Taking control of your weight during pregnancy is vital for the health of both you and your baby. Many people believe in the myth of “eating for two,” but it can lead to weight gain issues. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to problems for your baby, like being born larger than average or having complications during birth. It can also increase the chances of retaining weight after giving birth. On the other hand, insufficient weight-gain during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and low birth weight. To keep you and your baby healthy, it’s important to be mindful of your weight gain during pregnancy.
Whether you’re already pregnant or planning to be, the below mentioned 8 tips will help you develop healthy eating habits, manage weight during pregnancy and ensure a smooth and healthy journey for you and your little one.
1. Follow a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
In order to maintain weight during pregnancy, it is important to get on a balanced and nutritious diet. Start by incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet as they’re packed with essential vitamins and are low in calories and fat. Additionally, you shouldn’t forget to add whole grain breads, crackers, and cereals in your diet, as they provide the necessary fibre and nutrients.
To stay properly hydrated, drink plenty of water, healthy juices and opt for reduced-fat dairy products. Moreover, regular exercise, such as walking and swimming, under the guidance of your healthcare provider can help burn extra calories and keep you fit during pregnancy.
Keep in mind, your doctor might tweak your diet based on the stage of your pregnancy, if you want to learn more about what foods you should be eating during early pregnancy or if you other questions regarding early pregnancy, you can refer to early pregnancy FAQs
2. Keep a Food Journal
Keeping a food journal provides a simple and effective way to monitor your diet and ensures you’re getting the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. By recording what you eat and drink, you can identify any nutritional gaps, track your weight gain, and make adjustments as needed. It also helps you stay mindful of your food choices and can assist in managing pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness allowing you to avoid them.
Additionally, reviewing your food journal with your healthcare provider will help optimise your diet and tailor it as per required pregnancy nutrition and recommend foods for pregnancy. Moreover, a pregnancy weight control journal helps organise your routine, track symptoms, and manage morning sickness. You can maintain a food journal using a notebook or a dedicated app, recording details like food type, quantity, timing, location, and your feelings during each meal.
3. Practise Stress Management Techniques
Pregnancy can bring about a rollercoaster of emotions, and stress is a common companion throughout this journey. But excessive or long-lasting stress isn’t good for you or your baby. It can make pregnancy symptoms worse and lead to problems like depression, weight issues, or high blood pressure. Fortunately, adding deep breathing, meditation in your daily routine is a natural way to tackle stress.
Studies show that doing meditation or being mindful improves mood, sleep, communication, and self-compassion Additionally, a soothing massage, even from a loved one, can help in reducing anxiety and improving mood during pregnancy. If you’re still feeling stressed or uneasy, reach out to a therapist or counsellor for effective stress management support.
4. Practise Gentle Prenatal Exercises To Stay Physically Active
Gentle exercises during pregnancy, like prenatal yoga, swimming, or low-impact aerobics, can help you control weight during pregnancy. They maintain muscle tone, improve circulation, and support overall weight management. These exercises also prepare your body for labour and birth by practising breathing and meditation techniques. Consult with your health care provider before starting any exercise routine.
Healthy pregnant women should aim for at least 2.5 hours of aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, each week. If you’re new to exercise, start with 15-minute sessions. During pregnancy, avoid high-impact activities if you weren’t doing it before. Most importantly, listen to your body and adapt your routine accordingly.
5. Stay Hydrated
When you’re pregnant, maintaining proper hydration becomes even more important. Your body requires additional water to support the formation of amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, carry nutrients, aid digestion, and eliminate toxins. Increased activity levels or hot weather pose a higher risk of dehydration.
To ensure you stay hydrated, it’s essential to drink more fluids, such as water, milk, juice, soup, and water-rich fruits and veggies. Establishing a routine, utilising hydration apps or pen and paper and setting daily fluid goals can all help you maintain optimal hydration levels.
6. Get Sufficient Rest and Sleep
Pregnancy is a beautiful yet challenging time, and sleep problems are common. Many women struggle to sleep well due to discomfort and hormonal changes. In the first trimester, you might feel drowsy due to a spike in progesterone, a hormone made by the ovaries and the placenta during pregnancy.
Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and acid reflux can arise which can affect your immune system and increase the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. To overcome sleeplessness create a sleep routine, keep your room cool and dark as it will help you to fall asleep.
7. Create a Supportive Environment
During pregnancy, having a supportive environment is important. Surrounding yourself with people who understand and support your health goals, emotional goals can make a significant difference. Joining structured weight loss classes and support groups provides a collaborative space to share ideas, learn from professionals, and connect with others facing similar challenges. You can even engage in activities with friends or family members that promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
You can go for walks together, try prenatal exercise classes, or even cook nutritious meals as a group. By creating a supportive environment, you can strengthen your commitment to maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy and ensure a positive and successful journey.
8. Consult with Your Healthcare Provider
Doctors generally advise pregnant women to prioritise exercise and proper nutrition instead of focusing on weight loss to ensure the well-being of themselves and their unborn baby. However, if you were overweight before pregnancy, carrying excess weight raises the risk of health complications like preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and gestational diabetes.
Therefore, it is crucial to schedule an early pregnancy check to discuss your weight goals with your healthcare provider. By doing so, your healthcare provider can develop a personalised plan tailored to your specific needs, ensuring you receive the necessary support throughout your pregnancy journey.
Pregnancy is a transformative time filled with new beginnings, particularly for a first time, mom-to-be. But having sufficient knowledge on how to control weight during pregnancy can help you make informed choices, ensuring a happy journey throughout the pregnancy.
Following a healthy diet, having enough sleep whereas practising stress management and prenatal exercises are the key strategies to maintain weight during pregnancy. But before you start applying these strategies, reach out to a healthcare expert for personalised advice and support.