How to Increase Fetal Weight in One Week: Expert Tips and Advice
Like babies need to gain weight after birth, weight gain is equally important when they…
Like babies need to gain weight after birth, weight gain is equally important when they are still in their mom’s tummy. Fetal weight gain is crucial for optimal growth and development, especially toward the end of pregnancy. If your unborn child’s weight gain is your present concern or if your doctor has indicated that your baby is not gaining adequate weight, keep reading as we talk about how to increase fetal Weight in a gradual, healthy manner.
Factors Affecting Fetal Weight
The increase in fetal weight is not dependent on a single factor. Several reasons impact the growth and weight of a fetus. Let us see what they are:
Maternal Nutrition and Diet
There is no denying that the mother’s food intake plays a significant role in fetal weight gain. If the mom fails to get a balanced diet during her pregnancy, she misses vital vitamins and nutrients necessary for her baby’s growth.
Maternal Weight Gain and BMI
Gestational weight gain is directly linked to fetal weight gain and birth weight. When a mom gains weight, as recommended by the doctor, she ensures she has the right amount of nutritional supplies required for her unborn child’s growth. Not gaining as much weight as is needed may cause lower fetal weight. Also, moms with high BMI have an increased risk of complications like miscarriage or stillbirth.
Maternal Health Conditions
Health conditions like obesity and mental health problems also hurt fetal growth. A study that established a relationship between maternal mental health and birth outcomes reflects that if a mom struggles with poor mental health during pregnancy, there is a risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.
The next factor affecting fetal weight is related to the placenta – a temporary yet important organ that develops during pregnancy to make sure the fetus receives a good supply of oxygen and nutrients. It is because of the placenta that a fetus grows and survives. That’s why placental efficiency is so important. Technically, placental efficiency is the measure of placental function.
One can expect a healthy fetal weight if the placenta efficiently delivers nutrients. But suppose a mom experiences placental insufficiency, and it malfunctions and fails to supply nutrients and oxygen, in that case, it may lead to low fetal weight gain and, ultimately, a lower birth weight.
Genetics also plays a significant role in fetal weight gain. Babies of small parents are usually small, whereas babies whose parents are big are born big. So, depending on the child’s genes, the fetal weight is established.
Fetal Development and Growth
Sometimes, the fetus doesn’t gain the weight it should due to what is known as fetal growth restriction. In situations like these, the growth of the fetus is slowed down, which leads to low fetal weight. Doctors usually run frequent ultrasounds and other tests if they suspect the baby to be small for its gestational age.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Optimal Fetal Weight Gain
Balanced and Nutrient-Rich Diet
A well-balanced and nutritious diet is necessary for fetal weight gain. It becomes even more important if you are someone who has been alerted by their doctor regarding low fetal weight.
To provide the best nutrition to the life growing inside you, you must eat healthy foods filled with essential nutrients like:
Foods that can provide you with these essential nutrients and much more include:
When incorporating healthy foods into your pregnancy diet, make sure you don’t eat something you are allergic to. As pregnancy can bring symptoms like bloating, indigestion, and heartburn, it is best to divide three large meals into smaller ones spread throughout the day. Hence, by practicing portion control, you can minimize your unruly symptoms in a much better way. Also, as we all know, good food is primary for fetal weight gain; try to plan your meals and stock up over the weekend so you are sorted for the entire upcoming week.
Along with consuming nutritious food, drinking lots of water throughout the pregnancy is equally important. A study established a relationship between water intake and fetal growth. Data concluded that higher water intake may result in higher mean birth weight. During pregnancy, fluid needs to increase in a woman’s body to support the formation of amniotic fluid, fetal blood circulation, and an overall higher blood volume. So, you must drink at least 8–12 glasses of water every day to meet your hydration goals when pregnant.
Regular Prenatal Exercise
We understand that exercising may be the last thing on your mind, especially when you don’t feel well due to your pregnancy symptoms. But you may want to note that exercising can indeed be beneficial for you and your baby. Light exercises promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy, which also means healthy weight gain for your baby! Plus, exercising can lower your risk of acquiring gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and minimize the chance of a c-section. Improved fitness levels will prepare you for your delivery and help you shed those extra pounds after your baby is born.
