Getting over the baby bump is tough,
but for some new mothers it's even tougher. Gaining weight during
pregnancy is necessary for the growing baby, but sometimes women
eat so much it's dangerous. So dangerous they may develop
gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
The American Pregnancy Association
recommends gaining weight at a steady rate because a baby requires
a daily supply of nutrients. Most women gain about three to five
pounds in the first trimester and about a pound a week in the
second and third trimesters.
A woman at a healthy weight before
pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds, 25 to 40 pounds if she was
underweight before pregnancy and 15 to 25 pounds if she was
overweight before pregnancy.
Cathy Gray, a nurse and the perinatal
network administrator at the University of Chicago, says that
gaining an excessive amount of weight leads to chronic health
"It may be a sign of other underlying
conditions," she says. "She's putting herself at a higher risk of a
Gray suggests healthy pregnant women
walk, ride their bikes and do light aerobics to keep unnecessary
extra pounds off. Cutting out junk food is important, too. She also
recommends women take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
Eating healthy during pregnancy
includes a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Most experts say
moms-to-be should eat about 300 more calories a day. The goal is to
achieve a healthy balance-not too underweight or overweight.
Keep your eye on your weight gain, but
don't worry too much because once you've given birth, the extra
pounds will eventually come off, especially if you breastfeed.
"During pregnancy, mom has a higher
fluid volume circulating in her veins and arteries," Gray says.
For more information on how to achieve
your healthiest weight during pregnancy, visit your doctor and the
American Pregnancy Association at www.americanpregnancy.org.
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