Pregnancy is a period when the woman experiences all kinds of physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. For some, it’s a joyous ride, but others may feel this nightmare lasts straight for 9 months. Amidst happiness, there is always a struggle to ensure optimum health for the baby in the womb.
One of the most crucial elements to guarantee a healthy baby is a healthy weight gain for the expecting mother. Though this doesn’t sound like a problem for many, achieving the right pregnancy weight isn’t actually an easy feat. Doctors curate a tailored diet for the same. Here we are also trying to help mothers-to-be achieve a healthy weight gain through the superfood, i.e., seeds.
Proper weight gain during pregnancy is crucial for a healthy baby. However, many age-old beliefs around pregnancy weight gain make the expecting mother confused. Here we present an accurate picture of the ideal weight gain. Hopefully, this chart will enable expectant mothers to determine if they are on the right track.
Before finding the ideal pregnancy weight, one must determine their BMI. A simple formula can help you if you already know your body weight and height.
Now that you have BMI in hand, it’s time to determine the ideal weight gain.
The table below shall provide an idea about the ideal weight gain for pregnant women. However, we insist to consult your medical practitioner for a precise guidance according to your health conditions.
|BMI before Pregnancy||Ideal weight gain for mothers with 1 baby||Ideal weight gain for mothers with twins|
|<18.5||28-40 lb||50-62 ib|
|18.5-24.5||25-35 lb||37-54 lb|
|＞30.3||11-20 lb||25-42 lb|
Recent research conducted on expectant mothers states that only 31% of women are within the ideal weight range. The alarming rates of 47% of pregnant women being overweight and 22% underweight are concerns.
In this article, we focus on women who aren’t able to achieve the ideal pregnancy weight. However, before that, let’s look into the problems you may face if not gain the desired weight.
- Babies may be tiny for their gestational time
- Babies may be born prematurely
- Babies may suffer growth restrictions
- Complications during the birth
- Small babies may face problems during breastfeeding
- Small babies may lack immunity
- They may miss developmental milestones
Doctors prescribe tailored diets for pregnant women who aren’t able to gain the ideal weight. They also add superfoods such as nuts and seeds to add more nutrition and fewer calories to your diet. Many seeds are available that can help a pregnant woman gain weight healthily.
Here we provide insights about seeds for pregnant women to gain the ideal weight.
Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of numerous vitamins and minerals. There is a huge quantity of Vitamin A, B6, and C. There is also iron and zinc in a considerable amount. Coupled with antioxidants, omega-3, and proteins, pumpkin seeds are ideal for gaining weight during pregnancy. The best part of having pumpkin seeds during pregnancy is that it helps keep nausea at bay.
Sunflower seeds are high in folic acid, copper, zinc, magnesium, pantothenic acid, and numerous vitamins, including Vitamin E, B6, etc. Sunflower seeds combat the lack of folic acid and aid digestion. While adding low calories to your diet, sunflower seed adds to your healthy weight. A handful of sunflower seeds daily are enough to combat the iron deficiency a pregnant woman faces in the third trimester.
The humble watermelon seeds soak so much flavor and nutrition. These seeds contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, and iron. There is also an abundance of Vitamin A, B6, and C in the watermelon seeds. These help improve weight gain pregnancy and ensure healthy fetal growth. Apart from that, watermelon seeds relieve muscle cramps and help the body fight against infections.
Chia seeds are the ultimate source of power foods. These used to be the hero element of all healthy diets. However, now even junk foods get a sprinkle of chia seeds to add atleast some nutritional value. This fiber-rich food aids in digestion and helps a pregnant mother to maintain a healthy eating pattern, thus increasing the pregnancy weight. Besides that, protein, calcium, omega-3, and Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, E, etc. are also part of this nutritious seed.
Flax seeds are the reservoirs of iron and protein, making them the ideal choice for pregnant women. Digestion and increasing muscle mass are some of the key functions of flax seeds. Flax seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids in abundance that help develop the baby’s brain and body. Also, the flax seeds are great for improving immunity, keeping your heart healthy, and controlling your gestational blood sugar levels.
