Being pregnant is exciting — but it’s no secret that the physical changes pregnancy brings can cause anxiety for many women. You’re not alone if you’re worried about gaining weight and trying to shed it once your baby is here.
Nearly every woman gains weight during pregnancy. Gaining weight is recommended, and trying to avoid it by dieting could put you and your baby at risk.
Instead of relying on a trendy diet plan during pregnancy, trust your health with trained obstetricians. Daniel McDonald, MD, Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at Women’s Health Specialists provide comprehensive prenatal care, and we can help you healthily manage your weight.
Here’s why it’s so important to avoid fad diets during pregnancy.
Some weight gain during pregnancy is healthy
Many women dread the thought of putting on weight during pregnancy. While dieting might seem like an excellent way to avoid the extra pounds, experts advise that gaining some weight during pregnancy is healthy.
Women should gain anywhere from 11 to 40 pounds while they’re pregnant. The amount of weight you should gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and your overall health.
Our team recommends a target number for you to gain, and we offer nutrition and exercise recommendations to help keep your weight under control.
Many women are surprised to learn that they shouldn’t eat any extra calories in the first trimester. Some lose weight during this time because of nausea and food aversions. If your symptoms cause weight loss, talk to us about treatment options.
As pregnancy progresses, you may need to add calories to your diet. Most women need around 340 extra calories a day in the second trimester and 450 extra calories a day during the third trimester.
You (and your baby) need nutritious foods
The food you eat fuels your body, and when you’re pregnant, it fuels your growing baby. Lots of fad diets involve cutting out food groups like carbohydrates or dairy, and following one of those diets could result in nutrient deficiencies.
Nutrient deficiencies, fasting, and calorie restriction can impact your baby’s health before and after birth. In some cases, dieting can cause low birth weight and developmental delays.
Instead of dieting, focus on eating fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins during pregnancy. Eating a balanced diet of fresh foods helps ensure you and your baby get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need.
Certain nutrients are vital for pregnant women. You might need more folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Talk to our team about the foods you’re eating, and we can recommend supplements or dietary changes if needed.
If you’re worried about gaining weight during pregnancy, don’t turn to fad diets. Get prenatal care from a team that you trust to find ways to stay healthy and support your growing baby. Contact Women’s Health Specialists in Denton, Texas, to book your first appointment.