Page 7 - Great Expectations

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Great Expectations – 7
Weight Gain
Your mother may tell you that HER doctor said to gain only 10 pounds, but
times have changed. Today, much more is known about fetal needs and
development. An average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds if
you were
average weight
before preg­nancy. This weight gain seems to best
nurture you and your growing baby.
Mothers who are
underweight
before pregnancy may gain 28 to 40 pounds.
Women carrying twins may gain as much as 45 pounds. Mothers who are very
overweight
should limit their weight gain to approximately 15 to 25 pounds.
Fifteen pounds should be a minimum weight gain for any pregnant woman.
Do not panic! Because many women have problems keeping their weight down
without being pregnant, the thought of gaining 25 pounds seems horrible.
Keep in mind that you will lose most of the weight when the baby is born or
in the postpartum period.
Keep a chart and weigh yourself weekly. You will also be weighed at every
appointment. If you are simply ravenous and start to gain weight quickly, talk
to your healthcare provider. Suggestions can be made for foods that you can
eat in large portions and still not gain those pounds. Refer to the
Diet and
Nutrition
section (pages 33 through 35) of this booklet for a complete outline
of suggestions.
Breast Changes
Right from the beginning, your breasts may be larger, firmer and more tender
than usual. The areola, the dark area around the nipples, may get larger and
grow darker in color. Halfway through your pregnancy, your breasts may start
to secrete fluid
(colostrum)
in small amounts. Be sure to keep them clean. There
are special pads you can purchase if you are leaking colostrum to protect your
clothes. The veins right under your skin may become more noticeable, too. This is
caused by an increased blood supply preparing your breasts for milk production.
If you are planning to breastfeed your infant, no special nipple preparations
are required, although it is recommended that you keep your nipples dry and
wash them only with warm water. Soap is not necessary.
Urination
When your uterus expands, it puts pressure on your bladder. The need to frequently urinate is common in the first stages
of pregnancy and in the last weeks. Do not try to control this issue by drinking fewer fluids. Be sure to stay hydrated
and drink to thirst.
Excessive Salivation
This condition is frequently confused with vomiting in pregnancy. It is caused by excessive secretion of the salivary
glands in the mouth and is quite annoying and difficult to treat. It tends to diminish in the latter half of pregnancy.
HINT: Mints, chewing gum, frequent small meals and cracker snacks can be helpful.
You Can Expect
Some Changes
Sources of Maternal
Weight Gain (approximate)
Uterus . . . . . . . . . 2 lbs.
Blood Volume . . . . . 4 lbs.
Breasts . . . . . . . . 2 lbs.
Body Fluid . . . . . . . 4 lbs.
Maternal Stores:
(fat, protein, nutrients) . 7 lbs.
Sources of Fetal
Weight Gain (approximate)
Fetus . . . . . . . 6 to 8 lbs.
Placenta & Membranes . 1.5 lbs.
Amniotic Fluid . . . . . 2 lbs.