Weight Gain

pregnancy-weight-gainWeight gain is a concern for every woman during pregnancy. This is true for many reasons.

  • If this is your first pregnancy, then it will be easier to push out an averaged sized baby than a large baby. Sometimes this may make the difference between having a long hard labor or a nice more manageable labor. It may even make the difference between having a home birth or a c-section!
  • When women gain too much weight, they are also more likely to have blood pressure problems.
  • Excessive weight gain can play a factor in developing Gestational Diabetes
  • You feel better when you don’t gain too much weight.

However there are many different things to consider and there is no single, uniform policy or means of assessment that applies to all women.

A pregnant woman may range in age from teenager to over 40, with older mothers often heavier at the beginning of pregnancy than their younger counterparts. The population of women of child bearing age in the U.S. and in western societies as a whole tends to be heavier than than the same group 10 to 20 years ago, which has required a re-evaluation of what is considered to be the proper amount of weight gain.

Therefore when determining the ideal amount of weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, one place to start is by identifying the individual’s weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) at the beginning of pregnancy. A person’s BMI is  a calculation of body fat which factors in their weight and height. The risk of gestational diabetes is five times greater in women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, than a woman at a healthy weight.


Weight Gain Recommendations

  •  Normal BMI – 37-54 pounds
  • Overweight women – 31-50 pounds
  • Obese women – 25-42 pounds

Here is a link to a BMI (Body Mass Indicator) calculator.  http://www.fitpregnancy.com/bmi-calculator
Use your pre-pregnancy weight to see how much you should gain or not gain this pregnancy.

Ultimately, weight gain is something that should be monitored carefully throughout the pregnancy, with each woman following the recommendations her care provider.

If you are trying to avoid gaining too much weight, here are some suggestions:

  • Probiotics help reduce weight gain. Take a broad spectrum probiotic. Eat probiotic foods such as:
    1. Raw sauerkraut
    2. Kim chee
    3. Yogurt
    4. Kefir
    5. Miso, and many others.
  • Probiotics feed on fiber. Good Sources of fiber include:
    1. Ground flax seed
    2. Chia seed
    3. Vegetables
  • Add quinoa to your diet. Recent studies are providing us with a greatly expanded list of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in quinoa. This unique combination of anti-inflammatory compounds in quinoa may be the key to understanding preliminary animal studies that show decreased risk of inflammation-related problems (including obesity) when animals are fed quinoa on a daily basis.

While still in its very early stages, research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our body. 1,2-DT (1,2-vinyldithiin) is one of the unique sulfur compounds in garlic that has long been recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties.

But only recently have researchers discovered that some of our fibroblastic cells (called “preadipocytes”) only evolve into full-fledged fat cells (called “adipocytes”) under certain metabolic circumstances involving inflammatory system activity. 1,2-DT may be able to inhibit this conversion process.

Since obesity is increasingly viewed by researchers as a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, the inflammation-related benefits of garlic’s 1,2-DT may eventually be extended into the clinical area of obesity.

Diet suggestions for keeping your weight under control during your pregnancy. 

Many of our pregnant women have good success with this plan. The idea is to get plenty of protein, fill up on greens and colored vegetables and eat a small portion of complex carbohydrate with every meal along with at least one helping of fruit per meal.  A helping of fruit is 1/2 apple, 1/2 banana 1/2 orange, 1/2c of grapes etc.  You have to remember that fruit holds a lot of glucose so if you eat too much that can pack on the calories too. Tomatoes can be added to meals anytime.

If you have salads, the dressings should be a small amount of oil with lemon juice or vinegar.    1.5 tsp. of oil is 60 calories of fat.   You need some calories with pregnancy but you don’t need as many if you are already carrying some weight and you want valuable calories not empty calories.    Protein is caloric but it is all good calories unless the protein is loaded with fats and sugar, i.e. ice cream. Do not eat ice cream, donuts, candy, etc.!

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