How to Increase Fetal Weight

When pregnant, it's important for the fetus to maintain a healthy weight. Most healthy women should gain between 25 to 37 lbs during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. However, only your doctor can tell you for sure if your baby is underweight. If your physician advises that you need to increase fetal weight during pregnancy, there are a few methods available to help you.

Count calories with the help of a doctor. Everybody requires different caloric intake based on body type and size, so it's important to check with your physician. When you're pregnant, you need to increase your normal caloric intake by 300 calories per day, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Unless your doctor advises that the baby is seriously underweight, any calories in addition to the 300 extra will cause the fetus to gain too much weight.

Eat foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, as recommended by the American Pregnancy Association. So called “good fats” will help your baby gain weight without the serious health risks associated with saturated fats. Nuts, avocados, whole grains, bananas and olive oil all contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats.

Avoid junk food and maintain healthy eating habits, even while attempting to increase fetus weight. Chips, soft drinks, candy bars and other junk food will add fat, but won't stimulate healthy growth.

Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking can damage the placenta, leading to low fetus weight and possible premature birth, according to the Center for Disease Control. Alcohol also impedes fetus weight gain. Additionally, alcohol can cause fetal brain damage.

Remain active as you gain weight. This will help ensure that you and your baby retain good blood pressure and cholesterol levels even as you gain weight. While intense workouts are not advisable for pregnant women, yoga, walking and swimming can keep your body in good physical condition. When you are healthy, your fetus is more likely to gain weight properly.

Discuss any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you are taking with a doctor. Certain medications can stifle fetus weight gain.

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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.