4 tips for managing your weight in pregnancy

There is plenty of support available to help you manage your weight during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

Pregnant woman going for a walk.

Every woman gains weight when they are pregnant. Because every pregnant woman gains weight differently, there are no official guidelines for how much weight you should gain. The most important thing is to keep your weight gain to a safe and healthy level for you and your baby.

Here are some tips for managing your weight gain in pregnancy.

1. Get support from your midwife

If you're worried about your weight, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or midwife. They will be able to talk with you about you and your baby’s health, and they will keep an eye on any potential weight-related problems.

Your doctor or midwife can give you advice about the amount of exercise you should do and your pregnancy diet. If you are overweight or underweight, they may be able to organise extra care during your pregnancy and refer you to a specialist dietitian.

2. Get support from family and friends

Most people think they’re being helpful by saying things like “come on, you’re eating for two now!” or encouraging you to reduce your activities so you can rest. But what many people don't know is that you don’t need to eat for two  while you’re pregnant and exercise  is safe and important for you and your baby.

You may find it helpful to tell your partner, family and friends that it’s important to you to manage your weight and that they can help you.

For example, you and your partner could make eating well in pregnancy more fun by planning all your meals and cooking together. You could also invite your best friend round for a healthy dinner. Eating well in pregnancy will also help if you are underweight and need to gain a healthy weight in pregnancy 

Many women have hunger pangs and feel the need to snack when they’re pregnant. The trick is to swap the unhealthy snacks for the healthy ones. Ask your family not to bring unhealthy food home because you’ll just be tempted. Instead, everyone could try swapping the crisps, biscuits and chocolate for healthier snacks, such as fruit or nuts for nine months to support you.

3. Exercise with other people

There are lots of different types of exercise that are safe in pregnancy so why not ask your partner, family or friends to do some activities with you. It may make it more fun!

  • Walk the children to school or take them to the park.
  • Go swimming  at the local pool. Some pools have antenatal swimming and exercise classes available or family fun sessions, so you can go with your partner and other children if you have them. Or you can go alone when it's quieter and swim lengths.
  • Go on a shopping trip with your friends that involves some brisk walking.
  • Go for a walk together after a family meal.
  • Play ball games with the kids in the garden or at your local park or beach.
  • Organise a night out dancing for a great way to be active and have fun.

4. Get Healthy Start vouchers

Healthy Start is a UK-wide scheme that provides free vitamins and weekly vouchers for milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk.

You qualify if you are on benefits and:

  • you are at least 10 weeks pregnant
  • have children under the age of four
  • All pregnant women under the age of 18 qualify – whether or not they are on benefits.

To find out more and apply visit Healthy Start or call 0345 607 6823

The other pages in this section also include lots of information, ideas and tips about managing your weight during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. We also have lots of information about being active in pregnancy and eating a healthy diet in pregnancy.

 

 

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Sources

NICE Guidelines (2010) Weight management before, during and after pregnancy National Institute for Health and Care Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph27

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Last reviewed on October 25th, 2018. Next review date October 25th, 2021.

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