Weight gain during pregnancy is an inevitable and necessary part of pregnancy. But before you start eating for two, here are some things you should consider.
Weight gain by week
Pregnancy is a wonderful time for soon to be mothers and the first opportunity to give your baby the best possible start. A healthy pregnancy diet based on knowledge of what foods to eat is essential to ensure your baby grows healthy and strong. How much weight you can expect to gain depends on your body size prior to your pregnancy.
- Women who are underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5 can expect to gain between 13kg – 18kg.
- Women falling within the normal weight range with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 should put on between 11kg – 16kg.
- And finally, women considered overweight with a BMI of 30 or more should aim to put on between 5kg – 9 kg.
Expecting mothers interested in determining how much weight they should be putting on every week can find a Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator online and enter their own details to get a more clear idea about their expected week to week weight gain.
What to eat while pregnant
Being pregnant means that there is a higher demand for more nutrients to ensure the healthy development of your baby, including iron, calcium and iodine. Eating a healthy and varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains, dairy and lean meats is essential.
Iron: Pregnancy demands more iron for the healthy development of your baby. Pregnant women need 27mg of iron per day, a 9mg increase on your former non-pregnant body. The best source of iron is red meat. However, legumes, grains and vegetables are also a great source, especially dark green leafy vegetables such a spinach.
Iodine: Another important nutrient that pregnant women need to consider is iodine. Iodine assists with the healthy development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Pregnant women need 220 micrograms of iodine per day. The best source of iodine can be found in dried seaweed. However, milk, eggs, cod and tuna are also good sources.
- Deli meats and poultry
- Unpasteurised dairy and soft cheeses
- Raw meats and seafood (including sushi)
- Fish with high mercury
Pregnancy is an exciting time and a fantastic opportunity to start treating your body and that of your baby’s, as a temple. Women who are not accustomed to eating healthy and varied diets can find plenty of inspiration online with healthy recipes chock full of nutrients.
Just remember, the better you eat, the better your baby develops!