Health Tips for Pregnant Women

Health Tips for Pregnant Women

Having a child is a beautiful time for women, and it frequently motivates them to make healthier lifestyle choices and, if necessary, strive toward achieving a healthy body weight. Suggestions on how to optimize your food and physical exercise habits while expecting. These suggestions are also valuable if you are not pregnant but are considering having a child. You can become adjusted to new lifestyle patterns by making changes immediately. As a result, you will provide the best possible start in life for your child and set a healthy standard for your family for the rest of their lives.

Healthy Weight

Importance of Increasing a Healthy Amount of Weight Throughout Pregnancy

Maintaining the proper amount of weight throughout pregnancy aids in the growth of your baby to a healthy size. However, gaining or losing too much weight can cause significant health issues for you and your baby. Experts claim that gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases your risk of developing gestational diabetes, or diabetes during pregnancy, as well as high blood pressure. It also raises your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and developing high blood pressure later in life. In adding, if you are overweight or obese when you become pregnant, your chances of developing health problems are increased. You may also have a higher chance of having a cesarean section (C-section).

Acquiring a healthy amount of weight will make your pregnancy and childbirth go more smoothly. It might also make it relaxed for you to regain your pre-pregnancy weight following delivery. In addition, according to research, gaining the proper amount of weight during pregnancy can reduce your or your child's risk of obesity and weight-related issues later in life.

How Much Weight a Pregnant Woman Should Gain

Your BMI (body mass index) before pregnancy determines how much weight you should gain. The BMI is a measurement of your weight relating to your height. You may calculate your BMI online using a formula NIH external link. The following general weight-gain advice is for women who have only had one child.

If you are

It would help if you gained about

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)

12 to 18 Kgs

Standard weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9)

11 to 15 Kgs

Overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9)

6 to 11 Kgs

Obese (BMI of 30+)

4 to 9 Kgs

It is critical to gain weight gradually. It's a common misconception that you're "eating for two." This is not the case. Your infant is only the size of a walnut during the first three months and does not require any extra calories. It is recommended that you acquire weight at the following rate:

  • 0.45 Kg to 2 Kgs total in the first three months
  • 0.90 to 2 Kgs each month from 4 months until delivery

Consult your doctor to determine how much weight gain is appropriate for you. Set targets for your weight increase with them. Consider your age, weight, and overall health. Keep track of your weight at home or when you visit your doctor. If you're expecting a child, do not strive to lose weight. Your kid needs to be introduced to healthful foods and low-calorie beverages, notably water, to thrive. At the onset of pregnancy, some women may lose a modest amount of weight. If this happens to you, make an appointment with your doctor.

Healthy Eating

How Much Should a Pregnant Woman Eat and Drink

Healthy foods and low-calorie beverages, including water, as well as the right quantity of calories, may help you and your baby grow the weight you need. The amount of food and calories you require is determined by factors such as your pre-pregnancy weight, age, and the rate you gain weight. As per to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you require no additional calories in your initial trimester, about 340 additional calories in your second trimester, and about 450 extra calories in your third trimester if you are a healthy weight. 1 Additionally, you may not require additional calories during the final weeks of pregnancy.

Make a schedule with your doctor to discuss your weight gain. If you aren't gaining the weight you require, they may suggest increasing your calorie intake. On the other hand, you may need to reduce your calorie intake to gain too much weight. Each woman's requirements are distinct. Your needs will also vary depending on whether you were underweight, overweight, or obese before becoming pregnant, as well as whether you are expecting several children.

What Foods and Beverages Should a Pregnant Woman Consume

Nutrient-dense foods and beverages are part of a healthy pregnancy diet? The American Dietary Guidelines for 2015–2020 recommend the following foods and beverages every day:

  • veggies and fruits (offer vitamins and fibre)
  • oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice are examples of whole grains (provide fibre, B vitamins, and other needed nutrients)
  • dairy-free soy, almond, rice, or other beverages with added calcium and vitamin D; fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; nondairy soy, almond, rice, or other drinks with added calcium and vitamin D
  • Beans and peas, eggs, lean meats, low-mercury seafood up to 12 ounces per week, and unsalted nuts and seeds, provided you can stomach them and aren't allergic to them, are all excellent sources of protein.

Salt, solid fats like butter, lard, and shortening, and sugar-sweetened drinks and meals are all restricted in a healthy diet. Is your eating plan up to par? What steps can you take to change your habits? For example, for breakfast, combine berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal; for lunch, combine a salad with beans, tofu, or another non-meat protein; and for dinner, combine a lean serving of meat chicken, turkey, or fish with steamed vegetables. Consider some new, healthy foods and beverages to try. Please make a list of your thoughts and discuss them with your doctor.

What if the Pregnant Woman is a Vegetarian

During pregnancy, a vegetarian diet can be beneficial. Consider the quality of your diet and speak with your doctor to ensure you're receiving sufficient calcium, protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and other essential minerals. Your medic may also advise you to take vitamins and minerals to assist you in fulfilling your requirements.

