Gaining weight is often inevitable for pregnant women. Yet for some who are expecting, gaining weight may prove to be more challenging. This can happen for a variety of reasons, whether it be metabolism or thyroid issues, eating disorders, complications after cancer treatment, or appetite loss associated with pregnancy. However, all pregnant women should make it a top priority to gain a healthy amount of weight and engage in proper weight management while they are pregnant for the sake of themselves and their babies.
Gaining weight while you are pregnant may require some extra attention to your diet and lifestyle, but it can be done. Read on to find out how you can gain weight in a healthy way while pregnant and how ENU nutritional shakes can help you get the recommended number of calories needed to meet your weight gain goals. If you would like more information about how ENU meal replacement shakes can help you with weight gain, call us at (855) 266-6733 or visit our website.
The Importance of Being the Proper Weight During Pregnancy
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the easiest ways for pregnant women to ensure that their babies will be born as healthy as possible and with few complications. Expecting mothers should understand the importance of being a healthy weight while they are pregnant. The following are common questions about the risks of being underweight while pregnant.
What Are the Side Effects of Being Underweight?
Being underweight while pregnant can have many adverse effects on the health of you and your baby. The most dire side effect of being underweight while pregnant is a miscarriage. Women who are underweight and pregnant are also at risk of giving birth to premature babies. Premature babies may have extra difficulty enduring birth and may be susceptible to complications such as obstetric surgical interventions or postpartum hemorrhages; pregnant women who are underweight also put their babies at risk of suffering gastroschisis, a condition that causes a baby’s stomach to develop improperly. Babies born to underweight mothers may have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol later in life.
Does Being Underweight Make You Tired?
Yes. Being underweight can make you feel tired because you are not getting enough calories, and calories are what supply the body with energy. Other complications and side effects of being underweight include mental fog, immune deficiencies, fertility problems, nutritional deficiencies such as osteoporosis and anemia, and issues with skin, hair, and teeth. Slowed or impaired growth is another possible side effect.
What Is a Dangerously Low Body Weight?
A dangerously low body weight depends on your height. Body weight in relation to height is quantified by the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is regarded as a loose rubric for determining a person’s ideal weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be healthy, while a BMI that is either 15% to 20% below the normal BMI for a person’s height, or a BMI that is under 18.5, is considered to be too low. However, BMI calculations typically do not apply to pregnant women since they must weigh more than women who are not pregnant, and because their weight is distributed differently than non-pregnant women.
What BMI is Extremely Underweight?
A BMI that is between 16 and 18 is considered to be underweight. A BMI that is between 15 and 16 is considered to be severely underweight and a BMI under 15 is very severely underweight.
Can You Die from Being Underweight?
Yes, being underweight means that your body isn’t receiving enough nutrients, and a lack of nutrients means that your body can’t function the way it should. A body that isn’t receiving enough nutrients will shut down within 8 to 12 weeks.
How Do You Recover from Being Underweight?
The only way underweight people can recover is by gaining weight and doing so healthily. Weight can be gained in a safe and effective way by eating more food that has greater caloric content at more frequent intervals.
If you are pregnant, even more consideration should be given to how weight is gained. Pregnant women who are gaining weight should make sure that they are getting a proper amount of nutrients in their diets and avoiding foods that can be harmful to pregnant women: high-mercury fish, raw eggs, caffeine, processed meats, and unpasteurized dairy and juices.
Any underlying conditions that led to becoming underweight should be dealt with as part of the weight gain process. This may mean seeking proper nutrition for eating disorder recovery, or it may mean proper weight management for cancer survivors.
Healthy Weight Gain Rates for Pregnant Women
It’s important for pregnant women to gain weight at an appropriate rate. Gaining too little or too much weight can be detrimental to the health of the baby, and gaining weight too quickly can mean that weight is being gained unhealthily (gaining weight too quickly can cause complications such as diabetes, indigestion, and blood sugar and metabolism issues).
