It is normal to put on weight during pregnancy. The body is changing and growing, to bring in a new life, however it is essential to watch your weight gain along with managing healthy growth norms for the baby.
It is important to know how much weight one needs to gain during pregnancy and that should be kept as a target. On an average the weight gain is between 12 – 15 kg for women with normal weight. Underweight women can gain little more than this and overweight women a little less.
It is good to read extensively about pregnancy and learn about the consequences of extra weight gain in terms of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, back ache, fatigue, breathlessness, varicose veins and complications during labor and delivery
Pregnant women must weigh themselves regularly and keep watch on the weight and maintain records. It is also important to stay active during the day and exercise as recommended by the doctor.
Pregnancy is NOT the time to diet. So follow these 5 simple principles and have a happy pregnancy.
- Do NOT eat for two: Remember, you are not eating for two people and calorie increase in pregnancy is only about 350 calories and 25 grams of proteins, which can be accomplished with two glasses of extra milk or curds or its equivalent. Eat small frequent meals rather than three large meals to avoid hunger pangs, heart burn and breathlessness.
- Eat healthy: Eat a healthy balanced diet which is adequate in proteins, calcium and other vitamins and minerals including iron. Use low fat milk or it’s products like curds and cheese, whole pulses, whole grains, fresh green vegetables, fruits, soy for vegetarians and fish and chicken for non vegetarians – It is important to watch for cooking fat and invisible fat present in milk, curds, cheese, fish and chicken – keep the preparations low fat like grilled or roasted and avoid gravies. While snacking, stick to healthy snacks like roasted channa, soy and other pulses, sprouts, dhokla, khandivi, whole wheat bread vegetable sandwich with low fat hung curd as dressing,and fruits.
- Avoid Fats: Avoid fatty foods like too much of ghee, oil, fried foods like pranthas, puris, bhujias, ladoos and panjiris. Roasted Almonds and walnuts should be taken in moderation as a substitute for fat.
- Drink lot of fluids: Low fat butter milk, fresh lime, coconut water, and clear soups are good since they act as fillers for the stomach and keep the body hydrated.
- Switch to high fiber foods: High fiber foods are a recommendation as they avoid constipation and are good low calorie filler. Use whole wheat bread, oats, whole wheat mixed atta chappati, whole pulses, 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Use less of potatoes, other root vegetables, mangoes, bananas, dates and grapes.