How to Increase Baby Fetal Weight During Pregnancy?
Created by Dr. Pooja Attrey(PT) Updated on Feb 12, 2020
From the moment you conceive to the moment you deliver it is a miracle in itself. A woman is a true nurturer as she nurtures that tiny seed with her blood, flesh and most importantly her love. She lives for the baby as she makes choices like choosing her food to choose her thoughts and every aspect of her health impacts the baby. A key parameter to assess a healthy pregnancy is measuring the fetal weight. After every ultrasound scan that you have, fetal weight development is measured and recorded for references. And if you have been told that the fetal weight is less than what is supposed to be during 5th months of pregnancy or of 6 or in 7 months of pregnancy etc.? here is what you should know.
What Is Fetal Weight?
In order to assess fetal weight while in pregnancy, highly complex formulas have been used to devise mere averages of ideal baby weights at different stages of pregnancy (i.e. Because all pregnancies are unique and all babies develop at different rates, do not worry if a number shows that your baby is big or small. The right person to help you in this regard is your gynecologist, and unless he or she does not seem concerned, there should be no need to worry.
How To Increase Baby Weight During the 7th Month Of Pregnancy?
The beginning of the 7th month of pregnancy marks the start of the third and final trimester of pregnancy. The closer you get to the time when your baby will be in your arms, the better the health care you deserve.
- When you are in the 7th month of pregnancy, your diet should be focused on the baby who is to arrive soon. For the proper and healthy development of the fetus, you need at least 450 extra calories every day
- The key here is to eat in moderation, as the uterus keeps on taking the space in the abdomen. Your 7th-month pregnancy diet should be full of iron and protein, with loads of foods that have calcium, magnesium, fiber, folic acid, and DHA. Avoid foods high in salt, fats, sugar and those that will just give you empty calories but no nutritional benefits
How To Increase Baby Weight During the 8th Month Of Pregnancy?
Your baby will pack on most of the pounds as flesh and skin during the 8th and the 9th month of pregnancy.
- At this stage, the uterus is even bigger and the stomach has, but a very small space. Eating in small portions spread across a gap every few hours is the way to go. To combat any blood loss during delivery, eat foods that have high vitamin and mineral content, high iron levels and calcium
- Get a good amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. Make sure you have small portions of foods to avoid heartburn and indigestion
- Avoid fatty foods, caffeine and soft cheeses, raw or undercooked eggs and other foods that are considered harmful during pregnancy
- 8th month is a very, very delicate time for you and it is important to eat foods with high nutritive value to provide maximum nourishment to the baby
- As you too begin to put on weight week on week, make sure you do some gentle exercising like walking, pregnancy yoga, etc. and keep active
How To Increase Fetal Weight In the Last Month of Pregnancy?
As you can see from the chart above, an unborn baby gains weight rapidly from the third trimester onwards. During the last month of pregnancy, focus your attention on eating a balanced and nutritional diet as the baby's weight gain can also affect your digestive system. However, your servings will increase. Pack on fiber-rich foods, loads of calcium and iron-rich foods, and fruits that are rich in vitamin C and A. The last month of pregnancy can be quite troublesome when you would barely want to move, but a walk twice a day would actually help ease out labor. Prevent constipation and heartburn by eating healthy, in smaller portions. Avoid caffeine, colas, alcoholic beverages soft cheeses, unpasteurized poultry, and dairy and sweets and fried foods.
