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Weight Gain during pregnancy and how it affects YOU!

We talk A LOT about how what you eat and your health during pregnancy will affect your baby--but how does it affect YOU? Quite often the mindset of the 'baby health over mama health' takes over and your needs get neglected. For this reason, we wanted to talk YOUR HEALTH! You matter too!

We know that appropriate amounts of weight gain during pregnancy are important-- but why?

The first half of your pregnancy is anabolic, meaning growth takes place. And we aren't just talking about your baby...

While your baby is growing, the majority of growth is YOU!

To clarify, your baby is growing -- however, your body is creating an environment to protect your child.

Your 'maternal tissues' and placenta are working to create a home and build stores for your baby.

The second half of pregnancy is CATABOLIC for you---meaning that you are breaking down tissues and stores such as energy and other nutrients.

In the second half of pregnancy, your baby is RAPIDLY growing and because of this reason, you have to keep up your nutritional stores. Most of the weight gain that we see, the 1-2lbs a week-- is FOR your baby. The extra calories that you are taking in are meant to replenish your nutrient stores. This is an ANABOLIC (growing) state for your BABY-- and YOU are fueling it!

Growing a small human is exhausting! Many people don't realize how much their nutrition goes into pregnancy and how much it affects overall mood and energy levels.

How can you stay on top of all of this growth and replenishing your stores?

For example, at 28-30 weeks, many moms feel EXTRA tired due to a number of reasons. Mind you, this is NOT unusual.

At this point, there is increased blood plasma production that requires Mamas to increase their water to 3 liters/day. It is also important to be aware of minerals such as iron due to this increased blood volume in the body! Iron is also important because it aids in protein and energy levels in the body.

This is just one example of how to optimize your energy levels and mood during pregnancy SIMPLY through your nutrition.

What can happen if you aren't optimizing your nutrition?

It has been found that 5-10% of women develop hypertension during pregnancy (when they previously did not have it).

We have also seen that less than 45% of women gain optimal amounts of weight during pregnancy. This means that less than half of women either gain too much or too little during pregnancy...

Nutritionally, women that consumed higher amounts of processed meats and fried food had an increased risk of preterm birth by 50%. Women who consumed higher amounts of red meats, refined grains, and processed foods had an increased risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension by 20%!

On the flip side, women who followed a Mediterranean diet found a 44% risk reduction of the development of gestational diabetes.

Lastly and MOST IMPOTANTLY, women that had nutritional coaching during pregnancy with a dietitian -focusing on proper weight gain and nutrition during pregnancy- reduced their risk of preeclampsia by 33%, gestational hypertension by 70%, gestational diabetes by 48%, and preterm birth risk by 32%!

Let us remind you, diagnoses such as gestational diabetes or hypertension, typically go away after birth. However, many see a return a few months to a few years later.

These diagnoses during pregnancy increase your risk of developing future complications that could affect you for the rest of your life. Optimum nutrition and health during your pregnancy is NOT JUST FOR YOUR BABY! This is for both of you!

These (above mentioned) women were able to achieve optimum nutrition levels and weight gain during pregnancy through INDIVIDUALIZED nutrition coaching...

So what are YOU waiting for? Do NOT take a back seat for your health.

The actions you take for 40 weeks of pregnancy, either HELP or HURT both you and your baby in the long term. What kind of future are YOU looking for?

If you are ready to take charge of your health, fill out our application here -- we KNOW you will NOT regret investing in yourself AND you child.

Until next time! Stay amazing!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Coaches

Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., Supplement-The Pregnancy, and Birth to 24 Months: A series of systematic reviews on diet and health., March 2019 Volume 109

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Obesity, Reproduction, and Pregnancy Outcomes., 2016

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New York, United States