Sufficient Rest and Sleep
You may wonder how sleep and fetal growth are related to each other. When you sleep, your body releases the growth hormone. Insufficient or disrupted sleep may reduce the amount of this hormone in the mother’s body and cause complications in fetal growth. So, it is important that you get to sleep peacefully for a good eight hours or more every night during your pregnancy period. You may also indulge in some rest whenever you feel too tired to continue your daily activities.
Recommended Exercises to Promote Fetal Weight Gain
Exercise is a great way to maintain an appropriate gestational weight gain during pregnancy. When the mother gains the right weight, the growing baby also attains a healthy weight. If your doctor has given you a green signal for light exercise, you should include it in your routine. Preferably, expectant mothers should exercise for half an hour each day to stay fit and healthy and gain the right amount of weight. Here are some activities you can indulge in to promote the healthy growth of your fetus
Prenatal Yoga and Stretching
Prenatal yoga helps pregnant women in many ways. When expectant moms practice low-impact yoga, their risk of developing complications is greatly reduced. What’s more! It also relieves them of stress, regulates blood pressure, and prepares them to handle the delivery. It also helps manage weight gain, which is essential for you and the baby.
Some yoga poses you can try when you’re pregnant are the cat-cow pose, child’s pose, triangle pose, easy pose, and side corpse pose. It is best to join a prenatal yoga class to get appropriate guidance. But if you want to do these asanas at home without any professional guidance, you better take your doctor’s nod regarding safety.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercises
Women can also enjoy low-impact aerobic exercises during pregnancy. These exercises get the heart pumping and your body moving. Besides checking on your pregnancy weight gain, low-impact aerobic exercises tone your muscles, relieve constipation and backaches, help you breathe better, improve your mood, and support a good night’s sleep. To begin with, you may try out an aerobics class meant specifically for pregnant women to get an idea of which exercises you can safely perform. Then you may switch to at-home workouts if that’s what you prefer.
Swimming is yet another safe and effective workout for pregnant women. When swimming, the water will support your baby’s weight and help you glide in the water. It offers an overall workout for the entire body in one single activity. If you’re someone who has joint, muscle, or lower back pain and cannot try other exercises, you should give swimming a try!
Walking is the easiest way to get some exercise if you are pregnant. Go for a 20–30-minute walking sprint every day. But if you find yourself too tired to do this every day, walk on alternate days so you get some exercise three days a week at least. Brisk walking increases your heart rate without straining specific parts of your body and provides the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.
Effective Strategies to Manage Gestational Diabetes for Optimal Fetal Weight
Gestational diabetes is known to affect many pregnant women. To-be moms who develop gestational diabetes have high blood sugar levels. The reason why some women develop this issue is not established, but being overweight before pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations are two responsible factors.
While fetal weight gain is what we are talking about today, let’s talk a little about how moms with gestational diabetes can take care of themselves. Because babies of moms with gestational diabetes are usually bigger, there’s a higher possibility of cesarean delivery, as normal delivery is usually not feasible because it increases the chances of injuries to the baby. Therefore, it is crucial to manage gestational diabetes once diagnosed so that maternal and fetal weight can be controlled through effective strategies like the ones mentioned below.
Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
The most effective technique in controlling high blood sugar during pregnancy is to be watchful of what you eat and when you eat. Start by balancing your carbohydrate intake by eating foods containing high fiber and less fat. Eat lots of fruits, colorful veggies, and whole grains as well. As large meals can spike blood sugar, eat small portions at a time. And, if your doctor says so, get yourself a blood glucose monitor to keep a check on your sugar levels.
Consult With a Nutritionist and Plan Your Meals
Now is the time when you will benefit by consulting with a good nutritionist. A nutritionist will help you plan your meals based on your caloric requirements. This will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and ensure you and your baby are within the healthy weight range.
Another effective strategy to manage weight gain when you have gestational diabetes is to stay active. Follow the 30-minute exercise rule. You can try swimming, prenatal yoga, and light aerobic exercises of your choice to get those 30 minutes of daily workouts. On days when you want a break, try a brisk walk around your neighborhood to help burn off a few calories.
