Here are four simple tips to keep those numbers in check.

By week 9, you will have noticed a slow increase in your appetite over the past few weeks — but don't worry, that's perfectly normal!

What many pregnant women are worried about, is the weight they put on during their pregnancies. The challenge of shedding the excessive weight gain during pregnancy could also lead to increased blood pressure, as well as the risk of developing
gestational diabetes.

That's why it's important to watch what you eat by following a well-balanced diet. Here are some ideas that could help:

Reduce Your Consumption of High-Fat Food

It's tempting to indulge in everything from creamy cakes and pastries to fried foods like goreng pisang (banana fritters) and curry puffs. However, excessive consumption of high-calorie snacks may lead to extra weight gain during pregnancy and makes it harder for you to regain your figure after pregnancy. Opt for healthier snacks like non-fried popiah, low-fat yoghurt, fresh fruits, vegetable pau or plain whole-grain biscuits if your stomach rumbles in between meals.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Doctors and nutritionists agree that sweetened beverages are not good for us, and the same applies when you're pregnant. Besides, plain water isn't so bad! If you want some flavouring, you can add sliced fruits and make it a tasty natural treat.

Check the Labels

Choose products that are lower in fat, sugar and salt, and higher in fibre. Remember, portion size matters, so remember to keep to the serving size specified on the nutrition label as multiple servings of a low-calorie food can add up to a significant number of calories.

Stay Active

Even though you're pregnant, you can still engage in some physical activities like walking, stair climbing or light aerobics. Nothing too demanding, of course, but being physically active has many benefits for you and the baby. Start with 15 minutes of exercise and gradually increase that to 30 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.

Here's an important reminder. Do not adopt the "eating-for-two" approach when it comes to your diet! Your baby is not a full-grown adult, so eating double the amount of food will quickly lead to extra weight gain.

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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Michelle LIM Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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