A guide to increasing baby weight when 9 months pregnant
The 3rd trimester of pregnancy is when the fetus gains most of its weight. During this period, its lungs fully develop, hair and nails grow, movement increases, and more. This is also the period when fat starts to build up to help keep its body temperature as well as energy.
To support all this growth, your doctor may advise you to increase your food intake. According to the American Pregnancy Association, your baby gains around 1/2 pound (266.6 gms) each week during the 9th month of pregnancy. This requires adequate nourishment and monitoring to ensure that your baby’s growth is not hampered.
Reasons you aren’t gaining enough weight
Each person is different and subject to multiple factors that affect weight and response to food intake. Some common reasons why you might not be hitting the weight marks could be:
- Insufficient or inconsistent in dietary habits
- Underlying medical conditions
- Metabolism issues
- Vigorous exercise
Make sure to keep a note of your weight gain and food habits as this impacts your baby’s growth.
Recommended fetal average weight
The last few weeks of pregnancy are when the baby’s weight and development rapidly increase. Below is a chart of the normal weight of a baby during the 9th month of pregnancy.
Foods That Help Increase Baby Weight
Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can stunt your baby’s growth. To increase the weight of your baby in the 9th month of pregnancy, you can include the following foods in your diet:
Yoghurt: Packed with prebiotics, protein, and calcium, it helps meet nutritional and mineral requirements. You can eat this along with whole oats or topped with fruits.
Fish: Fish is great for supporting fetal growth as it holds Omega-3 fatty acids that help boost your baby’s brain growth. It also contains protein essential for the development of skin, hair, muscles and other cells.
Caution – Thoroughly clean and cook fish before consumption. Avoid fish with have high levels of mercury like Swordfish, Bigeye tuna, King mackerel, etc.
Dried fruits and nuts: Nutrient-dense, a small portion of them gives you the benefit of nutrients like Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin E.
Avocados: A source of Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin B6, this fruit is a great healthy fat to add to your diet.
Poultry: Eggs and chicken are great sources of protein. They help increase fetus weight along with the benefits of low cholesterol and Omega fatty acids.
Soybean: A protein substitute for vegetarians, it also contains iron, healthy fats and fibre along with other minerals.
Broccoli: Rich in B vitamins, calcium and minerals, this cruciferous vegetable also helps produce Vitamin A in the body.
Berries: Filled with antioxidants, Vitamin C and safe carbs, they serve as great sweet snacks.
Balance is key when it comes to foods that increase fetal weight in the 9th month of pregnancy. Monitor your diet and do not go overboard with any particular food.
Ensure that whatever you eat is unprocessed and avoid canned foods. Take the time to read food labels and understand the nutritional value of what you purchase and consume.
Whatever you consume directly impacts your baby’s health. Try eating around 5 to 6 times a day in controlled quantities in case you aren’t comfortable with large meals or are experiencing a loss of appetite.
Benefits of maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy
In addition to ensuring the safe and healthy growth of your baby, you also benefit from the following by maintaining a healthy baby weight during the 9th month of pregnancy:
- Less likelihood of miscarriage and premature birth
- Reduced risk of low birth weight.
- Balanced sugar levels help especially during the time of birth. (As the body’s resistance to insulin increases over the course of pregnancy)
- Fewer long-term risks to the baby (diabetes or obesity)
Tips to be in your best health during the 3rd trimester
Caring for yourself during pregnancy involves three essentials: physical well-being, mental well-being and fetal well-being. While most of your concentration will be on fetal well-being, you should maintain a positive balance among all three. Below are a few pointers:
- Eat as directed by your doctor and make sure that you do not shy away from healthy fats as they, as opposed to common belief, facilitate fetal weight gain in the 9th month rather than contribute to excess weight gain.
- Keep a proper exercise routine. If you have a rigorous schedule, cut down to a short walk or yoga but do not completely stop unless advised by your doctor.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated ensures proper circulation, reduces swelling and risks of UTIs.
- Avoid unnecessary stress and be sure to share your anxieties and fears with loved ones.
- It is common to have trouble sleeping due to fetal movement, body aches, or even your bump. While sleeplessness will not affect your baby, it is essential to get enough sleep to prevent exhaustion.
Various factors play a role when it comes to maintaining an ideal baby weight in the 9th month of pregnancy. Some methods may work, and others might not, depending on your body type and medical history. Be sure to take your doctors advice and reach out immediately if you see signs out of the ordinary like:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Drastic swelling in your face or hands
- Nausea that does not subside
- An abrupt drop in your baby’s movements