Friday, January 16, 2009

Pregnancy Factors

A pregnant woman needs to increase her calorie intake by 300 calories a day to gain the proper amount of weight during pregnancy.You should consume at least 2100-2400 calories per day. A pregnant woman needs 75-80 grams of protein a day. Liver should be avoided in pregnancy due to reports that liver may contain levels of Vitamin A that may be toxic to you baby. Seafood is an excellent source of protein, however you must make sure that it is fresh and not high in iodine. Calcium intake should be 1200 mg per day and can be obtained from dairy products. If you cannot tolerate dairy products, your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement. You should divide your calories so that an evening snack becomes a regular part of your daily nutrition. You should have two servings of foods that contain Vitamin C.You will consume enough natural fats if you follow the diet recommendations.Trim excess fat from foods.Use lean meats and steam, bake or broil meats.Use olive oil rather than vegetable oils.Use low-fat dairy products, but avoid skimmed milk.The majority of your calories should be carbohydrates.Avoid empty calories such as cakes, cookies, potato chips, soft drinks, sweetened juices and candy.I ask patients to avoid artificial sweeteners even though no harmful affects have been attributed to them.It is also important to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.

A healthy pregnancy weight gain is 25-35 pounds. This is all accounted for by the pregnancy and the changes in Mom as a result of the pregnancy (SEE TABLE). The usual weight gain distribution is 5-7 pounds the first thirteen weeks, 10-14 pounds the second thirteen weeks, and 10-14 pounds the last 13-14 weeks.If you are not gaining enough weight, your doctor may add calories to your diet.


With some modification, your regular exercise program can be continued during pregnancy. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute. You should exercise for thirty minutes, three times a week. Because your oxygen consumption increases during pregnancy, the intensity of the exercise should be modified. You must make sure that you are adequately hydrated at all times. You should stop exercising when you become tired. DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF TO YOUR PRE-PREGNANCY LIMITS. You should always precede and end each work-out with a warm-up and cool-down period of at least five minutes each.
Deep flexion and extension should be avoided. Due to hormone changes, the joints become lax during pregnancy and you may hurt yourself. You may continue weight training, however decrease your weights and limit the strain on your joints. Avoid exercises that involve deep knee bends and 'bearing down'. Jumping, jarring and bouncy movements should be avoided.
Competitive sports, such as singles tennis may need to be curtailed. But other activities, such as running, can be done until the end of pregnancy. I have had three marathon runners continue until labor !
Do not do exercises on you back after the fourth month. Full, strenuous activity should not continue for more than fifteen minutes at a time. As you progress through the months of pregnancy, your doctor should help you to modify your exercise regimen.

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