Between the weight of the baby, placenta, extra blood and other variants, you are going to have extra weight during and/or after pregnancy. How much weight? The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ( ACOG ) recommends a woman should gain no more than 25 to 35 lbs, but that also depends on a woman's' basal metabolic index (BMI), if they are over/under weight to begin with and other factors. However, many women over shoot these numbers.
Two best ways to avoid excessive postpartum weight
The first way to avoid excessive postpartum weight is to exercise and eat well before pregnancy, and the second is to exercise and eat well during pregnancy.
The answers are not fancy, but they are true and effective.
The saying "eating for two' allows women to use it as an excuse to eat whatever, and how much they want, because they need extra nutrients for the baby. However, women only need up to an additional 300 calories a day while pregnant, depending on the weight and health conditions of the mother to begin with.
Your obstetrician will discuss this with you, as well as set guidelines based on your needs. Women on bed rest, or with other underlying health issues, may see higher weight gain, but that is noted and taken into consideration by the doctor.
Working out before pregnancy
Begin a feasible workout program that you can consistently adhere to before becoming pregnant. This will help you get in, or stay in shape. It can also decrease health issues you may already have, as well as increase chances of pregnancy if you've had difficulty getting pregnant.
Continue your exercise program during pregnancy, and modify the weights and movements when necessary. If you're not sure how to do this, consult with a certified personal trainer that specializes in pre- and post natal exercise.
Never worked out before, but want to start?
If you've never worked out before, it doesn't mean you must wait until after the baby is born. However, it does mean to take it slowly, and start by walking each day.
During pregnancy, center of gravity shifts, and it's easy to lose footing over uneven terrain. Try to stick to smooth pathways that are well-lit, and infiltrate friends and family to walk with you. They'll give you company on your walks, as well as help motivate you on sluggish days.
What about food? What should I eat?
Food is a touchy area, but choose fresh foods over processed foods. Look for lean cuts of meats. Try to curb sweet tooth "cravings" with healthy substitutes. If you need a sweet treat; have a small handful of your favorite treat, but save the rest for later.
Use the Choose My Plate tool offered to moms to keep track of foods. Although keeping a journal for each day is time-consuming, it can keep you on track to avoid excessive postpartum weight.
General exercise tips for beginners
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.