Simple Tips To Increase Weight Of Baby in Pregnancy
- Eat a balanced and nutrition-rich healthy diet to gain optimum weight for your pregnancy stage
- Take your prenatal vitamins regularly. They compensate for any gaps in your nutrition intake
- Include dry fruits and nuts in your diet considering which trimester you are in. A handful of them should be enough for a day
- Ensure you get enough rest and sleep in a good sleep position in pregnancy. If you have trouble sleeping, consider having chamomile tea or read your favorite book
- Stay relaxed and positive at all times. Keep your anxieties to the minimum
- Keep yourself well hydrated with water and fresh juices. Caffeinated drinks do not count
Precautions To Take While Trying To Increase Baby Weight During Pregnancy
- Fried and oily foods should be at least limited to a minimum if cannot be totally avoided, not just during pregnancy but all through. Otherwise, you will be putting yourself and the pregnancy at risk as they can lead to cholesterol and hypertension
- Avoid smoking, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine and drinks and juices containing artificial sugars. All of them have a negative impact on fetal health
How Is Baby Weight Measured In A Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Fetal weight- up to the first 8 weeks, the fetus is not weighable because of its small size. After that, it can be ideated from an ultrasound. Till about 20 weeks, babies are measured from head to the bottom as their legs are still curled. After that, babies are measured from head to toe. During the scan, the radiologist will make few measurements of the fetus across the below parameters:
- Biparietal diameter (BPD)- measurement if baby's head side to side
- Femur length (FL)-measuring the thigh bone length
- Head circumference(HC)
- Occipitofrontal diameter(OFD)- the length from the root of the nose to frontal bone's most prominent point
- Abdominal circumference(AC)- critical to spot any intrauterine growth retardation
- Humerus length(HL)- measuring the arm bone length, the forelimb from the shoulder to the elbow
Using a formula, fetal weight and gestational age are calculated. It's important to understand that the formula is quite complex and accurate numbers cannot be arrived at. Hence, a margin of +/-10% of the calculated figure is always taken into consideration.
Month-wise Baby Weight Chart While Pregnant
The below estimations can be referred to when we speak of the ideal baby weight gain chart in grams during pregnancy. Follow this chart...
|Pregnancy Week||Average Fetal Weight (in gms)|
|8 Weeks||1 gm|
|9 Weeks||2 gms|
|10 Weeks (2 Months)||4 gms|
|11 Weeks||7 gms|
|12 Weeks||14 gms|
|13 Weeks||23 gms|
|14 Weeks||43 gms|
|15 Weeks (3 Months)||70 gms|
|16 Weeks||100 gms|
|17 Weeks||140 gms|
|18 Weeks||190 gms|
|19 Weeks||240 gms|
|20 Weeks (4 Months)||300 gms|
|21 Weeks||360 gms|
|22 Weeks||430 gms|
|23 Weeks||501 gms|
|24 Weeks||600 gms|
|25 Weeks (5 Months)||660 gms|
|26 Weeks||760 gms|
|27 Weeks||875 gms|
|28 Weeks||1005 gms|
|29 Weeks||1153 gms|
|30 Weeks (6 Months)||1319 gms|
|31 Weeks||1502 gms|
|32 Weeks||1702 gms|
|33 Weeks||1918 gms|
|34 Weeks||2146 gms|
|35 Weeks (7 Months)||2383 gms|
|36 Weeks||2622 gms|
|37 Weeks||2859 gms|
|38 Weeks||3083 gms|
|39 Weeks||3288 gms|
|40 Weeks (8 Months)||3462 gms|
|41 Weeks||3597 gms|
|42 Weeks||3685 gms|
**Disclaimer: Above given fetal weights are just estimated averages and should not be used to infer any clinical decisions. Speak to your doctor if you have any doubts.
How Can I Assure Ideal Fetal Weight Gain in Pregnancy?
Studies show that over-weight gain may result in birthing complications and less weight gain can result in infants with low birth weights. Like I said, earlier, the mother's weight determines fetal weight. So gaining the right amount of weight is important. Too little weight gain or too much weight gain can harm both you and the baby. Pregnancy weight gain should be in accordance with the BMI of the mother at the time of conception. If a mother gains weight proportionally it is taken as a sign of normal fetal growth as well. But some women face the issue of less than expected fetal weight despite a normal increase in their weight. So let's see what they should do or not do to ensure there is no confusion. So how to increase the baby weight through natural remedies? Can a healthy diet impact baby weight gain during the gestation period? Let's find out.
