Pregnancy is one of the few times in life when it’s actually healthy to put on a few extra pounds, but less than a third of all women hit the target when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy. According to an analysis of more than 1.3 million pregnancies, 47 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancy, while 24 percent don’t gain enough. Clearly maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is challenging, but there are lots of things you can do to keep your pregnancy weight healthy. Here is a list of just a few of them from our certified midwife in Sarasota.

#1. Eat small, frequent meals.

When you’re pregnant, there’s really no need to eat a lot of extra calories — in reality, you only need 340 extra calories during your second trimester and 450 during your third (if you start pregnancy at a healthy weight). There’s really not enough room to add on an extra meal or double your portion sizes if you want to stay healthy. Instead, eat smaller, less frequent meals throughout the day. Not only will this help to keep your weight healthy, but it will also help to curb the nausea.

#2. Drink lots of water.

When your baby has an elbow wedged into your bladder, drinking more water might not be the first thing you think of. But, staying hydrated during pregnancy is essential. According to the Institute of Medicine, pregnant women should drink 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Drinking plenty of water will help to stave off constipation, helps to keep your baby healthy and helps you to maintain a healthy weight since drinking more water will make you feel more satisfied.

#3. Keep moving.

Pregnancy doesn’t give you a free pass to sit around all the time (unless you’re on bedrest!), and exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. You probably won’t want to become a weight lifter or train for a marathon during pregnancy, but there are lots of ways to stay moving without overloading your body, like walking, swimming, yoga, etc.

#4. Give in to your cravings, but be creative.

Cravings come with the territory during pregnancy, and you’d have to have an impressive amount of self-control in order to say no to every craving for french fries or ice cream. However, you can give into your cravings without overdoing it. For instance, if you’re craving a sugary cereal, fill a bowl with a healthy granola, and add the sweet stuff to the top layer. This way, you’ll satisfy your craving and also your nutritional needs.

These are just a few of the many steps you can take to keep your weight healthy during pregnancy. Before you make any big changes to your diet or exercise routine, make sure that you talk to your doctor, as this is just general information and not meant to provide you with real medical advice.

Have questions or concerns, or need to see our midwife? Schedule your appointment today. The team at University Park Obstetrics and Gynecology is always happy to help!