What should be the weight during pregnancy? Learn 9 essential nutrients for mother and baby’s health
Eating a balanced diet is important for everyone, especially for pregnant women. Because she eats anything while pregnant, the same goes inside her unborn child. But what to drink and what to avoid is always a big question for most pregnant women. In addition, a deficiency in any of the nutrients can cause birth defects in children. Keeping all these factors in mind, we have made a comprehensive list of nutrients that are necessary for a pregnant woman.
Iron is very important for pregnant women, as it helps to deliver oxygen to the baby. Some rich sources of iron are red meat, peas, dried beans, and iron-fortified grains. According to the Ministry of Health, the Government of India has now suggested to consume 500 mg of folic acid with 100 iron in the second half of pregnancy for at least 100 days.
Calcium is required for strong bones and teeth. Sources of calcium include cheese, yogurt, milk, and sardines. A pregnant woman needs about 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Calcium supplementation is not mandatory by every pregnant woman, as it depends on the state of health of the mother during pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 helps the body to use fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Vitamin B6 can be found in pork liver, bananas, and pork. A pregnant woman should consume about 1.9 mg of vitamin B6 daily.
Vitamin D is very helpful for calcium, as it helps to absorb calcium properly in the body. It also helps in making bones and teeth of the child. Vitamin D can be obtained by sitting in milk, fish and sunlight. A pregnant woman needs about 0.015 mg of vitamin D every day.
This vitamin is essential in the production of protein and blood for the developing fetus. Folate also helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects (a type of birth defect). Folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, orange juice, legumes (lentils, peas, and beans) and nuts. A pregnant woman should consume at least 400 micrograms of folate every day during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube worms. However, a pregnant woman should take 600 micrograms every day.
Iodine is a requisite for fetal production as well as maternal thyroid hormone, which controls the development of the fetal brain and nervous systems. A pregnant woman is advised to consume at least 250 micrograms of iodine every day.
During pregnancy, vitamin A is essential for increasing fetal development, health and immunity. Vitamin A can be found in meat, beans, carrots, poultry, spinach, bananas, etc.
Proteins are essential for fetal development and growth. Protein has an effect on the growth of the brain and the tissues of the developing baby. Proteins also help breast and uterine tissues to grow and play an important role in increasing the blood supply to the body. It is generally recommended that a pregnant woman should consume 60 – 100 grams of protein every day or about 30 grams more protein per day than her pre-pregnancy diet. Foods rich in protein include fish, meat, poultry, beans, cheese, tofu, milk, seeds and nuts.
Gaining weight is an essential factor that acts as a determining factor for the health of the child. A pregnant woman with a body index who falls within the normal range needs to eat around 300 calories every day. However, for more than one child i.e twins in the womb and pregnant women, the amount of calories and nutrients increases. For example, a twin pregnant woman has to consume 600 extra calories per day.
How much should a woman weigh when she becomes a mother?
If a woman is underweight and her BMI is less than 18.5 then she should gain 13 to 18 kg. A woman whose BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 should increase the weight to around 11 to 16 kg. A woman with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 should gain about 7 to 11 kg of weight. At the same time, an obese woman with a BMI of 30 or more should gain about 5 to 9 kg.
Pregnant woman’s weight when there is more than one child (twin children)
The weight gain pattern is different for a pregnant woman with twins or more children. In this case, if the weight of a pregnant woman is normal and BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9 then she should gain about 17 to 25 kg. A woman with a BMI weight of 25 to 29.9 should gain weight between 14 and 23 kg. At the same time, an obese woman of BMI 30 or more should gain 11 to 19 kg. However, your doctor will be able to tell you the best ways to improve your pregnancy and what supplements you need, so it is important to follow their advice in this regard. Along with all these things, it is important to get advice from your doctor about your increasing weight and dietary diet.
Diet plays an important role in the health of a developing fetus. However, a deficiency in either of the nutrients can cause birth defects in children. It is important that the mother should eat nutritious food and choose a healthy lifestyle. To reduce the risk of birth defects, some lifestyle habits should be mentioned before and after pregnancy:
• Doctor should be consulted regularly
• Avoid alcohol consumption
• Should avoid smoking
• Consumption of marijuana or other drugs should be avoided as it can lead to low birth or low birth of a child.
• Weight should be kept under investigation as obesity can cause serious complications right from birth.
This article is based on a conversation with Dr. Binita Priyabanda, Senior Consultant, Medical Team (DocPrime.com).