When you’re pregnant, your
body goes through many changes,
including weight gain. But healthy
weight gain is a fundamental part of
a healthy pregnancy.
Why does pregnancy weight
gain vary so much from woman to
woman? And how much is too much?
Dr. Rhonda Bell, a professor at the
University of Alberta’s Institute for
Human Nutrition, sheds some light
on pregnancy and healthy weight
Weight gain differs
Average weight gain for women
during pregnancy is around 33
pounds ( 15 kilograms) in Canada.
This varies considerably, depending
on your diet, physical activity and
metabolism. Pregnancy is a time
when all systems are revved up to
put on weight. Some weight goes to
the baby, uterus and amniotic fluid,
and some is stored as energy for
pregnancy and later lactation.
Low weight gain can mean a low
birthweight, associated with a higher
rate of illness, disease and even death
Keep track of your weight and keep
in touch with your doctor to make
sure you (and your baby) are growing
— nicole Pointon
The weighting game
Safe weight gain during pregnancy
What are some general dietary guidelines for expectant
it’s important to have a balance of foods from each food group. Fruits and vegetables are
staples, as well as good sources of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates.
Pregnant women need the same amount of fatty acids as before—fish, flax and sunflower
oils are important for maternal health. The other thing to remember is portion size—
you’re not eating for two, but for one and a tiny bit more.
For more information, call Health Link at 811.
Risks during pregnancy
Higher rates of caesarean sections,
prematurity and pre-eclampsia.
Gaining too much weight also
increases risks for infection, hypertension, gestational diabetes, high
birthweight and postpartum weight
retention. Postpartum weight can
increase a woman’s risk for diabetes
and heart disease in later life.