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Size of Fetus at Four Months:
Pregnancy and Weight Gain
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests, “Most women should gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy.” If you are underweight before getting pregnant, the NIH recommends a weight gain of 28-40 pounds; if you are overweight before getting pregnant, a weight gain 15-20 pounds or less is recommended.1 The Mayo Clinic adds that if you are obese before pregnancy, you should limit your weight gain to 11 to 20 pounds.2
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, considered the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, says that pregnant women need to consume between 2,200-2,900 calories daily; an additional 340 calories daily during the second trimester; and an additional 450 calories daily during the third trimester.3
Movement matters, too. The American Pregnancy Association (APA) says that 30 minutes of exercise daily may benefit women experiencing normal, healthy pregnancies. The APA suggests walking, running, yoga, spin class, weight/resistance training, and swimming/water aerobics.4
Nutrient Spotlight: Iron
Iron is a mineral used by our bodies, supporting healthy cell function of the heart, muscles, and skeletal system.5,6
You are at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy may increase the risk of a preterm delivery or a low birth weight baby.7
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the daily recommended amount of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg.8 When choosing a supplement, look for one with chelated iron because it is gentler on the stomach.
Normal to Experience:
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus. During pregnancy, they are caused by increased pressure from weight gain and constipation. Hemorrhoidal symptoms include rectal pain and discomfort, itching, and irritation. To avoid hemorrhoids, try eating a well-balanced, fiber-rich diet and drink plenty of water. Both fiber and water help with your digestion, inhibiting constipation so you do not have to strain when you move your bowels. Kegel exercises may also help because they strengthen the muscles around the anus. If you suspect that you have hemorrhoids, see your healthcare provider to discuss a course of treatment as well as ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
Watch Out for:
Occasional leg cramps are common during pregnancy due to the extra weight you are carrying or if you are sitting or standing for long periods. If, however, the pain in your leg or calf is sharp and persistent, and is accompanied by redness, swelling, and/or tenderness, see your healthcare provider immediately. These symptoms may signal a blood clot.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation.