There is a lot to consider when it comes to nutrition and pregnancy. Some say seafood becomes an off-limit food during the nine-months your baby is growing, while others say seafood in moderation is perfectly fine.
In this video learn about mercury and what sea foods you may want to reconsider eating during the nine months of your pregnancy.
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One unavoidable fact about being pregnant is you will gain weight. First of all, you’ll be carrying around up to ten pounds of baby. Secondly, your body will be producing amniotic fluid and the placenta to help nourish your little one – but the bulk of that ‘water weight’ will disappear once you give birth. Beyond that, weight gain is natural and important, and shouldn’t be considered a pregnancy problem. Of course, you may have plenty of questions, about what’s considered ‘normal’ in terms of gaining a few pounds. Although every woman’s experience is different, there are some general patterns to pregnancy weight gain.
How Much Weight Will I Gain During Pregnancy?
In total, you’re looking at anywhere from 15 to 40 pounds. How much you’re recommended to gain is really based on how much you weight going into pregnancy. A woman that is considered underweight will actually be encouraged to pack on more pounds – that upper end of the threshold (40 lbs) is a safe number for you to gain. Conversely, if you’re overweight, your doctor will likely stick to the lower end of the scale. Remember that about 15 lbs of whatever weight you gain is made up of your baby and the extra tissue and fluids designed to help him or her grow. In addition, your breasts are going to be filling with milk and your uterus will be expanding and getting heavier, both which will tip the scales. It’s also likely you will be gaining some extra fat based on the extra calories you should be consuming to nourish you and your baby.
When Will I Gain Weight?
There’s a pretty typical pattern to pregnancy weight gain – although the first trimester offers the most varied results. During your first trimester, you should aim to gain between 2 and 4 pounds, although some women will actually lose weight thanks to morning sickness. Don’t worry – it’s nothing to be too concerned about as long as you steadily gain over the second and third trimesters. The second trimester is where you’ll really notice a change in your body; most women gain about a pound a week, or 3 to 4 pounds per month. Weight gain will steadily taper off in the final trimester, although you can still expect to pile on up to 10 additional pounds.
How Long Will It Take To Lose The Weight?
You’ll quite literally instantly feel lighter and weigh less once you give birth. Between delivering your newborn and the afterbirth (the placenta, amniotic fluid, tissues and blood your body has been piling on for baby), about half of a typical woman’s weight gain will vanish. But just because you’ve shed numbers on the scale, doesn’t mean your body will snap back into shape. Your mid-section will still be stretched out and the fat you’ve gained won’t disappear overnight. Keep this in mind: you’ve been steadily adding weight for nine months, so give it at least nine months to shed those extra baby pounds. As a bonus, if you choose to breastfeed, it’s a huge aerobic workout for your body – expect to burn off tons of calories while your baby gets stronger.
A major question many moms have while pregnant is whether there is anything they can do to keep from gaining unnecessary weight during pregnancy. The answer isn’t quite as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – there are definitely ways to regulate how you gain weight, but avoiding it altogether is simply impossible.
Here are some ideas for how to manage those extra pounds:
Practice Prenatal Exercise
As long as you get the OK from your doctor, you should be okay with some light-to-moderate exercise throughout your pregnancy. There are plenty of options and classes designed for pregnant women, including water aerobics, prenatal yoga, and walking groups. Establishing an exercise routine early in your pregnancy makes it easier to commit to it and minimize excessive weight gain. Just remember to avoid strenuous activity, and keep in mind that the activities you’re used to performing when not pregnant may feel awkward with a ‘bloated’ belly. An off-kilter center of gravity can also increase the risk of tumbles and falls, so tread carefully.
Eat A Healthy, Balanced Diet
Your body needs extra calories during pregnancy to help feed your little temporary tenant. One trick to controlling your weight gain is to get those calories from healthy, whole foods like vegetables or fruits. Just because you’re pregnant and weight gain is considered ‘normal’, doesn’t mean you should gorge yourself on chocolate cake and chips. Avoiding junk will ensure your body is gaining the right kind of calories (and the kind that are easier to take off after you give birth). That being said, it’s still okay to indulge those cravings every now and again.
Any doctor will tell you that starting a true diet during pregnancy is a bad idea. You should be consuming an additional 100 to 300 calories per day to help your baby grow healthy and strong. But if you’ve never counted how many calories you’re eating, now might be the time to start. First, speak with your doctor about the amount of calories you should be consuming – whether or not you were pregnant. Give yourself a buffer of up to 300 calories, and make a point at looking at what you’re munching on and jotting down your daily calorie counts. There are plenty of apps both online and on your smartphone that can help you keep tabs on what you eat – just don’t get obsessed over every last morsel of food or start cutting back! Remember, just about anything in moderation is okay.
Pregnancy health is all about researching what’s right for you and your body. Here are some ideas to help you build a plan to manage healthy weight gain during pregnancy:
Start by having a conversation with your doctor about what’s realistic or ideal for your body. Discuss recommended weight gain, calorie counts, and what physical activities are safe while pregnant.
From there, get into research mode. Take a look at what’s in your cupboards or think about your favourite snack foods, and see what healthier alternatives exist. If you love munching on chips, protein-rich nuts may be a more nutritious option that still packs a satisfying crunch and salty taste, for example. Give your local community centre a call and see what prenatal fitness classes exist. If you wanting to keep a close eye on calories, find an app or buy a notebook to help you keep track.
