Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of a woman’s life. It is a time of change and growth that many women have no issues with. But if you are starting your pregnancy underweight, it can affect the growth and well being of your unborn child. It is important that you monitor your nutritional intake, make a meal plan and take your vitamins to minimize the risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby. By taking care of these items you can give your child the best chance of being born healthy and happy. Underweight mothers have a higher rate of preterm births and low birth weight babies; this can lead to other problems for your new born so it is important to gain a healthy amount of weight during your pregnancy.

Nutritional Intake

There are many reasons a mother could be underweight when starting her pregnancy. Discuss any specific concerns you have with your doctor and they can help specialize your diet and eating plan to meet your needs during this time period.

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It is important to monitor the amount of healthy fat, protein and calcium you are getting in your diet. These are the primary ingredients imperative to the growth of a healthy fetus. Start by making sure to add protein powder to your morning shake. Just one scoop of this powder can add up to 20 grams of protein without adding bulk to your diet or making you feel overly full. Some simple and easy ways to add protein to your diet also include peanut butter, nuts and avocados. Add these to any salad you eat and it will increase the protein and healthy fat value instantly.

Meal Planning

Eating small snacks throughout the day can also be very helpful, especially as your belly grows and leaves less room for your stomach. Use small cups of yogurt, string cheese, or orange juice to add calcium to your diet.

Carry small snack packs of your protein and fat options as well. A small baggy of almonds is a great way to get your healthy fats and proteins all in one simple snack. Smoothies that are frozen are great travel drinks and will melt slowly and stay cold for many hours, make sure to add your protein powder.

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Eating often takes planning but it will pay off in helping you gain the necessary weight you need to grow a healthy baby. Take time over the weekend to cut up and bag all your favorite snacks so you are sure to have everything you need easily available throughout the work week.

Vitamins

Not everyone likes to take vitamins on a daily basis, but during your pregnancy it is important to take added vitamins, especially if you are starting underweight. Folic acid is one of the most important vitamins and all pregnancy vitamin packs will contain this nutrient, make sure to take at least 400 micrograms throughout your pregnancy.

Other important vitamins are typically included in a pregnancy multivitamin and include vitamin, B, D, iron and calcium. Eating healthy can get most of these vitamins into your system but taking a multivitamin will ensure you are getting everything both you and the baby need during the pregnancy. Try replacing your sugary sodas with water and using a flavored vitamin powder pack. This will help with your hydration as well as increase your vitamin intake.

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Gaining weight during pregnancy can be difficult if you are normally an underweight woman. Take a methodical approach to planning your meals, getting the right nutrition and taking your vitamins will be the best you can do to gain the weight you need for the pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about the right amount of weight for you to gain, typically 25 to 40 pounds is needed to ensure the baby gets the proper nutrients and you can stay healthy throughout the pregnancy.