Are you pregnant? Make sure you read our Pregnacare A-Z of Pregnancy and Nutrition, covering everything important for parents-to-be. We take a look at the letter B during pregnancy
Our Pregnacare A-Z is a series of posts, one for each letter of the alphabet, designed to help you understand your nutritional needs, how they change and the best foods to choose during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
This A to Z answers many of the important questions mums-to-be have about pregnancy and nutrition. It covers topics from antenatal care through to water intake, via pregnancy vitamin supplements.
You can download the full version of the guide in PDF format here.
If you have any further questions, make sure you ask your midwife or GP.
Pregnacare A-Z Of Pregnancy And Nutrition – What Does The Letter B Stand For?
What Causes Back Pain In Pregnancy, And What Can I Do To Relieve It?
Back pain experienced by pregnant women is caused by the ligaments between the pelvic bones softening and joints loosening in preparation for the baby’s passage through the pelvis. This movement can cause considerable discomfort on either side of the lower back, often with walking, and especially when going up and down stairs.
During the second trimester, the uterus becomes heavier and changes the woman’s centre of gravity. Gradually - and perhaps without being aware of it - women begin to adjust their posture and the way in which they move. These compensations can result in back pain, strain or other injury. The separation of the muscles along the front of the abdomen during pregnancy may also contribute to back pain during pregnancy. These two parallel sheets of muscles run from the rib cage to the pubic bone. As the uterus expands, they sometimes separate along the centre seam, which can make back pain worse.
Careful lifting and carrying during pregnancy is important to prevent injury.
Your Baby’s Birth Weight
The average birth weight in the UK is 3.5kgs (7.6lbs), but this can be reduced if you are expecting your first child, or if your baby is a twin or triplet.
Your midwife will check the size of your baby by measuring your bump at intervals throughout your pregnancy. They may need to arrange an ultrasound scan to check the health of your baby if they measure smaller than expected.
Bloating During Pregnancy
The sensation of bloating occurs during pregnancy because of hormones that slow your digestion and the pressure of your growing uterus on your stomach and intestines. Eating plenty of fibre and drinking adequate amounts of fluid may help to alleviate this.
Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index And Pregnancy Weight Gain
There are no UK guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy but some studies have provided the information in the table below. You should not try to lose weight during your pregnancy but it is also important not to put on excess weight either.
Body mass index is a measure of weight in relation to height. It is calculated using the following equation.
BMI = weight kg ÷ (height m)2
The average pregnancy weight gain for women in the normal weight category is 10-12kgs or 22-28lbs. Generally, women gain 1.1-4.4lbs during the first trimester. During the second and third trimester, women of a ‘normal weight’ will gain an estimated 1lb a week, with obese women gaining 0.5lb.
How Will My Bowel Movements Change During Pregnancy?
Constipation (difficulty passing bowel movements) is common in pregnancy due to hormones slowing the gut and the physical pressures of the baby. After child birth some women may experience bowel problems. An adequate fibre and fluid intake should help with this, but see your GP if you have any concerns.
Breast-feeding Your Newborn Baby
Breast milk is the best possible nutrition for your baby. During breast-feeding, your baby is entirely dependant on you as their only source of nutrition. By ensuring your diet contains adequate levels of specific vitamins and minerals, your baby will receive all the nutrients they need. Some women choose to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement that is specifically designed for pregnancy and breast-feeding, for extra peace of mind and to safeguard their own nutritional requirements, such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare.
Read our post with breastfeeding tips from the TalkMum bloggers.
Make sure you also check out the rest of our Pregnacare A-Z Guide to Pregnancy and Nutrition:
While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate and reliable, this is intended as a guide only and not a substitute for advice from a health professional. Please note: Vitabiotics cannot guarantee the reliability of facts obtained from other third party information sources. Information correct at time of being published (May 2020).