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Great Expectations – 7

Weight Gain

Your mother may tell you that HER doctor said to gain only 10 lbs., but times have changed. Today, much more is known about fetal needs and development. An average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 lbs. if you were average weight before preg­ nancy. This weight gain seems to best nurture you and your growing baby.

Mothers who are underweight before pregnancy may gain 28 to 40 lbs. Women carrying twins may gain as much as 45 lbs. Mothers who are very

overweight should limit their weight gain to approximately 15 to 25 lbs. Fifteen pounds should be a minimum weight gain for any pregnant woman. Don’t panic! Because many women have problems keeping their weight down without being pregnant, the thought of gaining 25 lbs. 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, frmer 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 fuid (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 warmwater. No soap is needed.

Urination

When your uterus expands, it puts pressure on your bladder. The need to frequently urinate is common in the frst stages of pregnancy and in the last weeks. Do not try to control this issue by drinking fewer fuids. Your baby needs you to drink at least 2 quarts of liquids a day.

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 diffcult 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.

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