Staying Slim And Healthy Through Pregnancy!Dr. Nitin Gupte
Staying Slim And Healthy Through Motherhood!
When I started my Slimming Centre in Pune, over three decades ago, the goal was not only to help people lose weight and stay slim and healthy for the lifetime but also to help people prevent putting on weight unnecessarily, during different stages of their lives.
After all, staying slim is so much easier than losing weight, even if it has to be done in an excellent slimming centre.
The commonest period when most ladies gain weight unnecessarily is around motherhood. If they can be educated about the basic science of how much weight they need to gain during pregnancy, how much extra and what food they need to eat and how they can exercise during this period, most ladies will stay slim and healthy through pregnancy and will not need to lose weight in a slimming centre.
A slim and healthy Indian young woman needs to gain around 9 to 10 kg during pregnancy, or even less if she is a little overweight.
This weight gain includes about 1 kg each of placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, increased breast volume, a couple of kg of reserve store of fat and between 2.7 to 4 kg being the weight of the baby.
So immediately after the delivery, the new mother has a weight loss of about 5 or 6 kg, as the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid exit her body.
So all the extra weight she needs to lose at the end of the pregnancy is only about 4 to 5 kg, which she can lose easily while nursing the baby and stay slim, without going to a slimming centre for any big weight loss!
For a slim and healthy, young Indian lady, the extra energy required during pregnancy are about 150 kcal in the first three months of pregnancy and about 300 kcal in the later period of pregnancy.
That means increasing only a small portions of cereals (chapati and rice) and pulses and legumes (dals and beans – ‘usal’), fresh vegetables and fruits and extra (3 or 4 cups) milk, and consumption of moderate amounts of egg and fish and meat, in non-vegetarian ladies easily meets the increased need of calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals, during pregnancy.
Along with this the young woman must also learn and take up antenatal exercises and walk regularly.
If every expectant mother follows these easy guidelines, she will stay slim and healthy through pregnancy, without having to lose any weight at all, after the delivery!