Our expert says:
Congratulations on your pregnancy. Pregnancy must be accompanied by modest weight gain which represents the developing foetus and expansion of the placenta, etc. Generally speaking women who commence their pregnancies with a normal weight can gain 11.5 to 16.0 kg over the 9 months, without running the risk of overweight after the birth. This works out to a bit more than 1 kg per month of gestation. A balanced pregnancy diet should include all the food groups, namely 3 servings of low-fat milk, yoghurt or cottage cheese a day to provide the 1500 mg of calcium you and baby need at this stage; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables; lean meat, fish or eggs - at least 1-2 servings a day; wholewheat or unprocessed, high-bran cereals or grains - 6 servings a day to prevent constipation; poly- or monounsaturated oils like olive or canola oil - 2 tablespoons a day. Discuss the use of iron and folic acid supplements with the dr who will be overseeing your pregnancy, so that you avoid iron deficiency anaemia and prevent spina bifida in the baby. Also take omega-3 supplements such as Salmon oil capsules to ensure the healthy development of your baby's eyes and nervous system. If you find that you are gaining more weight per month then please consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will provide you with a diet that prevents rapid weight gain, but still ensures that your baby can grow and develop normally. In the meanwhile, click on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page and then on 'Eating throughout life' and read the articles on pregnancy. If the dr gives permission also remain physically active - go for walks in the fresh air or go swimming, esp while it is so hot.
Wishing you all the best with your pregnancy
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