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It’s an exciting time for women. It encourages them to live a healthier lifestyle and, if necessary, help their baby gain weight. This section will provide tips for improving your eating habits and physical activity after the birth of your baby.

These tips are also useful for those who are not yet pregnant, but want to have a baby. You can make changes now to adapt to new lifestyle habits. Your baby will have the best start in life. You can also set a good example for your family.

Being active during pregnancy can help ensure a healthy baby.

Healthy Weight

Why is it important to gain a healthy weight during pregnancy?

Your baby will grow to be a healthy weight if you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy. You and your baby could have serious health issues if you gain too much or too small weight.

Experts’ External link state that pregnancy weight gain increases your risk of developing gestational diabetic (diabetes), and high blood pressure. You are also at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Your chances of developing health problems later in life are even greater if you’re obese or overweight when you become pregnant. A cesarean section (Csection) could be more common. NIH external link

A healthy weight can help you have a smoother pregnancy and delivery. This may make it easier for you to return to your normal weight after birth. Research has shown that a healthy weight gain during pregnancy may help lower the likelihood that your child will be obese or have weight-related issues later in life.

What should I gain weight during pregnancy?

Your body mass index (BMI) is a measure of how much weight you should gain before becoming pregnant. Your BMI (body mass index) is the measure of your height and weight. Online, you can calculate your BMI using a formula.

This is the general weight-gain advice for women who have only one child.

You should learn

Insufficient Weight (BMI below 18.5) 28 to 40 lbs

Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to35 pounds

Obesity (BMI between 25 and 29.9) 15 to 25 lbs

Obese (BMI 30+) 11 to 20%

It is important to lose weight slowly. It is false to believe that two people can eat the same amount. Your baby will be about the same size as a walnut for the first three months and won’t require any additional calories. This is the recommended rate of weight gain.

  • 1 to 3 pounds in the first three months
  • Between 4 and 6 months, will be able to pay 2 to 4 pounds per month.

Discuss with your doctor how much weight gain you are able to achieve. You can work with your doctor to establish goals for weight gain. Be aware of your health, age, and weight. You can track your weight at home, or visit your doctor.

If you are pregnant, don’t attempt to lose weight. Your baby must be exposed to healthy foods, low-calorie drinks (especially water) in order to grow properly. Some women lose weight during pregnancy. If this happens, speak to your doctor.

Healthy Eating

What should I eat?

Healthy eating and drinking low-calorie drinks, especially water, can help you and your baby lose weight.

Your weight, age and the speed at which you gain weight will affect how much food you eat and how many calories you need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention External link states that if you are healthy, you don’t need any extra calories in the first trimester. There is an additional 340 calories per day for the second trimester and 450 calories for the third trimester.

Talk to your doctor about your weight gain. You may be advised to eat more calories if you are not losing the weight you desire. You may need to reduce calories if you are gaining too much weight. Every woman has different needs. Your needs will also vary depending on whether you are overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.

What types of food and beverages should you consume?

Healthy eating habits for pregnant women include nutrient-rich food and beverages. These foods and beverages are recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 External Link

  • Fruits and Vegets (provide vitamins, fiber)
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, whole-grain bread and oatmeal (provide fiber, vitamins and other nutrients)
  • Low-fat or fat-free milk, milk products, and non-dairy milk soy, almond and rice or any other drink with calcium and vitamin D
  • Proteins from healthy sources such as beans, peas and eggs, lean meats and seafood low in mercury (upto 12 ounces per semaine), and unsalted nuts, seeds and legumes, if you are able to tolerate them.

Healthy eating plans also limit salt, fats (butter and lard) and sugar-sweetened beverages and foods.

Pregnancy is a time when nutrients are needed in abundance.

Does your eating plan measure up? What can you do to improve your eating habits? You can eat fruit such as berries and bananas with hot or cold cereal breakfast, a salad with beans, tofu, or other non-meat proteins for lunch, and a small portion of meat, poultry, turkey, fish, and steamed veggies for dinner. You can think of new healthy foods and beverages that you might like to try. Your ideas can be written down and shared with your healthcare professional.

The MyPlate Daily Checklist External link has more information about healthy eating. This can help you create an eating plan for each month (3 trimesters) of your pregnancy.

This meal of steamed vegetables and grilled chicken breast is low in calories.

