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Pregnant Women Watch What They Weigh

March 17, 2010, 6:09 PM by Courtney Zieller

Pregnant Women Watch What They Weigh
The amount of weight women gain during pregnancy is important to the baby's growth and development.

Throughout Kandice Lewin's pregnancy, her doctor monitored changes in her weight to make sure it was appropriate for this soon-to-be mom of three.

"I'm definitely right within that range," Lewin said.

Depending on your weight, doctors say pregnant women should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Lewin gained 25 pounds, which was perfect for her.

"I gained about 10 pounds less with this one than with the other two. I gained 30 to 35 with the other two so this one has been much less," Lewin said.

One reason behind that is that Lewin changed the way she's eating.

"I've been more contentious about eating healthy and trying to stick with healthier choices. Drinking lots of water instead of doing empty calories with junk food," Lewin said.

She's on the right track because doctors say eating smaller, healthier meals is key.

"The goal here is to give the baby the nutrition it needs but not to put on so much weight it causes detriment to both the baby and mom," Dr. Laurie Landeen said.

That can happen when an expectant mom is obese or puts on weight too fast.

"We worry about moms who gain too much weight, who have very large babies, have increase risk of c-sections, shoulder dystocia, which can be a tragic obstetric problem," Landeen said.

But it also goes the other way; not gaining enough has its risks.

"We see very low birth weight babies. We see premature. We see baby ending up in the intensive care nursery. Our goal is to provide baby with the best start it can have," Landeen said.

A mom who's been there three times has that down to a science.

"Not to double what you're eating before and just try to eat more balanced meals and drink lots of water and just try to stay within some boundaries and don't over do it," Lewin said.

A healthy habit for that benefits both mom and baby.

The expression eating for two is a thing of the past. Doctors say pregnant women should only eat 300 more calories a day, which is equivalent to a glass of skim milk.

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