Finally, create a nutrition and health plan for yourself. Eating healthy, wholesome foods is essential to your baby’s development – starting each week by making a meal plan can help you shop more efficiently instead of acting on snack cravings or impulses. Signing up for a fitness class or making a point to walk for specific errands or visits can also help you incorporate exercise into your daily life.
Drinking water is especially important during your pregnancy, but getting enough liquid can be difficult. Some women dislike unsweetened drinks such as water, but they know they shouldn’t be drinking a lot soda during their pregnancy. Events during the day (such as road trips) can also make us forget to drink enough water. Sitting in an air-conditioned office lessens thirst but you still need to drink a certain amount.
During your pregnancy, there is no arguing about the importance of drinking water. You need more fluids to support the larger volume of blood in your body. Drinking helps your circulation, which assists your immune system in fighting against illnesses and ensures your baby gets the nutrition and oxygen it needs.
If you are constantly dehydrated in the first trimester of your pregnancy, you may end up suffering from a low amount of amniotic fluid, which can cause limb deformities in your baby. It is especially important to drink plenty of water if you suffer from morning sickness, since vomiting can lead to significant liquid loss.
Dehydration during your second or third trimester can cause your body temperature to rise due to poor circulation, which in turn can cause damage to your child. You may also suffer from muscle cramping due to severe dehydration, as well as fatigue, or even preterm labor.
Drinking a lot of water, on the other hand, has the following benefits:
Drinking a lot of water helps with the production of blood cells, which are necessary to transport nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby. Your blood volume will increase by almost 50 percent during your pregnancy, and water is needed to support this.
Plenty of fluids can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are a major concern during pregnancy. Although a UTI is not dangerous as such, the infection can enter the bloodstream and from there to spread to other organs. A UTI can also cause a kidney infection, which increases your risk of low birth-weight and preterm labor. It has also been linked to a higher risk of fetal mortality.
By drinking a lot of water you can prevent or minimize edema, or water retention in the tissue outside the bloodstream. You are at an increased risk of edema during the later stages of your pregnancy. Edema can be painful and might make it difficult for you to walk, especially now that you are carrying the extra weight of your baby.
Dehydration can cause contractions which lead to preterm labor. By drinking water you can lower the risk of a preterm labor which could be harmful for your baby.
Drinking a lot of water can help prevent constipation and the hemorrhoid problems that often follow.
Water has a positive effect on your metabolism as well as on the appearance of the skin.
Alexia didn’t like to drink water, so most of her liquid intake came from sodas. During her pregnancy, she learned that she should no longer drink soda, for health reasons. She decided to switch to drinking water. It all went well until the final months of her pregnancy. She lived in a warm part of the country and was due in the middle of the hottest month of the year.
Although she did drink some water, she always seemed to forget to do so (possibly because the taste did not appeal to her). Her contractions came almost a month early and she was lucky to deliver a healthy child. The doctors were concerned about her state of dehydration, attributing the cause of the preterm labor to her low intake of fluids. She was horrified and began drinking water regularly, which helped her general well-being as well as her breastfeeding.
It is recommended that you drink 8 to 12 glasses of liquid every day. This amount contributes to your alertness and vitality. It is generally not recommended to drink sodas or juices, which contain lots of sugar, or regular tea and coffee, which contain caffeine.
Following the tips below can help you drink more water during your pregnancy:
Carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, together with a small pack of stickers. Every time you have a drink, put a sticker on the bottle. Now you have a fun way of tracking how much water you drink every day.
Put a reminder on your phone. Set it to every hour, or more often if you want. Each time the alarm goes off, have at least one glass of water.
Count how many stickers you have on your bottle at the end of every day. Fill in a table of your accomplishment and put it somewhere you can see it. You can use Seinfeld’s method of persistence from chapter 4 in this the book to encourage you even further.
When someone offers you a drink, accept it even if you are not thirsty.
During meetings at work or with friends, order a bottle of water and make sure to finish the whole bottle during the meeting.
Mary had always been doing a lot of exercise, and she didn’t slow down during her pregnancy. Eating healthy was never a problem for her, but she would forget that she needed to drink more water now that she was pregnant. During exercise, she would sweat a lot and lose fluids that way. Now she began to feel faint after every workout and gradually began to get weaker and weaker. Her doctor ran many different tests but found nothing wrong with her – until they both realized Mary had a simple case of dehydration. She began drinking more water and regained her energy in a matter of weeks.
Did you know?
The signs of dehydration:
The first sign of dehydration is − no surprise − thirst! If you are thirsty, make sure to drink a lot of water.
A rapid pulse not attributed to a sudden effort or exertion on your part, is also a sign of dehydration.
One of the easiest ways to tell if you suffer from lack of fluids is to check your urine. If the color is transparent or light yellow, you have no problems. If it is dark yellow and has a strong odor, make sure to increase your water intake.
A dry mouth can be a sign of dehydration.
Diarrhea and vomiting during your pregnancy, no matter the reason, may cause dehydration. If you suffer from these, make sure to drink plenty of water to recover your water losses.
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