Maintaining healthy weight gain is key! Photo: Slushpup
The appropriate pregnancy weight gain for a woman is determined by the woman’s body mass index (BMI) at the time of conception. A BMI is regularly calculated by medical professionals, but is simple to calculate using one of the links below. Depending on her BMI, a woman may calculate how many pounds she needs to gain in her pregnancy. For each BMI range, a particular weight gain is recommended: a low BMI suggests 28-40 lbs., a normal BMI 25-35 lbs., a high BMI 15-25 lbs., and if obese BMI 15 lbs. These ranges are as suggested from Mary Kay Mitchell in her book titled Nutrition Across the Life Span.
When striving for ideal weight gain in pregnancy, it is important to reflect on eating habits. Are meals planned, regular, and full of a variety of nutritious foods? Does one tend to eat too much or too little? Asking these questions in order to understand eating habits established will help the pregnant woman understand which of these habits will help her and which will hinder her. She can then adjust her eating habits in order to gain the right amount of weight.
The calories consumed will need to increase, and these calories best come from nutrient-dense foods. By increasing caloric intake in this way, the woman’s body will have more nutrients available for her and the fetus. One other factor to consider is the amount of exercise the pregnant woman is engaging in- the more energy expended, the more calories consumed, and these will need to be replenished in the diet.