What happens if I am a vegetarian?

It is possible to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the quality of your diet and how it affects your ability to absorb calcium, iron and vitamin B12, vitamin D and other nutrients. Your doctor may recommend that you take vitamins and minerals to meet your nutritional needs.

What special nutritional needs do I have now that I am pregnant?

Yes. During pregnancy, you need more vitamins, minerals, such as folate and iron.

It is important to get the right amount folate. Folate, also known as folic acid, is a B vitamin that may prevent birth defects. You need 400mcg daily from supplements and fortified foods before you become pregnant. This is in addition to the natural folate found in foods and beverages. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. You need 600 mcg during pregnancy. These foods can provide up to 100% of your daily folic acid intake per serving.

Pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamins every day. They also need to eat healthy snacks and drinks. Talk to your doctor about the best supplements for you.

What new habits can help me lose weight?

There are many new foods, beverages, and eating habits that can arise during pregnancy. These tips will help you to be more in control of your body. For any questions, consult your doctor.

  • Every day, eat breakfast. These can be eaten even before you get out the door. You can eat the rest of your breakfast, including fruit, oatmeal, cold cereals, and other foods, later in the day.
  • Consume high-fiber food. Drinking water and engaging in daily exercise can help to prevent constipation. Whole-grain cereals, brown rice and vegetables are good options.
  • Avoid spicy or fatty foods such as fried chicken and hot peppers if you suffer from heartburn. Drinks should be taken with meals, not between them. Do not lie down too soon after you have eaten.

High-fiber foods like beans help prevent constipation during pregnancy.

What food and drinks should you avoid?

If you consume certain foods or drinks while pregnant, they can cause harm to your baby. Here is a list of foods and drinks you should avoid.

  • Alcohol. Don’t drink alcohol like wine, beer or hard liquor.
  • Caffeine. Drink decaf tea or coffee, without sugar or with a little juice. Limit caffeine intake to 200mg per day. This is the amount found in 12 ounces of coffee.
  • High levels of mercury may be found in fish. This is a substance that can cause harm to unborn babies and build up in the body. White (albacore tuna) should be limited to 6 ounces per week You should not consume king mackerel or marlin, orange roughy shark, swordfish, tilefish, or any other fish. You can eat as much as 12 ounces of fish and shellfish per week to get the beneficial nutrients. There are many safe seafood options External links (PDF 387.44 Kb) such as shrimp, cod, and salmon.
  • You or your baby may become ill from certain foods (e.g., viruses, parasites or bacteria). coli). Avoid soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk or raw milk. Be careful when choosing and cooking lunch meats, eggs dishes, and spreads. Check out the External pregnancy link for more information on food safety.
  • Anything that’s not food. This could indicate that you are not getting enough nutrients. If you feel the need to eat something other than food, talk to your doctor. You can get the right nutrients from your health care professional.

Physical Activity

Is it okay to be physically active during pregnancy?

Nearly all pregnant women should exercise during pregnancy. Current physical activity guidelines External link (PDF 14.4 MB) suggest that regular physical activity is possible.

  • Help you and your baby to gain the right weight
  • Reduce backaches, leg cramps and bloating
  • reduce your risk for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Reduce your chance of postpartum depression by using the NIH external link

Evidence suggests that exercise may help reduce preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), labor lengthening and recovery time, as well as reduce the chance of having a Cesarean section (or Csection).

You don’t have to give up your physical activity if you were active before you became pregnant. Talk to your doctor about changing your exercise routine during pregnancy.

It can be difficult to exercise if you don’t have the time or resources to provide childcare, don’t know how to exercise, or aren’t familiar with what it takes. Continue reading to learn how you can overcome these obstacles and stay physically active.

Most women should exercise during pregnancy.

What type and how much physical activity am I able to do?

Current guidelines External link (PDF 14.4 MB) state that most women require the same amount of exercise before they become pregnant. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity should be done each week. Aerobic activities, also known as endurance or cardio activities, involve large muscle groups (back and chest) that increase heart rate and improve breathing. Aerobic activity includes brisk walking.

How do you know if you are doing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise? To find out, take the “talk test”. Moderate intensity is when you are able to have a conversation but not sing, even though you are breathing difficult.

