Weight Gain During Pregnancy Affects Your Delivery
April 13, 2016
While cesarean sections (C-sections) cannot be altogether prevented, studies show that excessive maternal weight gain puts moms-to-be at an increased risk of needing C-sections.1 A large number of women in the United States gain more weight during pregnancy than is recommended.1
Making healthy choices a habit can help you maintain an appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. You also should discuss your diet and exercise routine at your initial visit with your health care provider and throughout pregnancy.
Ideal Weight Gain Ranges
The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is dependent on your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). Check out the chart below detailing recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy from the Institute of Medicine.2
Caloric Intake Recommendations
During the first trimester, there is no need to increase the number of calories you consume each day. There is a great deal of change occurring with your baby during this time, but it’s so tiny that a normal 1,200- to 1,800-calorie diet is sufficient.3 During the second trimester, moms-to-be should increase their caloric intake to about 2,200 per day, and up to 2,400 per day during the third trimester.3 Women who are overweight or carrying multiples should talk about their specific needs with their doctor.
Protein Intake Recommendations
In the United States, it’s recommended that the average American get 10 percent to 35 percent of their calories from protein.4 For women, this averages to about 46 grams of protein each day.4 During the first trimester this should be the goal. But during the second and third trimesters, protein becomes even more important. It’s essential to the baby’s growth, especially the brain and muscles. Moms-to-be should consume 75 grams to 100 grams of protein per day.5
General Exercise Recommendations
Routine exercise is an important part of weight management during pregnancy. It can help you combat any extra calories consumed to satisfy food cravings. But there is also evidence that regular exercise during pregnancy may help prevent gestational diabetes, relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.6 The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day during pregnancy. If you have never exercised or have a pregnancy complication, you should talk to your doctor about exercise regimen that is appropriate for your specific needs.
Expert Advice on Nutrition
Any woman who is pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with her health care provider about an individualized exercise and nutrition program. While a balanced diet is preferred, some women may have trouble meeting their daily recommended intakes for certain vitamins and minerals.
Prenate® vitamins can help support a mother and baby throughout pregnancy and during labor and delivery. Because every pregnancy is different, the Prenate® Vitamin Family includes a line of prenatal vitamins designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of mothers and their babies. The nutrient forms in Prenate® vitamins are selected for absorption and tolerability. The vitamins are taken once daily, with gluten-free and lactose-free options. Talk to your doctor to see which Prenate® prenatal vitamin may be the right choice for you to help fill nutritional gaps.