Wondering how much weight will you gain during pregnancy? In this article, we will tackle gaining weight during pregnancy and everything you should know about it.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
“My baby weighed 3.12kg, yet I gained 12kg. Where was the rest of that weight at?”
“I’m 5 months pregnant and so far I’ve gained 3kg. My doctor doesn’t seem to think that’s a problem, but my sister-in-law is pregnant too. She’s 8 months pregnant and has already gained 10kg. Why is there such a big difference?”
There’s really a lot of comparison when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy. How come some mums-to-be gain more pounds than others and at a faster rate? The long and short of it is that not all pregnancy bodies are the same. There are other factors at play in how a pregnant woman gains weight.
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We’ve been told that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, your baby will receive the nutrients required for healthy growth. But, how many extra calories do you actually require?
According to a previous study, the majority of women gained weight outside of the normal range during pregnancy, with only around a third (32 per cent) of women gaining the appropriate amount (21 per cent too little, 48 per cent too much).
And while we’re on the topic of weight gain in pregnancy, a lot of mums-to-be wonder, “Does my weight gain have any effect on my unborn baby?”
Pregnancy weight gain effect on baby
Babies born to pregnant women who do not gain the necessary weight run the risk of being underweight. Some premature babies may struggle to latch on to their mums, may be more prone to illness, and may have developmental issues (not meeting the milestones for their age).
On the other hand, pregnant women who overeat are more likely to have babies who are born too big, which can complicate delivery, require a caesarean section, and lead to juvenile obesity. You may retain additional weight after delivery if you gain more weight than is recommended, which could lead to obesity.
How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy
Some say that one should gain 25 to 35 pounds when you are pregnant.
However, such a range only applies to women who, based on their body mass index, were “normal ” before becoming pregnant (BMI). Your height and weight are used to determine your BMI.
Finding out your BMI prior to becoming pregnant is the first step in determining how much weight you should attempt to gain during your pregnancy.
How much weight should you gain?
Good question – one with more than one correct answer. The amount of weight you gain depends on a) a single baby or multiple birth b) your pre-pregnancy weight and your BMI (body mass index).
Once you have determined your BMI, use the following chart to help you determine what your pregnancy weight gain should be.
- A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9: weight gain should be 11 t0 16 kg
- A BMI of 18.5 or less (underweight pre-pregnancy) merits a weight gain of 13 to 18 kg
- A BMI of 25-29.9: weight gain should be limited to 7 to 11 kg
- A BMI of 30 or over indicates obesity. If this is your situation, you should gain between 5 to 9 kg
Pregnancy Weight Gain Per Trimester
How quickly you put on weight during pregnancy will depend on a number of factors, including your metabolism, level of activity, and heredity.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises women who had a normal BMI before getting pregnant to increase their weight gradually depending on what trimester they’re in.
1. First Trimester
During your first trimester, your overall weight cannot increase by more than 2 to 4 lbs.
If you have morning sickness, you might have trouble gaining weight or perhaps lose a bit. It’s acceptable as long as you don’t shed those pounds over the following six months.
In this case, keeping a closer eye on the scale over the ensuing two trimesters will aid in limiting your pregnancy’s overall weight gain. You might put on more weight in the first trimester if you have an insatiable appetite while pregnant.
2. Second Trimester
Ideally, you should gain extra weight throughout pregnancy as your baby grows, bringing your whole weight gain to 12 to 14 pounds during the second trimester.
Some unwanted pregnancy symptoms like food aversion, morning sickness and vomiting should have subsided (unless you are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum), so you should be gaining more pounds during this trimester.
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3. Third Trimester
Baby’s weight gain will quicken while yours may start to slow down in the third trimester, adding up to a net gain of 8 to 10 pounds.
Take note that although the numbers seem big, the weight you will put on will not just be the baby’s but will also include the placenta, uterus, increased blood supply, amniotic fluid, and stored fat. It is crucial for you to have a healthy diet during your pregnancy.
Because of the shrinking abdominal space throughout the ninth month, eating can be difficult for some women, but for others, their weight stays the same or even goes down. It’s very normal to lose a few pounds at the end of your third trimester.
How Is the Pregnancy Weight Gain Distributed?
Have you ever wondered where the weight goes when a woman gets pregnant? Contrary to what would seem to be the case, nothing is actually in your stomach. The general breakdown for a 30-pound pregnancy weight gain is as follows:
- Baby: 3.4 kg
- Placenta: 0.7 kg
- Amniotic fluid: 0.9 kg
- Uterine enlargement: 0.9 kg
- Maternal breast tissue: 0.9 kg
- Maternal blood volume: 1.8 kg
- Fluids in maternal tissue: 1.8 kg
- Maternal fat stores: 3.2 kg
NOTE: This information is based on a woman giving birth to a single baby. The figures for a multiples pregnancy will be greater but NOT doubled.
Weight Gain in Pregnancy – Am I on Target?
More often than not, expecting mothers worry about weight gain during pregnancy in the sense that as easy it is to gain weight, the level of difficulty of shedding the baby weight may prove to be difficult.
In reality, though, the amount of weight that you gain during pregnancy is largely dependent on your weight before you conceived.
If you weighed a healthy number before getting pregnant, you should ideally only gain 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. If you were underweight, you have the leeway to gain a bit more, about 28 to 40 pounds.
If you were overweight at the beginning of your pregnancy, then weight gain should be lower at 15 to 25 pounds.
Avoid “eating for two” too much, as it might contribute to an unhealthy weight gain. Eating small meals more often may help stave off the hunger pangs.
As with everything else that concerns your pregnancy, your doctor will be able to help you set your right weight target. Go to all of your scheduled prenatal checkups so that your doctor can monitor your weight and pregnancy condition.
Not Gaining Weight During Pregnancy
There are many reasons why a pregnant woman may not acquire enough weight. Among the causes of sluggish or no weight growth during pregnancy are:
- rapid metabolism
- Morning sickness
- appetite loss
- appearance-related difficulties
- further medical causes
If you don’t gain enough weight during your pregnancy, you and your unborn child may be more at risk for problems. Babies whose expectant mothers don’t gain enough weight are more prone to:
- premature birth
- Be small for their gestational age.
- face limitations on uterine growth
Some small-born newborns could struggle to latch onto the breast, and they are more likely to become ill and fail developmental milestones as a result.
How to Maintain a Healthy Weight in Pregnancy
Even if you do need extra calories, the average pregnant woman only needs about 300 healthy calories per day more than they did before becoming pregnant. This will make it possible for them to gain the right quantity of weight during pregnancy.
When you are pregnant, you need to eat a well-balanced diet of 3 meals a day and 3 snacks a day. Make sure you include plenty of protein and fats that come from nuts and eggs. Meats should be lean and fish is great – just be sure to limit deep-sea fish (e.g. tuna, mackerel and shark) to once a week due to their high levels of mercury.
Take a good quality prenatal vitamin, drink plenty of water, limit caffeine and sugar and drink only juices that are made from real juice. Avoid junk food, too much sugar and herbal supplements and medications not prescribed by your doctor.
As for exercise, walking is always good, as is recreational swimming, bowling, prenatal yoga and pilates for pregnant women. It is IMPORTANT that you check with your doctor before doing any sort of exercise.
Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy and avoiding rapid weight gain will help to prevent leg and back pain, varicose veins, stretch marks, gestational diabetes, premature delivery and the need for cesarean deliveries.
Consult Your Doctor
Consult your doctor if you’re having problems with your pregnancy weight gain by the second trimester. Your doctor can give you resources to help you maintain a healthy rate of weight gain during pregnancy.
Updates from theAsianparent Philippines
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