a few tips to ease into your expected pregnancy weight gain, without gaining weight too quickly:

1. Get the notion out of your head that you are “eating for two”

Yes, you do need more calories, but not until the second and third trimesters.  In the first trimester your baby does not get any bigger than a plum, or a small apple. The calories needed to support this fetus are sustained by a normal 1500-2000 calorie diet provided by the mother.  When your baby has substantial growth spurts in the second and third trimesters, that is when you need an additional 300 to 500 calories per day.  Yes, you technically have two bellies to fill, but remember, one of them is very, very tiny!

2. Find an activity that keeps you moving every day.

For most, this can mean a brisk walk around the neighborhood with your spouse or family member.  Finding someone who will go with you and keep you accountable really helps. Also, keep in mind- three ten minute walks are just as beneficial as one thirty-minute walk.  Just because you are pregnant does not mean you have the excuse to sit around and be lazy. Many pregnant women find it beneficial to hire a Certified Personal Trainer that has experience with pre-natal women. Having the accountability of a trained professional can really help with unwanted and unnecessary weight gain.

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Be conscious about what you are nourishing your body, and consequently, your baby’s body with.

Those extra calories needed in the second and third trimesters do not mean a bowl of ice cream every day! Rather, focus on eating extra raw fruits and veggies with every meal, along with a good source of lean protein at least once a day.  Not every pregnant woman is fortunate enough to have healthy cravings; it is ok to indulge every now and then, but try to always be aware that what you consume fabricates itself into your developing child.

3. Drink plenty of water.

This is beneficial for everyone, regardless if you are pregnant or not.  Drinking water during pregnancy helps your body to cope with the demands of your changing body. Keeping hydrated regulates all functions of your body and keeps headaches, nausea, and edema at bay.

Disclaimer: These are the opinions and experiences of the author. As always, consult your OBGYN before undertaking any new diet or workout routine and always be under the supervision of a trained professional.

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