You can say only a few words per minute before you stop for a deep breath. This is called vigorous-intensity exercise. Let’s say you used to be a regular participant in vigorous-intensity aerobic activities or were active physically before becoming pregnant. If so, you can likely continue to do these activities throughout your pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor about how to increase or decrease your activity levels while pregnant. Ask your doctor about safe levels of activity for you and your baby if you have any health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes.

How do I keep active during pregnancy?

You can still be active even if you’ve never been active before. These are some suggestions.

  • Take a walk with a friend, family member, or neighbor. You can bring your children along if you have them and make it a family trip.
  • If you are seated most of the time, get up and move about once an hour. Move around when you are watching TV or seated at your computer. Even something as simple as walking around the block can be helpful.
  • Plan to stay active during pregnancy. You can list the activities that you would like to do during pregnancy, such as walking and prenatal yoga. You can think of the best times and days to do each activity, such as after dinner, in the morning, on the lunch break at work, or during the weekend. You can use your phone or calendar to identify the best times and make commitments to them.

How do I stay safe while active?

You should avoid certain activities during pregnancy for your safety and your baby’s health. These are just a few of the many. Discuss with your doctor any other activities that you shouldn’t do.

Prenatal Yoga can be a part of your exercise plan and can reduce backaches.

Safety dos and don’ts

These safety tips will help you stay safe while active.

Do… Don’t…

Moderate activities aren’t likely hurt, like walking, water, and chair aerobics. Avoid sports that could cause injury or fall to your abdomens like soccer and basketball.

Hydration is important before, during and after physical activity. Don’t overdo it. Avoid vigorous exercise in the heat.

Comfortable clothing should fit well and support and protect your breasts. Avoid saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms.

If you feel dizzy or short of breath, tired, sick, or nauseated, stop exercising. After week 12, avoid exercises that require you to lie down on your back.

When the Baby is Born

How do I keep my baby healthy after he is born?

Your health and well-being may improve after you have given birth. You may become obese or overweight later on if you don’t lose your baby weight. Slowly regaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, or other weight-related issues.

Regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, and adequate sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight after having a baby.

When your baby is born

  • Eat foods and drinks to meet your calorie requirements.
  • Regular exercise will continue to improve your overall health. Regular, moderate-intensity exercise can increase your fitness and improve your mood.

Physical activity doesn’t appear to have an impact on how breast milk is made, how it tastes, or how big the baby gets.

What can breastfeeding do for you?

Breastfeeding External links can make it more difficult to lose weight. This is because your body needs extra calories to produce breast milk. Breastfeeding can help you lose weight but it has many other benefits for both mother and baby.

Experts recommend that mothers who breastfeed only breastfeed for 6 months. They should not give their babies any other food or drink during this period. Experts recommend that mothers continue to breastfeed until their baby is 12 months old.

The amount of body fat and activity you are will affect your calorie requirements when you breastfeed. Discuss your calorie requirements while breastfeeding with your doctor.

The benefits of breastfeeding. How to breastfeed your baby

  • provides a good mix of vitamins and minerals in a liquid (breastmilk) that is easy for the user to digest
  • Helps boost one’s immune system
  • protects your baby against common conditions like ear infections, NIH External Link , and diarrhea

Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby.

What other resources are available?

The time between pregnancy and delivery can be exciting, hectic, stressful, exhausting, and wonderful. These feelings can cause you to eat too much, not enough calories, and lose your energy. You can be kind to yourself and help you deal with your emotions.

These are some suggestions that might help.

  • When the baby is asleep,
  • Have someone watch your baby while they nap, bathe and read, go on a walk or shop for groceries.
  • You and your baby can join groups such as the “new moms” groups.
  • Do not feel that you have to do it all by yourself. Ask for help from family, friends, and local support groups.

Summary Of Tips for Pregnancy

  • Discuss with your doctor how much weight you should gain in pregnancy. Keep track of your progress.
  • Get your daily intake of folate, iron and calcium from foods and drinks. Talk to your doctor about any prenatal vitamins (vitamins) you might take during pregnancy ).
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Avoid constipation by eating fiber-rich foods and drinking fluids, especially water.
  • Avoid alcohol and undercooked fish.
  • You should do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes per week during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns before you start.
  • Slowly return to your normal, moderate-intensity exercise routine after pregnancy.
  • Slowly, you will lose weight.



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