Women are often worried about gaining too much weight during pregnancy, mainly because it is linked to several health problems.
Woman who gains too much weight during pregnancy has an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetics and even complications during delivery, according to medical advisers.
"Excess weight gain has been linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes in pregnancy, high blood pressure, and complications during birth," The Conversation quoted Siân Robinson, Professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Southampton, Dr Jenna Hollis, conjoint lecturer at the University of Newcastle and Clare Collins, Professor in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Newcastle.
"It can also affect the health of the baby in both the short-term and in the future," the trio said, adding, "Most weight gain occurs from week 13. For some women, body weight will not change too much during the first trimester of pregnancy, particularly for women who have had morning (noon and night) sickness".
However, the medical advisers revealed that dieting is not a good option for pregnant women to control weight because it may result in "preterm birth".
"Weight gain below the recommendations is associated with having a baby that is small for gestational age, or a preterm birth. It's important for women not to try and lose weight during pregnancy. Dieting or limiting food intake could mean the baby doesn't get enough nutrients needed for their development," the experts explained.
So, the biggest question is how to stay healthy and prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy. The medical advisers have shared five simple tips to stay healthy during pregnancy.
- Track your weight from the first trimester: From the early stage of pregnancy, monitor the weight gain and keep a record of it.
- Start eating healthy: Calculate the recommended servings you need to have during each trimester and have highly nutritious food during pregnancy. You may need to have a slightly higher quality to daily serves in your first trimester. You might also need more energy during your second and third trimesters.
- Seek support from a family member and the partner: Following a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is not just important for the mother and her baby. It can also benefit the other family members.
- Regular exercise: It is really important to be active during pregnancy. Doctors, midwives, physiotherapists and physiologists can give you advice on the best physical activities to get involved in during pregnancy.
- Seek advice from a doctor or a midwife: Having a conversation with your doctor or the midwife can help you stay healthy during pregnancy. They can guide you in following a proper diet during this period and reduce your anxiety level.