Take Your Medications or Insulin
The first approach to fixing your gestational diabetes will probably be bringing changes in diet and regular exercise. But even after trying out this approach, if your blood glucose readings are above 95 mg/dl in the morning when you wake up or more than 140 mg/dl one hour after you have had a meal, you will be advised the second line of treatment, which is medicines or insulin injections to get your glucose levels under control.
Importance of Prenatal Care and Regular Check-Ups
It is of utmost importance to get prenatal care and go for regular doctor visits when you’re expecting. By seeing your doctor regularly, you get a thorough check-up done which tells you how you and your baby are doing.
Through ultrasounds, your doctor can take measurements of your growing baby and estimate its fetal weight. You will know whether your baby has put on some weight since the last time you visited for a check-up. It also gives your doctor the opportunity to talk about any specific concerns you or he might have. So, collaborate with your healthcare provider and take regular check-ups seriously.
Use Of Supplements and Herbal Remedies When Expecting
In many countries, women rely on herbal remedies for relieving pregnancy symptoms and fighting off certain infections. Herbal remedies most commonly used are:
People often consider herbal remedies natural and harmless. But this is not really true.
Herbs contain active ingredients that may have a negative impact during pregnancy. So any herbal remedy that claims to relieve your symptoms or increase fetal weight may not be safe. We suggest you be very mindful when using herbal remedies.
Always tell your doctor that you’re thinking of trying out a specific herbal remedy, and only if he says a ‘yes’ you may go ahead and try it. Without your doctor’s nod, it is better to stay away from anything that is not backed by relevant studies.
Similarly, only take supplements your doctor has advised you to take. You may be tempted to take multiple supplements to ensure your baby is not deprived of essential nutrients, but it is better not to. Your baby needs nutrients from real food. Therefore, stick to supplements like folic acid, vitamin D, etc., and the multivitamin tablets your doctor has prescribed you. If you’re still tempted to add a new supplement, tell your doctor first.
Stress Management Techniques For Optimal Fetal Weight Gain
Feeling stressed and anxious once in a while is not a problem during pregnancy. But if you find yourself carrying these feelings constantly, you should speak with your provider because stress has a direct effect on the growing fetus. Constant stress can cause poor fetal weight gain, resulting in low birth weight.
It may also cause other serious issues like high blood pressure and depression. Sometimes even premature delivery. In case your worries and stress levels are not letting you sleep well and making your life miserable, do give these stress management techniques a try. These will help you calm down and ensure your baby is not at any unwanted risk.
- Sit comfortably in a quiet spot and meditate for a few minutes.
- Do breathing exercises to relax and get a good supply of oxygen into your body.
- Practice mindfulness to become aware of your surroundings and feelings without judgment.
- Use other relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, massage, music therapy, or guided imagery to curb stress levels.
- Speak to your partner or your friends and family members so you can share your worries that are disturbing you emotionally and draining your peace.
A developing fetus gains weight gradually as the pregnancy progresses from one week to the next. Your baby will gain most of the weight during the last few weeks of pregnancy after all the major development has taken place. During this time, your baby will put on significant weight every week. So make sure you follow a healthy diet and get the recommended water intake. Take your supplements on time and get regular exercise. And most of all, be happy and hearty if you want to increase your baby’s weight in utero. Do all of this and you will soon have a baby who is healthy with an optimal birth weight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You must eat a well-balanced diet to increase fetal weight. Include different types of fruits and veggies, milk and dairy products, and some healthy oils in your diet. And remember to get the recommended amount of protein like eggs, lean meat, and chicken to support fetal weight gain.
Yes, a study has confirmed that increased water intake may help the fetus reach a higher birth weight.
The mother’s diet, overall weight gain, BMI, and other health conditions directly affect fetal weight gain. In addition, placental efficiency and genetics also play a role in determining fetal gain during pregnancy.
Not at all! Exercise can help the mom-to-be achieve a healthy pregnancy weight, which in turn supports proper fetal weight gain. However, you must practice only low-impact exercises that your doctor has approved.
No, taking herbal supplements during pregnancy may not be safe, as there are not enough studies supporting their use. Therefore, it is advisable not to consume them unless your doctor has said so.