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Guest Post: How to Avoid Excess Weight Gain When Expecting
Being pregnant can raise many questions. How do I feed properly during pregnancy? This is one of the questions that most women are already overburdened with. In addition, many pregnant women do not know how much weight they should actually increase. The topic of movement is also contradictory. Should a pregnant woman have sports or not? We will give you answers to these questions.
Weight Gain during Pregnancy
A study which the journal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published showed that most women do not know how much weight they should actually increase during pregnancy. In some women the increase in weight is clearly too low. Other pregnant women, on the other hand, consume so many kilos that they endanger their own health and of their babies.
The Health of Your Child is at Stake
The nutritional scientist Susie de Jersey of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia wrote in this regard:
Pregnancy is a very important time because it plays a special role in the overall development of the child – as many women know. However, most pregnant women are not aware of the fact that pregnancy also has a great influence on the weight development of mother and child later. The fact is, this time often decides whether or not both will tend to become overweight at a later time. If the mother gets too much or too little food during pregnancy, or if she feeds poorly and is not sufficiently active, it can seriously affect the health of both the mother and the child in the future.
De Jersey noted that two-thirds of Australian women had not gained sufficient weight during their pregnancy. It was surprising that there were just as many women who were eating too little at this time, like those who were eating too much food. One third of pregnant women took too many pounds, while another one-third of pregnant women had little weight.
Possible Causes of Overweight
A risk factor for excessive weight gain during pregnancy is an already existing obesity (very overweight). Half of the women who were already heavily overweight before pregnancy also gained weight after pregnancy.
But also the long-standing opinion that a pregnant woman should eat immediately for two, contributes to the excessive weight development. After all, it is not about taking as many calories as possible, but on the other hand, to eat healthy. But how should a healthy diet during pregnancy be specific? Most women do not know it, because they are only inadequately informed about it.
The Body Mass Index (BMI)
Most women have not even been told what weight gain is recommended until the end of pregnancy.
Susie de Jersey believes that the weight should actually increase during pregnancy, because body mass index (BMI) depends on the start of pregnancy. The higher the BMI, the lower the weight gain should be.
For example, a woman who has a healthy BMI (between 18.5 and 24.9) should have weight between 11.5 and 16 kilograms while she is carrying her child. A woman with a BMI of less than 18.5, on the other hand, should gain as much as 20 kilos and a woman with a BMI of more than 10 kilos.
The participants in the study were also very poorly informed about the importance of gestational gymnastics for mother and child health. Less than 50% of respondents said that they considered this form of movement as particularly important. A moderate movement training during pregnancy helps the body to deal with the particular stress during this time much better. Back, abdomen and pelvis are strengthened, so that during pregnancy, complaints in this area can be avoided. Likewise, the unborn child benefits from the increased oxygen intake during the exercises and not least from the positive mood that this movement leaves with the expectant mother.
Pregnancy gymnastics prepares women physically and mentally for the extraordinary burden of the approaching birth and this should be communicated as well.
Individual counseling for pregnant women is usually much too short. Hardly a woman gets sufficient information on the important issues of nutrition and exercise in this particular phase of her life. For a healthy pregnancy, however, such consultation, which is individually tailored to the pregnant woman, is indispensable.
If the expectant mothers receive intensive care and information, this can lead to the fact that pregnant women also pay attention to a healthier diet and lifestyle after birth. Thus, competent counseling during pregnancy could also help children in their later life become significantly less likely to become overweight, Declared de Jersey.
Tips for a healthy diet during pregnancy
1. Pay particular attention to the quality of your food during pregnancy and lactation.
2. Buy possible organically grown fruits and vegetables and buy your meat or fish from a dealer you trust, if you do not want to do without animal products.
3. Use only high-quality, healthy fats for the preparation of your meals.
4. Spice up your food with a good stone or rock salt and use fresh herbs as often as possible.
5. Do not eat raw animal products (raw fish, raw eggs, sushi, jerky etc.) due to salmonella risk.
6. Refrain largely on finished products because the raw materials used in them are often of poor quality and also contain a variety of chemical additives.
7. Reduce your sugar intake to a minimum.
8. Avoid processed dairy products (except butter and cream), as these may cause allergic reactions in unborn.
9. Do not drink alcohol and no caffeinated beverages.
Healthy Food List for Pregnant Women
1. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (well washed or peeled).
2. Drink freshly squeezed juices and green smoothies.
3. Enjoy a large portion of salad before each lunch meal.
4. Eat a balanced omega 3s supply eg linseed oil or hemp oil.
5. For protein supply select legumes that cause no bloating.
6. Eat potatoes or cereals (except fine white flour products as they do not contain any nutrients) as an accompaniment to the vegetables.
By implementing these recommendations you already have done a lot for your health and your baby. If you also take care that the weight gain remains within the limits, the birth of a healthy baby is nothing more.
For further information on the subject of pregnancy, nutrition and exercise, please contact the experienced pregnancy advisors.