Birth, Nutrition, Parenting, Pregnancy

The Importance of Weight Gain in Pregnancy

There are a lot of pregnant women afraid of gaining weight during pregnancy. I received an email just the other day from someone who was so upset about her weight gain that she was feeling totally disgusted with herself. First and foremost any weight gained during a pregnancy where the mother is eating vegetables, fruits, lean protein, dairy and whole grains (a.k.a. well balanced diet) is considered positive weight gain – not fat gain. Weight gain is necessary to ensure proper growth and development of the baby. Your body’s blood volume will double during pregnancy in order to support two lives and that will only occur while eating a healthy diet and is part of the increase in weight.

Weight gain that occurs while eating junk food will not be good for mother or baby because junk food is seriously lacking in the vital nutrients needed to grow a strong, healthy baby and will also prevent your body from doubling its blood volume which puts both mother and baby at risk.

Now, with that said – this is cumulative, which means that if you eat poorly over the course of the entire pregnancy your risk factors increase BUT if you eat well for most of the pregnancy then you may not increase your risk factors as much. However, eating as perfectly as possible ensures a healthy and low risk pregnancy which produces a strong, healthy baby and a strong healthy mother who is able to birth her baby with few (if any) interventions.

Most women find it difficult to eat well in the first trimester because nausea from the developing baby causes them to eat whatever will go down and stay down or avoid food altogether. There is plenty of time to make necessary dietary changes during second and third trimester.

You can (and should) expect to gain 30 to 40 pounds during your pregnancy. Becoming obsessed with your weight will cause unnecessary anxiety that will effect your baby – not just in-utero but for life. The primary emotion experienced by the mother during her pregnancy is the primary emotion carried by that child for life (unless he/she works on changing that).

The midwife I work with refuses to weigh her clients because far too many women become obsessed and put them and their baby into risky situations because the mother refuses to eat out of fear of gaining too much weight. I suggest locking the scale away, eating a well-balanced diet as best you can, and asking the doctor’s office to keep your weight to themselves when you go in for prenatal visits. Many moms have discovered the pregnancy to be more enjoyable when they stand backwards on the scale and request that the number be written in the chart but not told to them.

Lots of moms have gained 40, 50, 60 or even more pounds during the pregnancy only to lose it easily once the baby was born. Obese moms and especially morbidly obese moms have gained nothing or even lost weight during pregnancy. You WILL gain weight during your pregnancy – it’s not fat (if you are eating a well-balanced diet) – it’s baby and everything necessary to grow a strong, healthy baby. Babies should be puggy at birth NOT thin. Babies require fat for growth….

The best pregnancy nutrition program I know of was developed by an OB – Dr. Tom Brewer. His pregnancy nutrition program is taught to those how take classes in the Bradley Method® of Husband-Coached® Childbirth. You can read more about this program by visiting http://www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com/ – there is a lot of information for you to go through but you will find it very beneficial. As a teacher of the Bradley Method®, I highly recommend learning everything you can about what pregnant women should be eating – you are responsible for what goes into your mouth and therefore into your baby. Everything you eat goes to your baby as well.

Enjoy your pregnancy by enjoying the food you eat!

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Weight Gain in Pregnancy”

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