Monthly Archives: February 2012

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight in pregnancy

The amount of weight a woman may gain in pregnancy varies a great deal, and only some of it is due to increased body fat. The unborn child, placenta, amniotic fluid and increases in maternal blood and fluid volume all contribute to weight gain during pregnancy. A woman gains average 10 to 12 kg during her pregnancy. More than 12-14kg is hard to loose. An obese woman should not gain more than 8-10kg. Here are few tips to maintain healthy weight in pregnancy…


  • Dieting during pregnancy is not recommended as it may harm the health of the child.
  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat frequently but watch portion
  • Avoid starchy food like maida, potato, too much rice, but include whole grain, beans, nuts sprouts, cereals
  • Avoid sweets and fats
  • Drink low fat milk
  • Have grilled meat instead of gravy
  • Add 4-5 portions of fruits & vegetables
  • There is no need to ‘eat for two’. Energy needs do not change in the first six months of pregnancy. Only in the last three months do a woman’s energy needs increase by around 200 calories per day.
  • Avoid sedentary habits
  • Moderate-intensity physical activity will not harm the mother or baby. At least 30 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity is recommended. This can include activities such as swimming or brisk walking. If women have not exercised routinely up to that point, they should begin with no more than three 15-minute sessions a week, increasing gradually to daily 30-minute sessions.
  • Regular stretching exercises must be included in the schedule to be fit and flexible


Eat smart, exercise regularly, remain active…let pregnancy be a motivation to be fit & healthy!!





Why your weight matters during pregnancy and after birth?

Most women who are overweight have a straightforward pregnancy and birth and deliver healthy babies. However being overweight does increase the risk of complications to both you and your baby. This information is about the extra care you will be offered during your pregnancy and how you can minimize the risks to you and your baby in this pregnancy, and in a future pregnancy. Your doctor will not judge you for being overweight and should give you all the support that you need.

What is BMI?

BMI is your body mass index which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. A healthy BMI is above 18.5 and less than 25. A person is considered to be overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 29.9 or obese if they have a BMI of 30 or above. Almost 1 in 5 (20%) pregnant women have a BMI of 30 or above at the beginning of their pregnancy.

Your BMI is calculated at your first visit to the doctor.

What are the risks of a raised BMI during pregnancy?

Being overweight (BMI > 25) increases the risk of complications for pregnant women and their babies. With increasing BMI, the additional risks become gradually more likely, the risks being much higher for women with a BMI of 40 or above.

Risks for you associated with a raised BMI include:


Thrombosis is a blood clot in your legs (venous thrombosis) or in your lungs (pulmonary embolism). Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing blood clots compared with women who are not pregnant..

Gestational diabetes

Diabetes which is first diagnosed in pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. If your BMI is 30 or above, you are three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes than women whose BMI is below 30.

High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia

A BMI of 30 or above increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnancy which is associated with high blood pressure and protein in your urine. This can be a serious condition and needs urgent attention.

Risks for your baby

Higher incidence of abortion, premature delivery, associated BP & Diabetes complication. Large baby can pose difficulty during labour.

Difficult Caesarean section and wound healing.

Post delivery lactation difficulties due to large heavy breasts.

So ladies please watch your weight…and remain healthy!!



“Safe Motherhood”

Irony of “Safe motherhood” in India –

In all societies the family is the central nucleus for people, for their lives, their dreams & their health. A woman in role as mother forms the backbone of the family. Yet 500,000 women continue to die every year in the world from pregnancy & related causes, because societies decide not to invest on women’s lives. Women’s unpaid work in the family & reproduction does not feature in national accounting. The developing country like India, with maternal mortality of nearly 100,000, continue to invest in war (read defense), than on women’ health. This is perhaps glaring example of gender discrimination & worst health scandal of the century.

“A day in the life of an ordinary Indian Village:

A woman’s day

Rises first/ kindles the fire/ breast-feeds the baby/ fixes breakfast & dresses the children

Walks 1km to fetch water

Walks 1km back home

Give livestock feed & water/ washes cooking utensils/ washes clothes

Breast-feeds the baby

Sweeps the house & compound

Ponds the rice

Prepare the meal

Breast-feed the baby

Walks 1km to the field with food for husband

Eats with husband

Weeds the field

Breast-feed the baby

Gather firewood on the way home 1km walk

Kindles the fire/ pound maize or rice

Prepare meals/eats

Breast feed the baby

Put the house in order

Goes to bed rest

A man’s day 

Rises when breakfast is ready & eats


Walks 1km to work in the field


Works in the field








Eats when wife arrives with food

Rests/ while wife weeds

Works in the field

Walks to village to visit other men & drinks


Walks home & eats

Goes to bed

The woman’s day does not change if she is pregnant. On one of these days she will give birth to another child. There is little spare time to visit a medical center; hospitalization in case of emergency is unthinkable, except as a last resort.

A woman’ day or a man’s day? Unfortunately the woman doesn’t have a choice…