Eating right during pregnancy if you are underweight
Maintaining a healthy weight is more important than ever during pregnancy . Many people focus on avoiding excessive weight gain, but being underweight can be equally as damaging to you and your baby. Being underweight increases the risk of premature labor and your baby having a low birth weight. Healthy eating and monitoring your weight gain with your doctor will make it easier to gain an appropriate amount of weight. Here is a look at what you need to know.
Healthy pregnancy weight gain for underweight women
You are considered to be underweight if your BMI, or body mass index, was less than 18.5 before pregnancy. If you fall into this range, then your physician will likely recommend that you gain between 28 and 40 pounds during your pregnancy.
When you gain this weight, the baby will account for approximately seven to eight pounds of the weight, while about seven pounds will be in fat and nutrient stores for the baby. The rest of the weight will be distributed throughout the placenta, uterus, blood, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, and your uterus.
Time of pregnancy weight gain
Most women gain between one and four pounds during the first trimester, though your physician may recommend that you gain more if you are underweight. Keep in mind that weight gain may be difficult during this time because of morning sickness.
During the second and third trimesters, most women gain between one and two pounds per week. However, your physician may recommend that you gain more if you remain underweight.
Healthy eating habits during pregnancy
If you are underweight during pregnancy, your physician will want you to increase your weight by eating healthy foods. Consider these eating tips to help you gain weight in a way that is healthy for you and your baby:
- Never skip breakfast. Add extra protein, such as peanut butter or cheese, to your usual meal.
- Snack on yogurt or dried fruit between meals.
- Increase the amount of high-quality fasts, such as olive oil and avocados, in your meals.
- Drink fruit juice made with real fruit without added sugars.
The Birthing Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center helps moms-to-be stay healthy through every stage of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Contact our hospital in Thousand Oaks today by calling (877) 888-5746 to learn more about our family-centered birth center or to request a referral to a women’s services specialist.
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