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Weight Gain and Exercise in Pregnancy

Whether you are newly pregnant or planning pregnancy, you might be wondering what kind of changes you need to make with your diet and exercise! 

Weight gain

Now is not the time to focus on weight loss or cutting back on calories.  In fact, it is expected that women with a normal BMI (body mass index) gain 25-35 pounds over the course of their pregnancy. Sometimes, women lose weight in the first trimester, or only gain 1-5 pounds. If you were a healthy weight going into pregnancy, you should gain a half pound to 1 pound per week in the second and third trimesters. Women with a higher pre-pregnancy BMI do not need to gain the same amount of weight as women with normal or low BMIs.

Pregnant women are advised to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and typically should increase their caloric intake by only a small amount (350–450 calories per day).  American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) advises During the first trimester with one fetus, usually no extra calories are needed. In the second trimester, you will need an extra 340 calories per day, and in the third trimester, about 450 extra calories a day. They suggest to get those extra calories during the day, have healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts, yogurt, and fresh fruit.  

If you have additional questions about weight, we will be happy to answer them at your appointments.  Your weight will be checked each visit, if we have concerns, we will let you know.  We do not want you to be stepping on a scale everyday worrying about your weight.  Try to focus on eating a healthy well balanced diet.  It is not time to eat for two, but treat yourself to those pregnancy cravings every once in a while!

 

Water

I am a HUGE fan of water intake, whether you are pregnant or not.  It can make such a difference in so many ways!  But, before I go off on a tangent, I’ll stick to water intake in pregnancy.  It is advised you drink 8 to 12 cups (64 to 96 ounces) of water every day. It aids digestion and helps form the amniotic fluid around the fetus. Water also helps nutrients circulate in the body and helps waste leave the body.  Water intake will give you energy as well and help curb some of the hunger urges. 

 

Exercise

In an uncomplicated pregnancy, it is advised for pregnant women to exercise during pregnancy. If you are new to exercise, start out slowly and gradually increase your activity. Begin with as little as 5 minutes a day until you are able to be active to a full 30 minutes. 

According to ACOG pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activity include brisk walking and general gardening (raking, weeding, or digging). You can divide the 150 minutes into 30-minute workouts on 5 days of the week or into smaller 10-minute workouts throughout each day.

 

The safest activities are going to be those that have low impact and a low chance of falling!  Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, light weights, aerobics are all great options.  Biking is okay, however, once your little one(s) start growing, you might have a hard time staying balanced and you could more easily fall.  As always, be sure to drink plenty of water and rest if needed.  You might feel more short of breath during pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to take breaks. If you have questions about an exercise regimen or activity, don’t hesitate to ask!

Author
Amanda Murphy, PA-C Amanda Murphy, PA-C Amanda Murphy, PA-C is a board-certified Physician Assistant at Premier OB-Gyn with offices in Maitland and Oviedo, Florida. Amanda was born and raised in Palm Harbor, Florida. She attended Florida State University and obtained her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. Amanda’s brother received a life-saving heart and double lung transplant, which shaped Amanda’s goals for her future. She attended the University of Texas Medical Branch and obtained her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Amanda was the president of her class and involved in several organizations on campus. Amanda practiced Pulmonary Critical Care for nearly three years where she gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. She always had a passion for Women’s Health and started working in OB/Gyn, and completely fell in love with providing care for women. She enjoys delivering care to women of all ages and stages of life. She and her husband, Brendan, have two beautiful little girls named Abigail and Paige.

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