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Eating and Weight



Mothers-to-be should be intentional about what they eat, both for the sake of their own health and for optimal development of fetal tissues. Scientific opinions about nutrition and ideal weight gain during pregnancy vary, but the old rule of thumb prescribing "one kilo per month" seems to hold good. Pregnant women should gain at most 12-13 kg, including 1.5-2 kg per month during the last trimester.

The additional weight is partly that of the baby, which at birth weighs on average 3.5 kg. The rest is from the placenta (about 650 g) and the amniotic fluid (about 1 kg). The enlarged uterus contributes about 1 kg, and 2-3 kg come from water retained in the tissues.

Weight gain varies among women and depends on many factors. The most important of these is daily calorie intake, but others include a high-salt diet, sedentary lifestyle, the mother's weight and height, hereditary factors, and last but not least a higher percentage of body fat due to the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.

The "Golden Rule": A varied diet throughout pregnancy is always ideal.
Intake should be divided among 4-5 small meals a day, supplemented as needed with specific nutrients and vitamins. Be sure to avoid contaminated foods and those of dubious quality, in order to prevent dangerous infections (hepatitis, toxoplasmosis, salmonella).
Page created on: 03/09/2012
Last modified on: 03/09/2012
 
 
 
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