Foods To Help Baby Gain Weight in Pregnancy
It is in the womb that the foundation of health starts for a baby. You have to start taking care of the baby while she is in the womb, and to have a healthy birth weight is one of the most important parameters of baby health. A mother's health, lifestyle choices, stress levels, habits, etc. reflect on the baby whilst in the womb. If your doctor has indicated that your baby weighs less than normal for a particular week in pregnancy, it is time to adopt some lifestyle and healthy eating habits. Take ample rest, stay away from stress and anxiety and have a healthy, naturally balanced diet. Since it is a period of the building – your baby is developing inside you – it is but only ideal that nutrition is given prime importance during the gestation period. So it is critical to take more calories, more macro nutrition (protein, carbohydrates, fats), and more micronutrition (vitamins and minerals) than normal during pregnancy. [Take These - Fetal Weight Gain Food in Pregnancy]
Proteins:Being the main component of growth, 90 to 100 grams of lean protein is recommended every day during pregnancy. Protein is important to a baby's overall development, especially her brain. The choices are vast when selecting healthy proteins, including almonds, lean poultry, lean beef, low-mercury fish and dairy foods, including cheese, milk and yogurt. Include at least one protein source, such as low-fat cheese or peanut butter, in each meal and snack to promote fetal growth. Flax, walnuts, chia seeds, fish oil supplements, seaweed for omega 3 can also be added.
Carbohydrates:The carbohydrates from empty calorie foods like wafers etc. should be minimized as they can cause a pregnant woman to gain unnecessary weight and provide little to no nutrition to the mother or baby. Instead, caloric-dense foods like legumes, hearty cereals or dried apricots can be used along with normal balanced diet. Some vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, and peas, are fine in moderation but are part of the starch food group. Five to six servings of vegetables and six to eight servings of healthy grains are recommended. These servings vary for each woman depending on her individual calorie requirements.
Calcium:Doctors around the world recommend a daily intake of 1000 mg of calcium per day for pregnant and lactating women. Make sure your pregnancy diet consists of good sources of calcium like dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, fortified juices, and cereals almonds and sesame seeds are included in your diet
Folic Acid:The first prenatal vitamin that your doctor will suggest will be folic acid helps reduce the risk for babies born with open neural tube defects. In fact, it has been found that 70 percent of all neural tube defects can be avoided with appropriate folic acid intake. Foods rich in folic acid include kidney beans, lentils, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and citrus fruits
Fats:Foods high in saturated fat should be eliminated during pregnancy. Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nut butter are beneficial to the mother and the baby to increase fetal weight. Two to three servings of healthy fats per day are usually recommended. Adding one or two extra servings of healthy fats per day might help add weight to a baby during pregnancy. The cow ghee is an excellent option that increases healthy fat content without increasing blood pressure n cholesterol levels. Full cream milk will serve fats and calcium requirements well
Sugars:The natural sugar in fruit makes a great snack during pregnancy and provides the mother and baby with a healthy sugar option. Desserts are high in sugar and don't provide the mother or baby with essential nutrients. It is best to calm a sweet tooth with fresh fruits or even dark chocolate. Two to three servings of healthy sugars are adequate. Limit sweets to one small serving of about 100 calories per day. These type of calories will do very little to improve the weight of the baby but can add unnecessary weight to the mother
Vitamins and Minerals:Two servings of milk, one serving of curd would be sufficient for daily calcium and vitamin D requirement. 20-30 minutes’ sun exposure early morning may also help sustain vitamin D levels. One to two servings of green leafy vegetables like spinach would so great to nourish additional iron, B12, and vitamin E requirements. At least one serving seasonal fruits would provide for trace minerals well
- Prenatal health supplements A daily multi-vitamin/multi-mineral for pregnant women is advised so that they can get required micronutrients like Vitamins, Minerals, etc. Apart from reducing nausea and morning sickness multi-vitamin supplements are fetal growth enhancers. Mostly available pregnancy supplements in the market have these micronutrients like vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, etc. in the required amounts.
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