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Pregnancy weight gain: Keeping it under control

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If you’re concerned about controlling your weight gain during pregnancy, it’s better to exercise a little than going on a diet!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Regular, moderate physical activity (such as walking, swimming, prenatal yoga) may help you and your baby gain the appropriate weight, as well as reducing the discomforts of pregnancy, such as backache, leg cramps, constipation, bloating, and swelling and to improve sleep.

Manage your pregnancy weight gain by weighing yourself regularly and keeping track of your weight.

The weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on the weight you had before pregnancy.

The above table is adapted from Healthy Start for Your Pregnancy Guide by Health Promotion Board, 2012.

Useful tips for a healthier diet:

  • Plan meals well and use the food pyramid as a guide for selecting the daily food choice.
  • Include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Choose whole grain to increase the intake of fibers, vitamins and minerals. Fibers are important for regular bowel movement.
  • Lean meat, fish, milk and other dairy products should be consumed regularly. These products deliver protein which is an important building block for growth.
  • Fish (e.g. salmon) is a source of essential fatty acids, which are known to contribute to optimal brain and eye development.
  • Keep intake of high-fat and high sugar foods to the minimum and replace them with healthy carbohydrates by consuming fruit and vegetables instead.
  • Drink 1.5 - 2 liters/day (water, unsweetened fruit tea, fruit or vegetable juice).
  • Eat only well-cooked meat, fish, seafood and eggs. Avoid raw food to reduce risk of food poisoning.
  • Preferably choose low fat milk and dairy products and avoid unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses.
  • Avoid alcohol, do not smoke and do not take any prescription drugs while pregnant without consulting your healthcare professional.
  • Take vitamins and mineral supplements as recommended by your healthcare professional.
  • Important: If possible, start taking folate supplements as soon as you plan to get pregnant, ideally at least 1 month before.

Source: Health Promotion Board, Singapore

(http://www.hpb.gov.sg/foodforhealth/article.aspx?id=2740)

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