Recommendations for Weight Control during Pregnancy


Pregnancy, which lasts approximately forty weeks, is the period in which a woman gains weight the fastest in her life. Weight gain, which is very important for both the health of the expectant mother and the healthy development of the baby in the mother's womb, has a special place during pregnancy. Hormonal changes that occur in the natural course of pregnancy, nausea, burning and scraping in the stomach, a feeling of frequent hunger or a constant desire to snack can cause weight gain. Gaining ideal weight during pregnancy and losing these weights easily is a topic that attracts attention especially for expectant mothers.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital, Dr. Instructor Member Şefik Gökçe answered the questions about 'weight control during pregnancy'.

The mother's nutrition during pregnancy has important effects on the mental and physical development of the child.

The weight to be gained during pregnancy is in a narrower range in women with overweight problems. This weight is due to the increased amount of tissue (uterus, breast, increased blood volume) in pregnant women, the increased amount of fluid in the body, the baby and the structures that protect and nourish it. Less weight gain in this means the use of the mother's existing fat and protein stores for the continuation of the pregnancy.

Average weight gain during pregnancy is 12.9 kg.

Pregnant women usually start gaining weight around the 12th week of pregnancy. Loss of appetite and difficulties in eating after nausea and vomiting, which increase with the effect of the pregnancy hormone B-HCG, which increases in the first 3 months, are obstacles to gaining weight. With the effect of the HPL hormone increasing in the next three months, the pregnant woman starts to gain weight with the increase in appetite during pregnancy.

Food intake above the energy requirement during pregnancy is directly proportional to weight gain. During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, there is an additional energy need of approximately 0, 300 and 400 kcal/day, respectively. Of course, these values ​​vary according to the body mass index of the pregnant woman. Daily calorie and energy needs of pregnant women in each trimester can be calculated by using ready-made graphics by entering the mother's age, height and weight at the time of conception. Moderate exercise of 30 minutes or more per day is recommended for healthy weight control of pregnant women.

Insufficient weight gain during pregnancy causes a variety of negative consequences. Babies of women with insufficient weight gain are weaker and shorter, and then these babies may experience some increased glucose tolerance, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and pregnant women who gain insufficient weight cannot produce enough milk for their babies.

On the contrary, there is an increased risk of excessive weight gain during pregnancy, predisposition to cesarean section in pregnant women, obesity, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome. Excessive weight gain also has effects on the baby. These effects can be seen as a large or large baby for gestational age, low Apgar scores, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and polycythemia. Pregnant women who gain excess weight have a higher risk of being overweight or obese. In addition, it has been reported that chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and other metabolic diseases may develop in the baby's later life. As a result, the nutrition of the mother during pregnancy has important effects on the mental and physical development of the child.

Anemia due to folate deficiency is 8 times more common in twin pregnancies than in single pregnancies.

The metabolic rate of mothers with twin pregnancies is approximately 10% higher than those with a single pregnancy. Physiological changes in pregnant women are more common in multiple pregnancies. Blood plasma volume increases more, blood hemoglobin, albumin and vitamin levels decrease more.

There is no standard dietary guideline for multiple pregnancies. However, for pregnant women, 20% protein, 40% fat and 40% carbohydrate should be in their daily diet. A 40% higher calorie diet is recommended in twin pregnancy. Iron deficiency anemia is 2.5-4 times higher in twin pregnancies. Anemia due to folate deficiency is 8 times more common in twins than in single pregnancies. To prevent this, a daily supplement of 1 mg of folic acid was recommended for twins. A daily intake of 1000 IU of vitamin D and 2000-2500 mg/day of calcium is recommended for twin pregnancies.

It is possible to lose excess weight gained during pregnancy in a healthy way after pregnancy.

Not all of the weight gained during pregnancy is lost during or immediately after birth. Average weight gain during pregnancy is 12.9 kg. The greatest weight loss is 5,4 kg at birth and approximately 2 kg in 4 weeks at follow-up. Between 2 weeks and 6 months, an additional 2.5 kg is given, so that an average of 1 kg remains. Excess weight gained during pregnancy needs to be lost in a healthy way after pregnancy. However, weight control is also important for pregnant women. Because pre-pregnancy obese women are more likely to have excessive weight gain during pregnancy. In order to reduce the risk of these complications, it is highly recommended for expectant mothers to be at an ideal weight. Diet and exercise are more effective in reducing weight in order to lose excess weight in a healthy way before and after pregnancy.

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