The importance of weight control during pregnancy: strategies for the well-being of mother and child

The importance of weight control during pregnancy: strategies for the well-being of mother and child

During the nine months of pregnancy, the baby is completely dependent on the mother for nourishment and development. The quality of maternal nutrition not only influences the growth of the fetus, but also the quality of breast milk , essential in the first months of the newborn's life and also precious for his future health as an adult.

The child's state of health depends partly on the genetics of the family of origin and partly on the growth that occurs during intrauterine life and on the substances absorbed and reprocessed by the organs. It is therefore essential that the expectant mother maintains a balanced diet and carefully monitors her weight for both her physical well-being and that of her little one. Following a correct diet, in the sense of a varied, balanced diet with the right amount of calories is essential; this does not mean completely overturning eating habits but possibly rebalancing them to ensure both the pregnant mother and the developing baby have all the necessary nutritional elements.

Weight gain should be gradual, ideally starting from the fourth month; the increase of 1kg or little more in the first trimester is instead given by the increase in blood volume and the growth of the uterus.


The importance of a balanced diet for the right intake of calories

First quarter

In the first trimester of pregnancy, the daily calorie requirement remains substantially unchanged compared to the pre-pregnancy period and, unless there are situations of particular deficiencies or insufficient weight on the part of the woman, it is not necessary to increase the dietary intake.
In any case, in the first trimester the diet must be varied, complete and balanced, including the integration of folic acid and, if necessary, iron.

Second quarter

Starting from the fourth month, the increase in maternal tissues and simultaneous fetal growth require an increase in the mother's caloric needs.
The LARN (Reference intake levels of nutrients and energy for the Italian population) recommend an increase of 350 kcal per day . This allows the needs of the fetus to be covered, allowing the child to develop normally, avoiding affecting the maternal reserves.

Third quarter

In the third trimester, with the further increase in volume of the placenta and the growth of the fetus, calorie needs increase by approximately 460 kcal per day. During this period, weight gain is normally around half a kg per week.

During pregnancy, the protein requirement rises to 6g per day, while the need for carbohydrates and fats remains almost unchanged. Vegetarian and vegan women are advised to supplement with vitamin B12 , as it is normally found in foods of animal origin and is important in the synthesis of genetic material, in the metabolism of some amino acids and in the formation of red blood cells for the fetus, while in the future mom prevents anemia and vascular diseases.

For all pregnant women, an adequate intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 is important for the prevention of spina bifida, a severe malformation of the spinal column, and of iron , to avoid the risk of iron deficiency anemia caused by the increased need for production of red blood cells. However, the specialist who follows the pregnancy will give the right indications.

Recommendations for a healthy diet

For a good and healthy diet during pregnancy for mother and baby it is advisable to eat a bit of everything, satisfying your tastes without exceeding the portions so as not to overdo it with the calories introduced and respecting the rule of 5 , that is: 5 portions every day of fruit and vegetables to guarantee the body the right supply of mineral salts and vitamins. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking at least 1 and a half liters of water a day.
In order not to overload the digestive system at some times of the day and instead have the right food fuel at others, the suggested dietary plan for both pregnancy and breastfeeding includes 5 meals containing all the nutrients : carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

A healthy and balanced diet will help you gain weight correctly and using a specific pregnancy scale , such as Primi Pesi Mum & Baby by Nuvita with integrated Artificial Intelligence , will be a valid aid for periodic checks.


Risks associated with nutritional deficiencies in pregnancy

Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to serious risks for both mother and baby, including:

  • premature birth and lower than normal birth weight, negatively affecting the future development of the child;
  • congenital malformations: deficiencies of essential vitamins such as folate can increase the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other congenital malformations;
  • impairment of the physical and mental development of the newborn: nutrients such as iodine and iron are crucial for brain development and their deficiency can result in delays in cognitive and physical development.

Risks associated with being overweight during pregnancy

Being overweight during pregnancy can lead to numerous health risks for both mother and baby, including:

  • gestational diabetes whose risk increases with excessive weight gain;
  • gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, closely related to excessive weight gain with the risk of developing gestational hypertension, a condition that can evolve into preeclampsia, a rather serious complication;
  • Fetal macrosomia: Excessive weight gain can lead to a large baby, which can complicate childbirth and increase the risk of birth trauma and the need for a cesarean section;
  • Metabolic problems: Failure to control your weight can lead to metabolic imbalances, increasing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.

Weight control during pregnancy is essential for the health of the mother and baby

While weight loss during pregnancy can lead to premature birth, congenital malformations and negatively influence the child's development, on the other hand being overweight can increase the risks of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. The latter, in particular, is a serious condition that can cause organ damage and complications for both mother and baby if not managed properly.

weight-in-pregnancy-how-to-monitor it

To effectively manage weight during pregnancy , using advanced technological tools can be of great help. In particular, the Primi Pesi Mum & Baby scale by Nuvita is the first predictive scale for controlling weight during pregnancy , of the baby after birth and post-partum . Thanks to its technology with integrated Artificial Intelligence, it allows you to monitor your weight accurately, record every variation and compare it with the official MSD medical-scientific parameters , and share the data with your gynecologist, nutritionist, dietician or general practitioner for any corrective suggestions to the diet followed.

The same principle applies to weight control after giving birth and breastfeeding, when the mother's health goal will be to get back into shape. The Mum & Baby First Weight scale also helps to monitor the optimal growth of the newborn with the reference percentiles for weight and height , or control the quantity of milk taken at each meal in case the little one needs to be followed precisely for the 'diet.



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