Needs of Special Nutrition During Pregnancy

Absolutely. Supplementary vitamins and minerals, such as folate, iron, and calcium, are essential during pregnancy. It is critical to consume the recommended amount of folate. Folate, generally acknowledged as folic acid, is a B vitamin that may help prevent birth abnormalities. In adding to the folate you obtain naturally from foods and beverages, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods before becoming pregnant. 600 mcg is required throughout pregnancy. You require 500 mcg of folate each day during nursing. Orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified bread, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals are all high in folate. These foods may even give 100 percent of the daily recommended folic acid intake in a single serving.

According to most healthcare providers, pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamin every day and eat healthful foods, snacks, and beverages. Also, inquire with your doctor about which medications you should use.

The Foods and Drinks Should be Avoided During Pregnancy

They may harm your baby if you consume certain foods or beverages while pregnant. Here's a list of things you should stay away from:

  • Do not consume alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, or liquors.
  • Drink decaf coffee or tea, non-sugar drinks, or water with a splash of juice. Avoid diet drinks, and restrict caffeine-containing beverages to less than 200 mg per day, about 12 ounces of coffee.
  • Fish with high mercury levels a toxins that can accumulate in fish and harm an unborn infant. White tuna must be limited to 6 ounces each week. King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, and tilefish are all off-limits. You can consume up to 12 ounces of seafood each week to acquire the beneficial nutrients found in fish and shellfish, and you can choose from a variety of safe seafood options such as cod, salmon, and shrimp.
  • Foods that could make you or your infant sick due to viruses, parasites, or bacteria like Listeria or E. coli Avoid unpasteurized or raw milk soft cheeses, raw cookie dough, undercooked meats, eggs, and shellfish, and deli salads. Instead, choose and prepare lunch meats, egg dishes, and meat spreads with care.
  • Anything that is not food is a no-no. Laundry starch, mud, ashes, or paint chips are examples of non-food items that some pregnant women crave. This could indicate that you aren't getting enough of a specific nutrient. If you have a craving for anything that isn't food, talk to your doctor. They can assist you in getting the proper nutrition.

Physical Activity

Should a Pregnant Woman be Physically Active During Pregnancy

Mostly, all pregnant women can and must engage in physical activity? Regular physical activity, according to current physical activity guidelines, may:

  • assist you, and your kid is gaining the proper amount of weight
  • backaches, leg cramps, and bloating are reduced
  • lower your chances of developing gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • lower your chances of developing postpartum depression

Physical movement has also been shown to lessen the risk of preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), reduce the length of labour and postpartum recovery, and minimize the risk of having a cesarean section during pregnancy (or C-section). You might not need to change your exercise habits if you were physically active before becoming pregnant. Talk to your physician about how to modify your training routine during pregnancy.

If you do not have childcare for your other children, have never exercised before, or Do not know what to do, being physically active can be difficult. Continue reading for advice on how to overcome these obstacles while staying physically active.

How Much and What Type of Physical Activity do a Pregnant Woman Need

Most women, according to current recommendations, require the same amount of physical activity that they did before becoming pregnant. Target for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Aerobic workouts, often known as endurance or cardio activities, include using big muscular groups (the back, chest, and legs) to raise your heart rate and breathing rate. A form of aerobic exercise is brisk walking.

How can you know if you're engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise? To find out, do the "talk test." It's moderate intensity if you're breathing heavily but can still carry on a conversation but can't sing. Vigorous-intensity activity is when you can only pronounce a few words before halting for a breath. If you were practising vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise or were physically active before becoming pregnant, you can likely continue doing so during your pregnancy.

You can discuss whether or not to modify your physical activity while pregnant with your health care provider. For example, if you have a health problem like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anaemia (insufficient healthy red blood cells), talk to your doctor about a safe activity level for you and your unborn baby.

How Can a Woman Stay Active while Pregnant

You can be active during pregnancy even if you have never been active before? Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a walk with a family associate or friend around your neighborhood, in a nearby park or a retail mall. If you have kids, take them along to make it a family outing.
  • If you sit for much of the day, get up and move around at least once an hour. For example, get up and walk around when watching TV or sitting at your computer. Even something as easy as walking in place can help.
  • Make a strategy to stay active while you're expecting. Make a list of the activities you want to do, such as going for a stroll or joining a prenatal yoga class. Consider when you could complete each item on your list: first thing in the morning, during your lunch break at work, after supper, or on a Saturday afternoon. Find the days and times that work best for you in your calendar, phone, or another device, and commit to them.

How Can a Pregnant Woman Stay Safe while being Active

Certain physical activities should be avoided while pregnant for your health and safety, as well as those of your kid. The following are a few of them. Consult your physician about any additional physical activity you should avoid. When you're out and about, keep these safety considerations in mind:

Do

Do not

Walking, swimming or chair aerobics are examples of moderate activities that are unlikely to harm you.

Avoid sports like soccer or basketball that could cause you to fall or damage your abdomen.

Fluids should be consumed before, during, and after physical activity. Do not go overboard.

When it is sweltering outside, avoid brisk exercise.

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that supports and protects your breasts.

Steam rooms, hot tubs, and saunas should not be used.

Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, exhausted, or sick to your stomach.

After week 12 of your pregnancy, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back.

Last updated: 2021-December-18
Tags: Health, Food & Fitness Pregnancy
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