This is soooooo important if you don’t want to have an extra 30kg to lose after giving birth. Given that we have a healthy weight gain to support the growth of a healthy baby, we want to make sure we do not overload ourselves on unnecessary calories. If your starting weight is within the healthy range, your gynae will most probably recommend that you gain 1-2kg every month on average throughout your pregnancy. (note that this number can fluctuate, where some months you gain less and some you gain more. The gynae will have a better recommendation catered to you and your child’s medical needs) I gained a total of ~11-12kg throughout both my pregnancies, singleton and twins. With this weight gain, I didn’t have to do anything much post partum. All weight gain was lost after confinement, from all the loss of water retention and breastfeeding. Here’s what I did:
- Snack on nuts. These keep you fueled up consistently, and you can almost never eat too many nuts. Not only are you eating good fats, you know that these contribute to a healthy baby (they need lots of good fats to grow well, especially when developing the eye and brain in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters).
- Limit indulgence of unhealthy cravings. If you’re craving char kuay teow, or deep fried wantons, or german pork knuckles, think twice! It’s ok to indulge once in a while to ease that craving, but definitely not daily! Being pregnant doesn’t mean you get your way with eating unhealthily. And remember that everyone can have cravings, not only preggies, so don’t think that you are THAT special to be able to bend the rules.
- Replace unhealthy cravings with healthy ones. If cravings keep coming and are very strong, try replacing them with some healthier options. Yoghurt? High in fat and calcium, just perfect for a preggers. Fruit salads and nuts are also very good as snacks, provided you do not have issues with gestational diabetes. When you feel that you need something more substantial, how about a baked sweet potato, a slide of bread with cheese, or an oven roasted chicken breast? These are all packed with goodness, taste delicious, and can fill you up.
- Keep walking. Walking is good to make sure you build your muscles to support the additional weight your body has to handle. It also prepares you for motherhood, which is physically demanding. If you have pelvic pains, getting your butt off that chair will also ease the pains. Start early, so you don’t feel the sudden pressure on your legs. Muscles don’t develop overnight. Walking is also said to lead to smooth labor. Do note that walking is not recommended for high risk pregnancies, and even healthy mothers should be limiting walking to stretches of not more than 30minutes. Stop if you feel pain in the tummy or start spotting. Any exercise should be done with caution and with advice from your gynae. I personally walk a lot throughout pregnancy. There happened to be a walking challenge, and I met the 180-240 minute targets almost every day, up until I was 8 months when I became too heavy to move that much. Plus, I didn’t want to go into early labor, so I stopped.
- Go swimming. This has low impact on the knees if you’re feeling heavy. In fact, you’ll be happy to feel a lot lighter suddenly. A good break from heavy pregnancy. You’ll feel sooooo good in that cool water you won’t want to come up. Same warning applies as above.
- Shop for baby items. And I mean shop at physical shops, not online shopping. This will be a lot of fun especially for first time mothers, and indirectly keeps you moving. There will be a lot to buy, so I bet you do not need much motivation or instruction for this. (you just need your husband’s credit card!)
- Involve your husband. Resisting cravings is never easy. So why not rely on your husband / partner, who is equally responsible for the pregnancy? Have him remind you not to submit to cravings all to time, or have him reject your pleas to buy you more food (moderately, that is, as you still need to take in sufficient nutrients for you and your baby!). You can also ask him to pass you the healthy snacks, or to go walking with you. Knowing it is for the health of the baby as well as to return him the hot wife he had as soon as possible, I’m sure he will be more than happy to help.