How to Maintain a Healthy Weight in Pregnancy

“Don’t worry, I’m eating for two.”

Us mamas, and mamas to be, we love to say this! It makes us feel a little better about going for that dessert or having an extra helping while pregnant. I know I used that saying quite a few times during my pregnancies! My weakness is sweets and carbs. I don’t need any fast food and I can do without fried food or juicy burgers but put a batch of cookies in front of me, it’s hard for me to maintain control! I suffered from severe all-day morning sickness all the way through the first trimester with both of my pregnancies, but by mid 2nd trimester, my appetite was back, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating treats. I had to be mindful of my weight gain as to not gain too much. It is important for your own health and your baby’s to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

Eat a Healthy Diet

To maintain a healthy wait during pregnancy, the goal is to not to actually eat for two, but to eat nutritious foods and slightly more calories than usual to help your baby grow.

The average caloric intake of a healthy non-pregnant person is around 2000 calories/day. There are many apps or caloric calculators available to find out what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain weight while not pregnant: just type in “calorie calculator” in your search browser. Once you have a baseline of calorie intake for yourself, add the recommended calories increases per day.

The recommended increases in calorie intake per day for each trimester are:

During the 1st trimester- You don’t need to eat any extra calories but eat nutritious foods to help keep your energy up; growing a baby makes you tired!

During the 2nd trimester- you still should be eating nutritious foods, but now you should be eating around 300 calories more a day.

During the 3rd trimester- now you should be eating around 500 calories more a day.

If you are carrying multiples, add 300 calories per each additional baby.

300-500 calories may be less than you think depending on what you choose to eat. Starbucks Morning Buns and a decaf Caramel Macchiato were my favorite items to order during my pregnancies; the morning bun has 420 calories in it, and a Grande Caramel Macchiato has 250 calories in it. That little extra treat of mine on my way to work totals 670 calories; well over the additional calories to tack on to my normal eating habits in a day.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about how many calories you are eating, and how many you are supposed to be eating. It’s not necessary to strictly count your calories every day, but just add a little food intake to what you would normally eat in a day and be aware of around how many calories are in the snacks you are eating.

Stay Active

One of the best things you can do for your body is take walks; it is gentle on your joints; it carries a low risk for injury; it gets you out into the fresh air; it helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Other ideas for staying active while pregnant are to take some exercise classes! Prenatal yoga was one of my favorites! This will also help with your mental health because of the exercise endorphins and the socialization. Generally, you don’t want to start a strenuous or new-to-you workout program once you become pregnant.

Your weight will be monitored at each of your prenatal appointments, and your doctor will tell you if you are gaining too little, or too much weight. Don’t be shy to talk to your doctor about weight; he or she can also help you set a weight gain range that would be healthy for you! This range could be anywhere between 11-40lbs (or more if carrying multiples) depending on your current BMI and health.

It is important to talk to your health care provider about what your healthy weight gain would be, what your activity restrictions are if any and before starting any exercise program.

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