Preventing excess weight gain during pregnancy is imperative for the health of the mother-to-be and the baby. Excess weight gained during pregnancy can place the unborn baby at risk, create complications during the birth process and place the mother at risk for gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Weight control during pregnancy is not really difficult, although pregnant mothers don’t really feel like exercising or restricting their diets during this time. However, they do need to make some compromise to ensure their own and the baby’s health. Moreover, if weight gain is controlled during pregnancy, it will be that much easier and quicker for the mother to get back into shape post pregnancy.
A sensible and a healthy diet coupled with regular, light and low impact exercise like walking is the best. Although many diets are supposedly safe for pregnant women, they must be undertaken only against the advice of a doctor.
Certain foods must be avoided at this time, not just because of the possible excess weight they might bring on because of their possible effects on the unborn child. These are foods that have high mercury levels like some types of fish and foods with high caffeine content. These include:
– Shark, King Mackerel, Swordfish, Tuna, Albacore and Tilefish.
– Junk food.
– Alcohol and tobacco.
– Excess caffeine.
– Liver and all its products.
– Spicy and fatty food.
Pregnant women need to have a high intake of nutrient rich food like fruits and vegetables. Food with a high content of folic acid like cauliflower, beets and greens and food rich in calcium is imperative at this time to prevent defects in the unborn child. In fact, it is highly recommended that this type of a diet start at least three months before falling pregnant.
Moderate exercise is essential during pregnancy. Besides avoiding unwanted weight gain, it will ease the many aches and pains that carrying a growing baby for 9 months will bring along. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the back muscles; an excess weight gain will only add to this strain. Exercise and weight control will also, very importantly, keep the pelvic muscles toned and strong to aid and ease the birthing process.
While weight control is important, it is understood that the exercising will be low-impact and without placing any undue stress on the body. Activities like high impact Aerobics and weight lifting are definitely out. Walking is better than jogging at this time as also is swimming. Videos for women during the pre-natal period are a good idea because they are specially created for this stage of life. The gentle stretches and poses help ease the aches in the lower back area which bears the brunt of the strain during pregnancy.
A note of caution is necessary here not to overstretch while doing exercises that require them. Weight loss and pregnancy relaxes the muscles in preparation for birth allowing pregnant women to stretch more that usual. Overstretching may harm the muscles and ligaments.
Source by Hirnis William