Sesame seeds are a complete nutritional package consisting of iron, oxalic acid, amino acid, proteins, fiber, carbohydrate, fat, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. This power-packed seed also consists of some essential vitamins, including B, C, E, and antioxidants. Apart from relieving pregnant women of nausea, improving digestion, these also prevent seasonal allergies. Consumption of sesame seeds ensures optimal health of both mother and baby.
Muskmelon is a wonder seed as it helps both overweight and underweight pregnant women to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Muskmelon seeds are a must-have during pregnancy due to the abundance of antioxidants and minerals such as potassium, folic acid, zinc, calcium, and essential vitamins such as A, B, and C. Some advantages of having musk melon seeds are preventing constipation, immunity-boosting, digestion, and preventing anemia, blood pressure irregularities, and fetal abnormalities. Relaxation from acidity is another crucial aspect of using musk melon seeds as it encourages a healthy eating pattern and an ideal weight gain.
Using poppy seeds during pregnancy for weight gain is the perfect choice since it contains 50% of essential oils and fats. The presence of linoleic and oleic acids helps pregnant women maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Adding fiber to the diet through poppy seeds eliminates the most common problem expectant mothers face, i.e., constipation, which helps them eat better and gain healthy weight. Due to the high presence of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and an abundance of B vitamins, poppy seeds are ideal for fetus development.
Pomegranate seeds are a high-calorie, nutrition-dense snack for pregnant women. It is helpful at satiating sugar cravings and keeps you away from unhealthy choices. The fruit is rich in iron and vitamin C, aiding adequate fetus development and protection from infections. One bowl of pomegranate seeds taken daily can help gain the required weight and fight free radicles to maintain a disease-free pregnancy. The high consistency of potassium relieves cramps.
Cumin seeds, an integral part of our cooking, provide a burst of flavor to our foods. Also, it’s packed with numerous vitamins and minerals that help the body stay healthy, especially when one is pregnant. The high folate concentration strengthens the fetus’s bones and keeps the mother healthy. Protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, magnesium, etc are other essential nutrients that cumin seeds possess. Apart from controlling the sudden spikes of diabetes and cholesterol, these tiny seeds help a pregnant woman overcome nausea and enjoy healthy meals aiding in an ideal weight gain.
There are multiple ways of adding seeds to your diet. You can always experiment with food and relish on seeds for a mother and baby’s health. Here we provide a few ways to include seeds in your pregnancy diet.
Soups form a daily part of our pregnancy diet. You can toss a spoonful of seeds into the soup bowl and relish the crunchy and healthy texture.
Another yummy way of including seeds for pregnancy weight gain is to sprinkle some on your daily salad and enjoy the meal.
Craving is a real problem during pregnancy that can lead to some unhealthy choices. However, a homemade granola bar sprinkled with seeds shall be a savior and help you satiate the craving without getting junk inside your system.
Baking cookies is said to be a relaxing activity. If you are interested in cooking baking or can have somebody make them for you, try including lots of healthy seeds into the flour and maintain your nourishment quotient.
You can make butter with these seeds. However, be cautious of choosing the right one. We recommend pumpkin or sunflower seed for this recipe. All you do is add a bowl of seed into the blender along with some oil. You can also add seasoning and store it in an airtight container. Use this butter as a spread and kickstart your day with dollops of health.
A healthy smoothie is surely a part of your daily diet during pregnancy. Add a bit more nutrition to the tumbler with a sprinkle of your favorite seeds.
Along with adding these nutritious seeds, one must also take care of their entire diet to achieve a healthy weight gain.
Few tips to help you attain your pregnancy goals and birth a healthy child-
- Eat a balanced diet, comprising veggies, whole grain bread, fruits, and ample protein
- Spread your total calorie intake to 6 servings
- Avoid junk eating, and grab some nuts or seeds to satiate cravings
- Avoid alcohol and control caffeine intake
- Keep moving
Though nuts or seeds do not pose any danger to the expectant mother or baby, it is advisable to have these in moderate quantities. Also, if you intend on taking a particular seed that you haven’t tried ever, consult with your doctor beforehand. Always be cautious of having any food in the first trimester and eat only what the doctor recommends.
Healthy diet is the key to a safe pregnancy and childbirth. It’s also the time to act only with caution when deciding your diet or daily routine. Hence, always listen to your medical practitioner’s recommendations and enjoy this wholesome journey.