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Pregnancy Weeks 19-24 - Page 7

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Healthy Habits

Healthy weight

With a nutritious diet and proper eating habits, you'll soon start to see a few extra pounds when you step on the scale. Part of the weight gain is baby, but your body adds most of the pounds as extra fluid and blood volume, and as energy stores for labor, birth, and breastfeeding.

Overall, the average woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds, but it can vary, depending on whether you are underweight or overweight, and if you are carrying twins or more. Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds, while overweight women should gain less, from 15 to 25 pounds.

Here's a breakdown of the average pattern of weight gain in each trimester:
First trimester 3 to 4 pounds
Second trimester 12 to 14 pounds
Third trimester 8 to 10 pounds

By the end of pregnancy, here's where the weight goes:
Baby 7.5 pounds
Maternal energy stores
(fat, protein, and other nutrients)

7 pounds
Fluid volume 4 pounds
Breast enlargement 2 pounds
Uterus 2 pounds
Amniotic fluid 2 pounds
Placenta 1.5 pounds


If you have concerns about gaining too much or too little weight, talk it over with your health care provider. You may need to change the type of foods or amount you are eating to increase or decrease calories. A consultation with a registered dietitian may also be helpful.

Working tips

Working during your pregnancy can be taxing, but here are some tips to lessen the load:

  • Take a break every few hours
  • Take a longer meal break every four hours
  • Drink plenty of fluids while on the job
  • Vary work positions continuously, from sitting to standing and walking
  • Minimize bending and lifting

Avoiding back strain

Weight gain during pregnancy can add strain to your back. Using proper lifting techniques for lighter objects can help reduce the strain and prevent injury. Consider the following recommendations to avoid back strain:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tuck in the buttocks.
  3. Bend at the knees.
  4. Lift with the arms and legs, not the back.

Remember, heavy lifting should be avoided, which might include your hefty 3 year-old! Talk with your health care provider about your work activities, including any heavy lifting or bending.

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