Weight gain in pregnancy
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How much weight you should gain during pregnancy can be generally worked out from your height, weight and body frame type. Your health care professional can take these measurements for you to work out your Body Mass Index (BMI) indicator which is a helpful guide.
It’s great to aim for a steady, gradual pregnancy weight gain during pregnancy but everyone has a different pattern, so don’t worry if you gain more one week and a bit less the next – nobody is the same!
Generally for an average, healthy female, weight gain during pregnancy is between 9 and 12 kilograms, but please check with your doctor to see what your specific weight gain should look like, because every individual is different. And if you are on the larger side, get a referral to a dietitian, who you can work with to help you achieve a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.
Is it safe to try and lose weight during pregnancy?
In a word – no. It’s true that being overweight may increase your risk of complications but it’s not wise to consider dieting for weight loss during pregnancy. You should just aim for a well-balanced diet.
Sorting out your weight before trying to conceive is a good thing to do but strict dieting once you get pregnant could reduce your baby’s birth weight and put them at risk. If you miss vital nutrients, you’ll be denying them the healthiest and happiest possible start in life.
Being underweight during pregnancy
Being underweight can also cause problems during pregnancy, so if you fall into this category you should also try and get up to your recommended weight before you conceive. Or, if you are already pregnant, speak to your health care professional about a well-balanced diet that will help you achieve your recommended weight gain in pregnancy.
If you require specific dietary needs, discuss these with your health care professional as they may need to be watched throughout your pregnancy.
A properly balanced vegetarian diet can be healthy for pregnancy, however you must ensure both your energy and nutritional needs are met for your baby’s best growth and health. You need to have enough iron and calcium rich foods and ensure you are getting enough vitamin B12 either from food products or supplements. Vegans especially may require additional vitamins and calcium. If you are not experienced in structuring a vegetarian or vegan diet, speak to your health care professional for some helpful advice.
The important thing about weight gain during pregnancy is to find a balance between putting on enough to provide for your growing baby and putting on more weight than you need to. There are healthy weight levels, depending on ethnicity and pre-pregnant weight. If you’re concerned about your pregnancy weight gain and would like some one-to-one advice our expert advisors are here to help women in Australia so just give us a call.
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