Here’s what to track!
It’s incredibly important to track your weight throughout pregnancy, as staying within the recommended gain range is crucial for your health, as well as baby’s development. Recommended weight gain changes each trimester, and depends on your prior-to-pregnancy Body Mass Index, a ratio that measures your weight to your height (=kg/m2). You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in pounds (lbs) by your height in inches (in) squared, multiplied by a conversion factor of 703; or: BMI = (weight (lbs) / [height (in)2] x 703)
Women who do not gain enough weight put their babies at risk of developmental impairments and low birth weight. Conversely, women who gain too much weight may raise the likelihood of baby being too heavy for a safe natural birth, or put themselves at risk of developing preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. A healthy, stable weight gain is just about the best thing you can do for Baby.
Blood pressure measures the pressure that your flowing blood applies to the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure during pregnancy can indicate a serious problem like preeclampsia, while low blood pressure can also signal that something is off, and lead to dizziness or fainting.
Although getting plenty of minerals and vitamins is important even for non-pregnant people, certain nutrients like iron, folate, and calcium play an even more important role for you and Baby during pregnancy. It’s important to track the food groups you eat throughout the day, as well as when you take your daily prenatal vitamin, so that you can be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need:
- Prenatal vitamins contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that become vitally important during pregnancy, like folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) and iron.
- Grains contain plenty of iron, B vitamins, and fiber, important for Baby’s blood cell and brain development, as well as your regularity.
- Fruits and vegetables have the natural and delicious fuels your body needs to run most smoothly and help Baby do the same, like folate, Vitamin C, and iron.
- Meat contains protein, which Baby needs for cell development.
- Dairy products are heavy in calcium, which Baby needs to help develop his teeth and bones.
Staying active is very important for both Baby‘s and your health. Staying active will not only help you manage and control your weight gains, but goes a long ways towards preparing your body for labor, and preventing certain icky symptoms like stretch marks and swelling.
Between a frequent need to pee, a stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, an elevated heart rate, and the changing shape and size of the uterus, pregnant women often do not get as much sleep as they might like to, which is unfortunate because getting plenty of sleep helps Baby grow and develop properly, and can help soothe some pregnancy symptoms. Tracking your sleep can help you get a sense of how healthy your pregnancy is, and Ovia can provide suggestions based on your other data that may improve the quality of your sleep, and your pregnancy.
The physical symptoms of pregnancy can come in a variety of forms, from the expected bloating and morning sickness to the surprising vivid dreaming and heightened sense of smell. Tracking your symptoms can help you manage and treat them, and also allow you to know whether a symptom that you have noticed is normal or not.
Hormone levels in the body during pregnancy are totally different than when not pregnant, and some funky emotional symptoms can result as these hormones course through your body. A bit of an emotional rollercoaster is to be expected, but it’s important to track these symptoms to determine when something may be amiss, as in the case of serious depression. Stress is also known to have potentially harmful effects on pregnancy, so it makes sense to monitor your emotional symptoms so you can try to ensure as healthy a pregnancy as possible.
Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
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- “Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Number 548.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1/13/2015. Web.
- “Nutrition During Pregnancy: FAQ001.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 4/15/2015. Web.
- “Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: FAQ034.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 9/14/2015. Web.
- Committee on Obstetric Practice. “Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period: Committee Opinion Number 650.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 12/2015. Web.