Physicians for Women works closely with our patients to provide guidance on nutrition, healthy eating, and weight management during pregnancy.
We recommend childbirth classes through the Inova Alexandria Hospital to help our patients prepare for labor and delivery. The classes can be beneficial in the following ways:
Women who are normally active and exercise regularly can continue their current routine as long as they are not experiencing any pregnancy complications. For those wishing to start exercising, we recommend beginning with gentle activities and keeping your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.
Be careful not to over-exert yourself - your joints and ligaments are more lax during pregnancy, which makes the joints more mobile and more prone to injury. Try to avoid activities that may increase the risk of abdominal trauma, such as high-impact aerobics or diving into swimming pools. Finally, drink plenty of water or fluids when exercising to avoid dehydration.
It's important to eat well-balanced meals throughout your pregnancy. Good sources of nutrients during pregnancy include:
Protein: Meats, cheese, eggs, poultry, meat substitutes, fish, legumes, milk, nuts, seeds, and yogurt.
Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, cabbage, greens, calcium fortified juices.
Iron: Lean red meats, poultry, eggs, whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, dried prunes, apricots, raisins, nuts, and seeds.
Folate: Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, orange juice, whole grain breads and cereals, eggs, nuts, beans and peas.
Vitamin C: Orange juice, oranges, tangerines, berries, grapefruit, tomatoes, green peppers, greens, white potatoes.
Fiber: Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, popcorn (with minimal butter and salt) or bran.
If you have special dietary requirements, we can recommend individual plans and give you more tailored advice.
Our weight management program is open to all of our patients during their pregnancies - talk to your OB/GYN about whether our program is right for you.
Your recommended weight gain will depend on a number of factors, including your overall health as well as your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI).
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase the risk of your child developing health problems at birth. It also increases the risk of childhood obesity. Conversely, babies of underweight women may be born earlier or smaller than expected.
These general guidelines indicate ideal weight gain during pregnancy, according to your BMI.
|Pre-pregnancy weight||Recommended weight gain|
|Underweight (BMI < 18.5)||28-40lbs|
|Normal weight (BMI 18.5 - 24.9)||25-35 lbs|
|Overweight (BMI 25 - 25.9)||15-25lbs|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||11-20lbs|