Can you really have an all belly pregnancy? This is a question I kept asking myself once I realized I was pregnant with my second baby. I had spent SO MUCH TIME trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy body (or somewhere closer). I had finally achieved it. And then I got pregnant again.
Despite being very excited, I was wary of the weight gain that comes with pregnancy. Even before I could show, I was already mourning my waistline.
But someone had mentioned to me about weight gain only in belly during pregnancy, and I desperately wanted to achieve a belly only pregnancy.
With my first baby, I had gained weight everywhere. Even my nose got a little fatter. Knowing how much I had struggled to lose weight, I didn’t want to go through that again.
You don’t have to either. Let’s have a look at some of the best tips to help you achieve a belly only pregnancy.
What Is the Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
Once you are pregnant, you will definitely gain some weight. Underweight women will need to gain 25-35 pounds, whereas clinically obese women will need to gain at least 11 pounds. Wondering how much weight you will gain while pregnant?
Here is the recommended weight gain according to your BMI.
- Usual BMI (20 to 24) – add 25 to 35 pounds
- Obese BMI (over 30) – add 11 to 20 pounds
- Overweight BMI (25 to 29) – add 15 to 25 pounds
- Underweight BMI (Less than 20) – add 28 to 40 pounds
The above numbers are for a healthy woman who is pregnant with only one baby. The numbers will change for mothers expecting multiples.
SEE ALSO:Can Cinnamon Cause Miscarriage?
How Is the Extra Weight Distributed in Pregnancy?
- Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
- Baby: 8 pounds
- Bigger uterus: 5 pounds
- Breasts: 2 pounds
- Extra fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
- Placenta: 2 pounds
How To Gain Minimal Weight While Pregnant
Weight gain during pregnancy is a good thing and is encouraged. Excessive weight gain is the problem. Is it then possible to control how much weight we gain when pregnant? It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible.
Different people, pregnant or not, gain weight depending on their body types. Therefore, it is unfair to put pressure on yourself to look how Jane-from-the-gym-class looked when she was pregnant.
Work with your body type and do what is working for you.
Weight gained during pregnancy gets hard to lose especially since you can’t exercise immediately after delivery.
If you end up having a cesarean section delivery, it might take you even much longer before you can do any meaningful exercise. Dieting might also not be a reasonable option either.
You will be breastfeeding and to produce enough milk, you need to eat a little more than a woman who is not breastfeeding. And even if you don’t want to, the thirst and hunger after breastfeeding will send you eating by the fridge light.
The secret is to contain the weight gain only in belly during pregnancy. How do I do that, you ask?
Tips For A Belly Only Pregnancy
Control your weight before you conceive
Unless you’re having what I call an “oops baby”, make weight loss and healthy eating a priority before conceive.
For the planned pregnancy, it’s imperative that you take your vitamins, folic acid, and other supplements when trying to conceive (TTC). Throw in exercises in the works as well.
It’s easier to control the weight in pregnancy if you didn’t have a high digit on the scale to start with.
Eat moderately for one
Eating for two is an outdated belief. Everyone around you might even be encouraging you to eat for two. You might even give 10 reasons why you should eat for two. But you shouldn’t!
If starting weight is healthy, you only need at most 340 extra calories per day in your second trimester and 450 calories per day in your third trimester.
Eat healthy foods that make you full as opposed to foods with empty calories. These end up making you feel hungry sooner causing you to eat more.
Don’t eat one large meal that leaves you bloated you can actually feel the food on your throat. Rather, eat smaller portions frequently. Snack on nuts and fruits in between meals.
Do not eat at least 2 hours before bed. If you eat too close to bedtime, the food will not be fully digested as the metabolism slows down.
Eat small frequent meals
With a baby growing, I didn’t have enough room to eat a lot of food all at once. I’d start eating and then get full super fast. So what worked for me was eating small but regular meals. I ate 5-6 meals in a day as opposed to 3 big meals.
Eating small portions helps in ensuring you have a belly only pregnancy and also prevents heartburn, which is something I struggle with even when I am not pregnant. Space out your meals to 2 to 3-hour window.
Drink enough water
Yes, drink up. Staying hydrated gives you more than an all belly pregnancy.
On top of helping to keep the weight in check, water makes you feel full which prevents you from reaching for the plate more often than you actually need.
Water also eases up the traffic jam in your bowels and keeps everything moving. Constipation is a major headache in pregnancy.
According to the Institute of Medicine, pregnant women should drink ten 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you cannot stand the taste of plain water, add cucumber or lemon slices to make it more palatable.
Alternate drinking water by taking any other healthy beverage. I loved sipping on coconut water because it helped keep my nausea down, and it’s packed with electrolytes. Coconut water is also highly beneficial to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Drinking enough water will keep urinary tract infections away. You will need to visit the bathroom a little more often, but it’s good for the body.
Be reasonable with your cravings
This is an order as tall as the Eiffel tower, but it’s manageable. The cravings are like swimming in the ocean in high tides. You sway to the rhythm of the waves.
Put an anchor on your cravings. Do not over-indulge on fries, burgers, and cake because “that’s what the baby wants.”
I was craving ice-cream when I was pregnant with my firstborn. I had the ice-cream man’s number on speed dial. Boy, did I eat those ice-creams! But I got paid in calories and lbs.
Combine something healthy with your food crave if what you are craving is unhealthy. If it’s the texture of the food you’re craving, substitute it with a healthier option.
For instance, I should have substituted my ice-cream with some frozen yogurt. Maybe what I really needed was the milky taste with some bit of sugar.
If your craving is on pastries, try making cookies and pancakes with oats instead of wheat.
Keep up the exercises
If you had already started exercising before pregnancy, don’t stop. Of course, if you were into extreme sports then you need to change to something milder and safer. Don’t go on with scuba diving, skiing, or gymnastics.
These may be harmful to your unborn baby. Adopt safe exercises such as walking, yoga, and swimming. I looked for every opportunity to walk when I was pregnant with my second child. It certainly paid off as I only had a belly only pregnancy.
Get cleared by your obstetrician before you can do any of those exercises. Some pregnancy conditions may be worsened by exerting too much pressure on yourself.
If you feel pain, palpitations or notice bleeding, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
Focus on a healthy baby and mother
Do not let thoughts of having an all belly pregnancy obsess your mind until you have no time to enjoy being pregnant. Stress causes you to eat more which will hinder your efforts for weight gain only in belly during pregnancy.
You’ll be pregnant for 40 weeks. It can be a very long or short time depending on what you focus your mind on. The goal is to deliver a healthy baby and to have a healthy mother who’s strong enough to nurse her baby.
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