Gaining too much or too little weight can cause health problems for mother and child
How many times have you heard the phrase “a pregnant woman should eat for two”? It is false. The truth is that diet and exercise before and during pregnancy affect the course of it, the development, and the health of the baby in the short and long term. The diet must be balanced and varied.
The adequate weight gain during pregnancy helps the baby reach a healthy size. But gaining too much or too little weight May cause serious health problems in both mother and child.
Risks of gaining too much weight in pregnancy
German experts say gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases the chances of developing gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) and high blood pressure during pregnancy. It also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure later in life.
How much weight should a pregnant woman gain?
You should gain weight slowly during pregnancy. For the first 3 months, the baby is only the size of a walnut and does not need any extra calories, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The recommended rate of increase is 1 to 4 pounds total in the first 3 months and of 2 to 4 pounds each month from 4 months to delivery.
What to eat and drink
Diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins.
Fruits and vegetables
They provide vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber that aids digestion and can help prevent constipation.
At least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced.
Limit added sugars and solid fats
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend limit sodas, desserts, fried foods, whole milk, and fatty meats.
Sugary foods and drinks, as well as fats, have a high-calorie content, which can contribute to weight gain.
Must be reduced salt and saturated fat intake; instead eat small amounts of foods rich in unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocado, among other healthy options.
Enjoy lots of calorie-free drinks, mostly water
Consume foods of animal origin in moderation
To choose lean meat, remove the skin from birds, and try to do not to add fat or extra oil when cooking meat.
Eat fatty fish regularly
Pregnant or lactating women should consume two to three servings of fish a week. Between 8 and 12 ounces per week of a variety of fish and shellfish, the options that have the least mercury, reports the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Why is it important to eat fatty fish during pregnancy?
In addition to his important protein content, sardines, tuna, salmon, among other fatty fish contribute stand out for their content in omega-3 fats (called DHA and EPA). Are more vitamin B 12 and vitamin D than any other type of food, iron, and other minerals like selenium, zinc, and iodine?
Omega-3 fats in fish are important for the optimal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, and that children of women who consume lower amounts of fish or omega-3s during pregnancy and breastfeeding have evidence of delayed brain development, notes the Harvard School of Public Health.
The energy requirement of pregnant women increases very little and that only in the last months of pregnancy. Women generally need about 340 additional calories per day during the second trimester and 450 extra calories per day during the third (last) trimester, according to the CDC.
It is important to consult with a specialist to define the goals of weight gain depending on age, weight, and health.