Essential Health Information for Pregnant Women
Women who are pregnant are constantly bombarded with information about what they should and shouldn’t eat and what they should and shouldn’t do. Here at the Golden Triangle Emergency Center, we want to help clear up the confusion and set the record straight about healthcare for pregnant women. However, this article can only provide general advice and it is imperative that pregnant women consult directly with their doctors for more personalized information and care.
Learn What It Means to Eat for Two
The term “eating for two” can be misleading and while it is certainly true that the pregnant woman must sustain herself and her unborn baby, it doesn’t actually mean that she should eat twice as much as she normally would. Instead, pregnant mothers should take this advice to mean they are essentially sharing nutrients, vitamins, and minerals with their babies. If you’re pregnant, you’ll simply want to pay closer attention to the foods you eat and their nutritional content.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
Weight gain is to be expected for pregnant women, but the total amount of weight you take on is dependent on a variety of factors. One of the largest indicators of how much weight you can expect to gain is your body mass index (BMI) before you became pregnant. This is just a general estimate and may vary from woman to woman:
- 30 to 40 pounds for women who were underweight before pregnancy
- 25 to 30 pounds for those who are at normal weight before becoming pregnant
- Anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds for overweight women
- 10 to 20 pounds for women who were obese before pregnancy
Something else to note is that pregnant women should gain weight gradually, with a majority of the weight gain taking place during the last trimester. It’s often recommended that women gain a total of anywhere from two to four pounds during their first trimesters and three to four pounds every subsequent month for the remaining two trimesters. However, ideal amounts and timelines are often debated in the medical and scientific community and once again it is essential for pregnant women to find a doctor they trust to monitor their pregnancy.
Prenatal Vitamins and Mineral Supplements
While meeting with a physician to determine how much weight you should expect to gain and which foods you should avoid, you should also be sure to ask about taking prenatal vitamins and minerals. The need for supplements will vary significantly from woman to woman based on diet and lifestyle. Specific nutrients pregnant women need the most include vitamin B12, vitamin A, folic acid, calcium and iron. It’s also essential that you make sure you drink plenty of water to remain properly hydrated.
Remaining physically fit is just as important during pregnancy as eating the right foods. It’s best that mothers-to-be get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week. Proper amounts of exercise can make pregnancy much easier. For instance research shows that physical activity can prevent many of the aches, pains and other physical discomforts that are common during pregnancy. Exercise can also allow you to bounce back faster after giving birth and lose the weight that was gained during pregnancy.
Even if you worked out regularly before becoming pregnant a safe and effective exercise regimen is something you should be sure to discuss with your doctor. You might also have certain physical conditions that keep you from engaging in exercise. Some women may also have a higher risk pregnancy than others that calls for a different level of physical activity.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center wishes all the expecting mothers of our community well during this life-changing time. If you do have any emergencies or complications it is critical that you get immediate medical care. Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here to help.