I would like to take a moment to help empower you to consider using your pregnancy as a time for lifestyle change. This is definitely not an easy challenge, but one that will have great rewards if met. Effective change needs to focus on nutrition and exercise. It is a two- step process and both steps go together. In a healthy pregnancy, weight gain is not nearly as important as the nutrition and exercise that goes into the pregnancy. The right amount of weight gain will vary from pregnancy to pregnancy, with a range from 0-30 pounds. It is important to give your body and baby the nutrition they need. Avoid foods that can be harmful, such as processed foods and low-nutrient, high-calorie foods. So what does this look like? The following is a list of guidelines for healthy nutrition during pregnancy:
- 80-100 grams of protein daily from meat, legumes, nuts, whole grains and yogurt. Chicken, pork, fish, beans, and Greek style yogurt are some examples (grill, bake or broil)
- 5 or more servings of vegetables daily. At least 2-3 of those servings should be leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, collard greens)
- 2-3 servings of fruit daily. The following link is provided to review serving sizes for fruits and vegetables:
- 2-3 servings (the equivalent of 1-2 Tbsp.) of healthy fat daily
- 2-3 liters of water
The following is a list of the top 10 foods you should be eating in pregnancy. For more detailed information visit the following link: http://fittobepregnant.com/
- Spinach, Eggs, plain Greek Yogurt, Berries, Brightly Colored Vegetables, Salmon or Fish Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Lean Meat, Walnuts or Flaxseed, Beans and Lentils.
I have had three pregnancies. During my first pregnancy I was not very active and did not pay attention to what I was eating. I had too many treats. As a result, I gained 55 pounds and had a very difficult birth and a big baby. During my second pregnancy, I was more active and paid more attention to what I ate. I gained only 30 pounds and had a very easy birth. During my third pregnancy, I was again very active and even more attuned to what I was eating. My final weight gain was 25 pounds and again I had an easy birth.
These changes in nutrition and exercise habits are not easy and will require some effort, but the rewards are significant for both you and your baby!
–Dr. Kimberly Bock, MD