Seeing those two lines in the pregnancy test deserves nothing short of a celebration. But after the good news has been shared and the well-wishes received, almost every new mum’s next concern is the body changes that are sure to come in the heels of a pregnancy. We get it — you are excited about your bun in the oven but you still don’t want to look like you ate an entire year’s supply of buns. Worried about the weight you’ll gain while pregnant? Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy and yet avoid excessive weight gain throughout your pregnancy:
What to expect
All pregnant women will gain weight — it is to be expected and necessary, as you’re nurturing a tiny human from scratch. If you have a healthy pre-pregnancy body weight, you can expect to gain 11.5 to 16 kg, which is the norm. On the other hand, underweight mums can expect to gain around 12.5 to 18 kg, while overweight and obese mums should gain about 7 to 11.5 kg and 5 to 9 kg respectively.
Don’t worry too much about the numbers though, as every pregnancy is different. However, it is also important to maintain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy as doing so can significantly reduce your risks for health problems such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. So to help you do so, here are a few tips:
- If possible, try to start your pregnancy at a healthy weight.
If you’re thinking of getting pregnant or in the trying to conceive (TTC) stage, you can discuss and work with your healthcare practitioner in figuring out your current body mass index and determining your ideal weight. So aside from taking prenatal vitamins, you can also work on losing or gaining weight if needed.
- Try to eat right.
Being pregnant and sharing your body with your baby doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to eat for two as well. Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia, 2017 state that you need an extra 80 calories a day in the first trimester, an extra 280 calories a day on the second trimester, and an extra 470 calories per day on the third trimester. However, the actual calorie numbers will also depend on whether you are underweight or overweight when you started your pregnancy.
This is really not much to play around with, so it’s best to opt for nutritious foods that will not only provide you with the needed extra calories but will also help you feel satisfied. If you don’t have much of an appetite, you can opt for small, frequent meals or snacks that are high in lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Healthy snacks spaced throughout the day can also help you avoid overeating during mealtimes.
- Load up on water.
Keeping yourself hydrated is also important during pregnancy, as it eases constipation (one unhappy side effect of pregnancy) and can also prevent bloating. It also has the added benefit of helping you feel satisfied in between snacks or meals. Malaysian Dietary Guidelines, 2010 recommend that pregnant women should drink about 10 glasses of water per day. Water intake should be increased especially for pregnant mums who are also physically active. If you’re not much of a water drinker, you can also try putting sliced fruits into your water — such as lemon, lime, or cucumber, to make it more appealing and tasty.
- Try to make your cravings healthy.
Cravings are part of the pregnancy experience let’s admit it, moms can’t choose what they crave for. And this includes even less-healthy cravings such as chocolates and french fries. It’s not bad to indulge in such every once in a while, but you can try to make it better for both you and your developing baby by combining it with something healthier — such as mixing fresh fruits with your bowl of ice cream. Or you can opt for healthier options — such as whole grain cereal or chips if you’re having a bad case of the munchies.
- Maintain a simple fitness routine.
Being physically active even while pregnant can help you maintain a healthy weight throughout the 9 months. If you’re a newbie when it comes to exercise, you start it slow
and simple including a walking regime into your day. You can walk for 10 minutes a day on your first month, then try to increase it for another 10 minutes after each month. Aside from helping you minimise your weight gain, walking can also help lessen body aches and pains that pregnant mums tend to get towards the end of the pregnancy. Plus, if you do keep it up, you’ll be walking for an hour and a half by your 9th month, so you’ll definitely be ready to take on your new mummy duties and even a more complex fitness regime with more vitality.
- Drink to good health.
Ensure that you are at peak mummy health by drinking milk to meet your daily calcium requirement. You may opt for pre-natal milk that’s specially formulated to meet the increasing nutritional demands of pregnant mums, such as Anmum Materna. Anmum Materna is formulated with Nuelipid™, a complex milk lipid with gangliosides, together with DHA. It contains Probiotic DR10™ and inulin, a type of prebiotic which can help maintain a good intestinal environment. Good gut health in pregnant mums is important as it makes for effective nutrient absorption that supports mum’s increasing nutritional need. At the same time, Anmum Materna can support pregnant mum’s weight gain as it’s low in fat and contains no added sugars*. Plus it now comes in a stick pack for easy consumption, anywhere, anytime.
Visit Anmum Materna for more information.
*For Anmum Materna plain only.
*All content in this article should be taken as for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always seek the direct advice of a medical professional for any health issues or concerns.
Published with Anmum Materna.