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How To Maintain Proper Pregnancy Weight

Updated on July 16, 2015
A shadow figure of a woman, demonstrating the difference in her body pre-pregnancy and during.
A shadow figure of a woman, demonstrating the difference in her body pre-pregnancy and during.

Mind Over Matter

Bringing a child into this world is a beautiful concept, but when concept meets reality often times that glow can fade into a dimming light. You have your first trimester, where it's rare if a woman does not experience day-to-day morning sickness. Though it may be rare, that woman should count herself very lucky. Regardless of whether you're holding down your food or not, there is no denying the fact that your body is going through some not-so-lovely changes. The second trimester can usually get easier, unless, of course, you continue on with morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy.

Fast forward to the third trimester. Perhaps you are still getting sick throughout the day, and If not then you may be wanting to eat everything in sight! You watch yourself grow, daily, in the mirror and as if that's not bad enough, you listen to everyone's comments about how your size is comparable to a house--or perhaps a horse?! Typically, those same people expect you to smile at their connotations, and maybe even joke along with them. It's a fragile time in your life when everyone, except you, thinks that it is okay to openly discuss your increased weight. The good news is, you are not alone.

In order to keep yourself from feeling down, you need to surround yourself with positive influences; people who understand what you are going through. Support is beneficial, and at all costs possible the father of the baby should make himself available to be the first point of contact. This isn't always feasible for mothers, in which case you should reach out to close friends and family members for tighter support throughout your pregnancy. Be willing to always accept their help and remember that, no matter how strong of a person you may be, we can all use extra hands at some point in our lives. Pregnancy is certainly one of those points.

While receiving support from others will prove to be beneficial, the most important person to rely on is yourself. Only you can keep yourself happy. Mind over matter. You look in the mirror and what do you see? A woman 20 lbs heavier than the foxy lady you saw in that same mirror only 7 months earlier. Maybe you have some stretch marks or spider veins, but look again. This time, find the woman who is carrying a happy and healthy baby that will soon positively change your life, forever. Perhaps, you can feel the sides of your mouth lifting just a bit when you think of it that way.

When you look in the mirror, spend more time making eye contact with yourself rather than the usual time you would spend looking at the other parts of your body--you know, the parts which you may be currently finding less attractive in your own mind. Keep eye contact with yourself, because your eyes are going to always reflect the truth and beauty of the situation before any other part of your anatomy gets the chance to fool you.

Only you have control over your mind. Likewise, only you have control over your weight, your health, and most importantly, your baby's health. Mind is over matter, but don't let your mind squash reality, either. If you find yourself gaining too much weight too quickly and unnaturally, perhaps it is time to take control over your mind and your body. The two can not work alone; they must come together.

"Eating For Two"

One of the most overused phrases for pregnant women is, "I'm eating for two." The truth is, no you're not. You're still eating for yourself, only. Your baby pulls enough nutrients from the same amount of food that you ate prior to being pregnant, and you only need to increase your calorie intake by very little. It's not the baby that's increasing your appetite, it's your hormones. When you overeat, you are also overfeeding your baby. See The Effects of Overeating During Pregnancy for more information.

The easiest way to control your eating habits without excessively filling yourself is to eat smaller (low sodium) meals, more often, throughout the day. Truthfully, this is highly recommended for everyone; not just pregnant women.

Once again, it all comes back to mind over matter. It is possible to gain control of your cravings and appetite, and it is essential to the health of your baby and your own.

A pregnant woman gaining exercise by walking her dog.
A pregnant woman gaining exercise by walking her dog.

Stay Fit

It is undoubtedly exhausting to carry a ten-pound bowling ball inside your belly, everywhere you go. However, the worst thing you can do for your body is to not exercise, especially in the last few months. You may not be eating for two but your blood is pumping for two.

Yes, that's correct. Your blood is pumping nearly twice its normal volume to keep your body stable as it grows. Thus, the reason it is easier for pregnant women to get blood clots in their legs. The best way to prevent that from happening is by walking and staying active.

Exercise not only keeps your body in shape, but it helps build a healthier mindset as well. Test this theory by going for a 20-minute brisk walk. Have you noticed any improvement in your mood? Increase that time and the frequency of yours walks, and you may find an even happier YOU!

Pregnant women should not overexert themselves, but they are definitely encouraged to continue providing oxygen to their bloodstream by exercising. It is the final and key component to not only surviving the last trimester of weight gain, but also to strengthening your core value: mind over matter. After all, in no time you will have a brand new bundle of joy who will be counting on you for their stability.

More About The Author

I love to cook for my family, and they love me cooking for them. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, as well as DIY projects, any chance that I get. If they're successful, I try to post them on my hubs to share with others!

I'm a young mom (well, kind of) of three and a happily devoted wife to a hard working man. Nothing brings our family together at the end of our busy days quite like dinner time! That's why it's important to me that my meals taste good and that they're something everyone will look forward to eating.

Family time is necessary, no matter how busy our schedules can be. If you're struggling to find the time and/or energy to spend with your family, try some of these ideas:

  • Cook Together: Most children love to cook with their parents when they are given the chance, and having them help has been proven to increase their chances of eating vegetables! Spouses can help, too. More than likely, we've ALL had a long day some how.
  • Eat Together: Everyone needs to eat, so why not do it together? Tip: Turn the TV off and you might actually talk to each other, too!
  • Take Walks Together: It may sound exhausting after a long day of work, but a simple-paced walk is more unwinding and relaxing than it is strenuous. Promote healthy living and fresh air with your family, and don't forget to recap your days to each other during that walk!
  • Get Out Of The House: You don't have to be gone all night, but sometimes getting away from the house is important to do as a family (not just individually). Go for a bike ride, watch the sunset somewhere, explore a local park, or if the sun is already down go have a scavenger hunt in your local Walmart or Target!

The point is to get creative and enjoy your family in the process. It doesn't have to be a lot of work, but it does take time; the most important time that you'll never get back. Thanks for reading my hubs!

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    • adf3180 profile image

      April Finny 4 years ago from Michigan

      I think that you are right. I am in my second trimester and I am still amazed how much my thighs have grown along with my stomach, but nothing much else.

      I want to stay fit, and I was fit before I became pregnant, but I am always exhausted its hard just to get through work and school. Bottom line, I need more energy!

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