Secrets Of A Standard Weight Gain During Pregnancy

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Proper nutrition during pregnancy is shown in the sufficient weight gain of pregnant women.

During pregnancy you should gain about 10-12 kg.

During pregnancy you should gain about 10-12 kg.

During pregnancy, many women think that it’s better to eat as much as possible and the more you eat, the bigger and stronger your child is. But the fact is different from what we think. Proper nutrition during pregnancy is shown in the sufficient weight gain in women in order to make both mother and child healthy, avoid health complication happening to mother’s and child’s health due to gaining too little or too much weight compared to expert’s recommendation.    

A proper level of weight gain during pregnancy

While being pregnant, woman’s body has many changes: the increase in the demand of energy and nutrients, in intestinal absorption; changes in basic transformation, in the hormones inside the body that lead to loss of appetite in one or several dishes, nauseate, vomit, heartburn, constipation.

Good nutrition during pregnancy helps to ensure the health for women while being pregnant, giving birth and raising the newborn. The fact that mom is provided with sufficient nutrients will guarantee the better development of the baby and prevent some disabilities.  

These changes will little or much affect the weight gain of pregnant women. Therefore, after “morning sickness” period with thousands of unpleasant symptoms, women can’t gain weight, even lose weight. They have eaten uncontrollably and this leads to gaining lots of weights without estimating the problems that may happen to the mother and child’s health such as: obesity of mothers after giving birth, difficulties during giving birth due to the big size of the baby: prolonged labor, difficulty in giving birth because of the big shoulders, having a caesarean, injuries, birth asphyxia. 

To prevent these, scientists have recommended pregnant women gain weight properly according to the BMI (body mass index) of themselves before giving birth.

More specific

The recommended sufficient weight gaining during pregnancy is about 10-12kg. In the first 3 months: the weight gain is 0 or 1 kg; the next 3 months is 4-5 kg; the last 3 months is about 5-6 kg. During the last 6 months, the weight gain for each month less than or equal to 1 kg is little weight gain.  

Proper nutrition during pregnancy

Proper nutrition during pregnancy is shown in the sufficient weight gain of pregnant women during pregnancy. Daily meals need to be chosen and balanced enough to provide sufficient energy and essential substances for the development of the baby such as protein, iron, folic acid… 

The total amount of energy provided throughout pregnancy is 55,000 kcal to supply for the formation of a fetus.

The total amount of energy provided throughout pregnancy is 55,000 kcal to supply for the formation of a fetus.


The total amount of energy provided throughout pregnancy is 55,000 kcal to supply for the formation of a new born baby with a weight of 3-3.4 kg, assemble 0.9kg of protein, 3.8 kg of fat and serve the transformations in the mother’s body. Therefore, pregnant women need to be provided more 350 kcal besides when not being pregnant.

According to that, 350 kcal is equivalent to 1.5 bowl of rice, 300gr of sweet potatoes, 320gr of fresh rice noodles, 100gr of vermicelli, 400 ml milk, 1 bowl of sweet soup, or 450 of sweet fruits.

Mothers need to have 1 bowl of noodles, 1 bowl of Noodle with seasoned and sauté beef, a loaf of meat bread; a dumpling, a pact of chicken and steamed glutinous rice; and they can be provided with an extra energy of 350 kcal or more. Therefore, having an extra 350 kcal per day is not difficult to pregnant women. 


Essential amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, trytophan and valine) need to be provided enough in the portion because the body can’t synthesize itself.  

The fetus needs a huge amount of protein to develop and assemble new protein. The amount of protein in addition recommended by National Institute of Nutrition is 15gr per day: 15 gr of protein is equal to 70-75 gr of beef, or lean pork, chicken, pork bologna, 85 gr of duck, 90 gr of pork side, 45 gr of soya bean, or 65 gr of green bean. 

Good source of protein for pregnant women is mainly in daily foods: fish, egg, milk, cheese, grain, nuts.


Iron deficiency anemia is very common to pregnant women (30-50%). The results of iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy are the bad result of pregnancy, low birth weight, and the higher rate of getting infections in both mom and child.

Pregnant women with iron deficiency anemia will have symptoms such as pale skin, pale mucus, flabby muscles, working fatigue and excessive sleepiness. WHO advises pregnant women to supply 30-60mg iron every day. The time to start supplying this is from the moment you are pregnant to 1 month postpartum; you should drink iron pills between meals, avoid taking these pills with coffee or milk.  

Besides, pregnant women should also eat rich-iron food such as meats, blood, eggs, liver, heart, and dark green leafy vegetables. Iron in animal foods is easy to absorb than in plant foods.

Acid folic (vitamin B9)

Folic acid plays an important role in deciding the completion fetal neural tube. The consequence of lacking in folic acid is neural tube defect which causes none skull fetus, encephalocele, meningeal hernia, cleft vertebrae and spina bifida. And the fetal neural tube is formed in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, so the supply of folic acid need to be done right after pregnancy intentions till the end of the first 3 months of pregnancy.

World-wide researches show that the supply of folic acid helps to reduce the malformation caused by neural tube defects to 50-70%. Pregnant women should supplement 0.4-0.8mg/day.

Besides, women can find folic acid in beef, liver, bean sprouts, green vegetables, beet, cauliflowers, soybean… However, you should note that folic acid will easily be destroyed by sunlight and high temperature.



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