Healthy weight gain in pregnancy
Weight gain during pregnancy is to be expected, you are after all growing a human being inside you! But keeping within the guidelines, and eating well can make a difference to you and your baby's health.
The recommended average weight gain in pregnancy is 12-15kg, but if you are already overweight you can eat well during pregnancy and grow a healthy baby with a minimum of weight gain. Don’t skip meals – eat three main meals and three healthy snacks per day.
- Make time for regular exercise.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and avoid all sugary drinks, including juice.
- Eat foods with a low glycemic index. These include whole grain bread, kumara, basmati or brown rice, non-starchy vegetables and rolled oats.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds are a good snack food.
- Remove fat from meat and chicken, and choose low fat alternatives when buying cheese, milk and yoghurt.
- Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes and pumpkin.
- Proteins such as tinned tuna, beans and lentils are all good low-fat foods, while boiled or poached eggs are also great. Have 3-5 servings of vegetables daily, including some raw options.
- Two to three pieces of fruit daily are good, but go easy on bananas!
- Tinned fruit is fine, but choose fruit without added sugar.
- Avoid sweets, chocolates and sugary foods, and also dried fruits which contain a lot of sugar.
Be aware that when you breastfeed, your body will require more calories than during pregnancy, so again, think healthy eating and sensible exercise rather than strict dieting.
Midwife Cecile O’Driscoll
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