Pregnancy is definitely not the time to go on a weight-loss diet. Restricting your food intake is potentially hazardous to you and your developing baby. Not gaining enough weight or having a few extra kilos can lead to complications during pregnancy and birth, and affect the health of both you and your baby. While losing excess weight before getting pregnant will improve your fertility and health but losing weight should not be your main aim during pregnancy.
In the first trimester, it’s common to lose weight as a result of morning sickness. Nausea can diminish your appetite, and the vomiting can cause you to miss out on calories. But even so, your baby will get all the necessary calories. The habits and healthy eating practices you start during pre-conception and pregnancy could well develop into a healthier lifestyle in the future. Your health goal during this time should not be weight loss, but rather maximising your nutritional intake and remain active. Gaining weight is a normal and healthy part of the pregnancy process.
Overweight women have an extra reserve of calories in stored fat, so as your baby grows, it’s not harmful to maintain or even lose a little weight at first. What’s not okay is losing weight because you’re intentionally cutting calories (and, as a result, limiting nutrients). You’re considered overweight if your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9. (Your BMI reflects the relationship between your height and weight and is an estimate of body fat.) You’re considered obese if your BMI is 30 or greater.
One can stay on track by exercising and eating healthy food. This can help you with your weight gain goals, and both can have a positive impact on your pregnancy, reducing your risk of pregnancy problems like gestational diabetes. They’ll also help you feel good during your pregnancy and beyond. Whether you are an avid exerciser and want to keep up your fitness routine during pregnancy or a casual walker, exercising has many health benefits for pregnant women. Staying active while pregnant can assist with stress relief, weight control and improve overall health for you and your baby.
During pregnancy complete focus should be on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle to ensure optimum health of the baby and the mother. The habits and healthy eating practices you start during pre-conception and pregnancy could well develop into a healthier lifestyle in the future. One can also maintain a food diary to make sure what they are eating. It will also help to track your mood and hunger levels. There are many nutrients which need to be taken care of once you are pregnant. Get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. However, a few nutrients in pregnancy diet deserve special attention like folate and folic acid, calcium, Vitamin D, proteins and iron.
Folic Acid and Folate: Fortified cereals are great sources of folic acid. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and dried beans and peas are good sources of naturally occurring folate.
Calcium: Dairy products are the best-absorbed sources of calcium. Non-dairy sources include broccoli and kale. Many fruit juices and breakfast cereals are fortified with calcium, too.
Vitamin D: It helps to build your baby’s bones and teeth and its good sources are fatty fish, such as salmon. Other options include fortified milk.
Protein: It is crucial for your baby’s growth, especially during the second and third trimesters. Good sources are: Lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs are great sources of protein. Other options include dried beans and peas, tofu, dairy products, and peanut butter.
Iron: Your body uses the iron to make haemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply — doubling your need for iron.
If you don’t get enough iron, you might become fatigued and more susceptible to infections. The risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight also might be higher. Lean red meat, poultry and fish are good sources of iron. Other options include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and vegetables.