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Weight gain in pregnancy:
Weight gain during pregnancy is an important indicator of maternal-fetal well-being. The amount of weight a woman should gain varies, depending on her pre-pregnancy weight and her health status.
This body mass index (BMI) is a better indicator of maternal nutritional status than weight alone.
Common nutritional problems during pregnancy
Underweight during pregnancy
It is associated with maternal anemia, cardiopulmonary problems, interactive growth retardation and pre-term delivery. The underweight women should take 500 calories per day above the non-pregnant RDA. The protein intake should be increased to 20gm per day.
Overweight during pregnancy:
It is associated with an increased risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, diabetes, infection, large birth weight babies, and dystocias of labour.
Women who are overweight should not attempt to lose weight during the pregnancy. During pregnancy, the goal should be to improve the quality of the diet.
Common nutritional risk factors in pregnancy
In addition to being underweight or overweight, a number of factors pose nutritional risks during pregnancy and threaten the well-being of the mother and infant.
1. Frequent pregnancies
2. Women with medical or obstetric problems
3. Fad diets.
4. Eating disorders.
5. Adolescent pregnancies
6. Substance abuse.
7. Myths about foods.
Nutrition in pregnancy:
During pregnancy there should be an increase in all nutrients to meet the physiologic demands of maternal changes and fetal growth. The amount of increase in essential nutrients for each woman depends on a number of factors, such as
· the general nutritional status before pregnancy,
1. current health status, age and parity,
2. time interval between pregnancies
3. height, weight and activity level
Adolescents who are pregnant before the cessation of their own growth do not have the physiologic maturity to withstand the additional stresses of pregnancy. They need greater nutritional requirements then do adults.
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