There are recommended amounts of weight that women should gain while they are pregnant. It is recommended that women gain between 20 and 25 pounds over the course of their pregnancies, depending on their height and body type. It is suggested that pregnant women gain 2 to 4 pounds per week during the first few months of their pregnancies and then 1 pound per week after that until they give birth.
These recommendations depend on the weight of the woman before she becomes pregnant—if a woman is overweight when she starts her pregnancy, then it is recommended that she gain less weight (in fact, it may be safe for her to lose weight while pregnant). If she is underweight when she starts the pregnancy, then it is recommended that she gain more weight.
Pregnant women who would like to gain weight are advised to follow these tips to gain weight at a healthy rate:
- Increase the frequency of calorie consumption. You can eat more meals, increase the portion sizes of meals, and increase the number of snacks eaten between meals. Add extra cheese, sauces, or sides to increase the calorie counts of dishes. You may want to eat smaller meals more frequently to avoid feeling too full throughout the day. Be sure to gain weight by eating healthy foods. Gaining weight by eating junk foods in bad for the growth and development of your baby. You can also gain weight by drinking calories in the form of nutrition shakes or other convenient products.
- Gradually increase the amount that you eat, which is better for your metabolism than increasing calorie intake dramatically at one time. You can start by adding a little bit of food to your diet and then, as you get comfortable with it, adding more.
- Decrease the frequency of exercise. Exercise can be beneficial for the health of a baby, but doing it in excess can prevent a pregnant woman from gaining weight at the rate that she should.
How to Gain Weight Safely While Pregnant
In order to gain the recommended amount of weight during their pregnancies, it is recommended that women of a healthy weight eat 300 extra calories per day while they are pregnant. These calories should be consumed in the form of nutritious food, not junk food. Pregnant women who are trying to gain weight healthily should strive to eat all five food groups daily, with an emphasis on protein, fruits, and veggies. This muesli recipe using the ENU vanilla shake is a good place to start.
Some moderate exercise is good for the health of a baby, but any physical exertion should be done in moderation. It is also important for pregnant women to take folic acid supplements throughout the course of their pregnancies.
While it is best for pregnant women to eat most of their calories in the form of fresh, solid food, it can also be convenient for them to gain weight by drinking meal replacement shakes, such as those from ENU. Nutritional shakes from ENU are a good way for pregnant women to get extra calories into their diets because they have a full macronutrient profile, which is why they are also commonly used for medical nutrition support and sports nutrition. The macronutrients in an ENU protein shake ensure that pregnant women will receive all the nutrients they need to support the healthy growth of themselves and their babies. Our shakes contain an abundance of key macronutrients:
- Protein: The protein in ENU meal replacement shakes comes from whey and soy, which means that both are absorbed and digested quickly and easily.
- Carbohydrates: ENU meal replacement shakes contain complex carbohydrates derived from natural sources like quinoa, brown rice, and tapioca.
- Fats: Unsaturated fats sourced from sunflower and coconut oils are added to ENU shakes. They can contribute to the health of a pregnant woman by helping them feel satisfied and allowing other nutrients to be absorbed easily.
ENU nutrition shakes also have more than 20 important vitamins and minerals, all of which can contribute to the health of a pregnant woman attempting to gain weight. Furthermore, these shakes are gluten-free, lactose-free, free of artificial sweeteners or coloring, and free of GMOs. They can even be incorporated into other recipes.
Meal Replacement Shakes for Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Gaining weight at a healthy rate is important for all pregnant women, for the sake of both themselves and their babies. Being underweight while pregnant can be detrimental to the health of the newborn and can result in complications that extend into their adult lives. It’s imperative that pregnant women gain a healthy amount of weight by eating nutrient-dense foods that can support the growth of their babies; ENU nutritional shakes can help them do that. If you would like to learn more about how you can gain weight in a healthy way as a pregnant woman, get in touch with ENU. You can either call (855) 266-6733 or visit us online today.