PROFESSIONAL PRENATAL CARE IS ESSENTIAL TO A HEALTHY MOTHER AND CHILD(REN). NO PREGNANCY IS THE SAME--NOT FROM WOMAN TO WOMAN AND NOT FROM PREGNANCY TO PREGNANCY FOR THE SAME WOMAN.
Nutrition and physical activity are important during a pregnancy. However, what is best for one woman or pregnancy may not be good for someone else. Your healthcare provider is there to advise you.
The combined weight of the amniotic fluid, baby, blood supply, breast tissue, fat stored for feeding and delivery, uterus, and placenta should be no more than 35 pounds for a woman of acceptable weight and body mass. Your body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that measures body fat based on a person's height and weight. Your weight gain should be moderate and consistent. A weight gain of two to four pounds during the first trimester (three months) and then approximately one pound every week until delivery is advisable.
You are eating for two or more, and that means that you need to increase the amount of nutrients and calories in your diet. Your baby or babies will take from your body what he, she, or they need. You need to make sure there is enough of a source of nutrition to maintain both or all of you. Gaining or losing weight during pregnancy should be supervised by a healthcare professional.
Small, healthy meals and snacks eaten throughout the day are better for you and your baby than three large meals and in-between snacks. Cheese, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, crackers, yogurt, ice cream, cereal, peanut butter, and veggies are a few suggestions.
Food preparation is just as important as food selection. Lean meats should be baked, broiled, or grilled, not fried. Vegetables are better fresh or steamed.
Being underweight or overweight can seriously affect both the mother and baby, even after delivery. Since body type, BMI, and other genetic and pre-existing conditions factor into what sources of nutrition are best for each pregnancy, regular visits to an OB/GYN are the key to optimal good health.