As we all know, pregnancy is an exciting time for all those involved. With impending baby showers and last minute gatherings for mothers to be, food related activities are inevitable. Yet, a healthy weight gain is the aim for the mother and infant for optimal growth, development and overall health.
Weight gain recommendations: Underweight (BMI <19.1) 40-50#; normal BMI (19.25) 35-45#; overweight (26-29.9) 25-35#
Normal weight women should gain 25-35# during pregnancy. UW: 28-40#; overweight: 15-25#; obese: should still gain some weight, ~15#; excessive weight gain is discouraged with any bodyweight classification of the mother.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, normal weight pregnant women do not need to consume additional calories per day according to the National Research Council. In the second trimester, an additional 340 calories per day is recommended and then in the third trimester, intake should increase to about 450 calories per day. Those that are underweight may expect to increase intake by an additional 100-300 calories per day.
During pregnancy, intake of folic acid is recommended to increase prevention of birth defects. Fortified grains can be a good source of dietary folate, with the best sources including lentils and beans. 1/2 cup cooked black eye peas, 1 cup of raw spinach and/or 1 cup fortified corn flakes can provide more than 100 mcg of folate each.
Of course, talking to your primary care physician about your weight and health is vital during pregnancy. The above weight parameters are suggested weight gain guidelines.
Photo Credit: Baby Your Baby