The average is about 20-35 lbs. Usually a pregnant woman will gain 12-16 lbs up until about 20 weeks, and then about a pound a week after that. We use body mass index (BMI) to assess if your weight is healthy to start. It is a score based on your height and weight. Weight gain recommendations are:
NORMAL BMI of 18-24 is 20-35 lbs
OVERWEIGHT BMI of 25-29.9 is 15-25 lbs
OBESE BMI over 30 is 11-20 lbs
Obesity can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and cesarean delivery. If your BMI is in the obese range, we recommend limiting weight gain to between 10 and 15 pounds.
Research has shown that poor prenatal nutrition and maternal obesity before and after pregnancy are associated with infant and pregnancy complications. Prenatal nutrition, therefore, is important because it influences the health of a pregnant woman and her baby. "Super Tracker" is a great interactive tool to teach prenatal patients about nutrition and pregnancy goals. To access go to http://choosemyplate.gov and search pregnancy.
A pregnant woman requires about 200-300 extra calories per day (the equivalent to 2 apples!) ~ totaling about 2000 calories per day. You should eat small frequent meals and not skip meals to minimize the chance of nausea.
There is no safe lower limit for alcohol intake in pregnancy. A fetus does not have a fully functioning liver and thus, is not able to break down the alcohol. Heavy drinking during pregnancy is associated with birth defects, mental retardation and developmental problems in the fetus. We recommend that you do NOT drink alcohol while pregnant.
Intake should be limited to 200mg/day (equivalent to about 1-12oz. cup of coffee). Studies have shown that more caffeine than that can increase risk of miscarriage. There are lists of caffeine-containing foods/liquids on the internet (source: March of Dimes). A 12oz can of Coke/Pepsi has about 50mg.
Requirements in pregnancy are 1200mg/day. Most prenatal vitamins have 200mg - so you need to have 3-4 servings of additional calcium containing foods per day. Our body can only absorb about 500-600mg at one time, so spread servings out.
The FDA recommends that women who are pregnant or nursing avoid eating certain fish that may contain high levels of mercury including shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Canned albacore tuna is restricted to one 6oz. serving per week. COOKED sushi is safe to eat. Limit all fish and seafood to less than 12oz. per week. Specific Michigan fish advisories can be found at: www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish
Is dangerous to your health whether you are pregnant or not. It can increase risk of miscarriage, small babies, and placental problems. Check www.marchofdimes.com for resources to help you quit.
Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), Sweet & Low (Saccharin), & Truvia (Stevia) are considered artificial sweeteners and should be used with caution sicnce they affect your glucose metabolism. Pregnant women should make sure to get adequate amounts of healthy foods and fluids, aside from diet products.
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