As a mother or mother-to-be, there are many tools to rely on for a healthy pregnancy. And a pregnancy weight gain calculator is one of such tools. It refers to a calculator that helps calculate and keeps track of weight gain during pregnancy. This also calculates the body mass index (BMI) of the pregnant which includes the mass and height of a person. The pregnancy weight gain calculator computes BMI according to pregnancy stage, type, height, and weight both before and after pregnancy. It was formulated based on the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations for weight gain in pregnancy. Pregnancy calculators are also endorsed by the World Health Organisation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Why is it important to use a pregnancy weight gain calculator?
Many mothers commonly overlook the use of a pregnancy weight gain calculator because they do not know its importance. Pregnancy can cause permanent changes to one’s health due to major and dramatic changes to the body, and it is hence crucial to take note of weight gain during pregnancy.
Maternal obesity is thought to be one of the most common factors in high-risk pregnancies, increasing risk of pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, and gestational diabetes. Alongside maternal obesity, inappropriate weight gain also predisposes infants to developing childhood obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Therefore, weight gain calculators and body composition measurements are hence important in predicting good maternal health as well as pregnancy outcomes.
Recommended weight gain during pregnancy
A common misconception most hold is that pregnancy weight gain is attributed to the fetus’ weight. However, in reality, most weight gained goes toward the development of the fetus’ tissues, allowing healthy fetal development and growth, while preparing the body for breastfeeding.
The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 1-4 pounds during the first trimester, and 1 pounds per week during the remaining 6 months of pregnancy. To achieve 1 pound per week, it is recommended to consume an additional 300 calories per day. However, weight gain may differ woman-to-woman, but here is a general weight gain guideline provide by the Institute of Medicine.
5 best recommended pregnancy weight calculators
Now that you are more familiar with the usage of a pregnancy weight gain calculator, here are 5 best recommended calculators, free for your usage on the internet!
|New South Wales’ Government Calculator
||Best for simplicity
|Medibank Australia Calculator
||Best trusted source
||Best for variety of pregnancy tools
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Calculator
||Best for information on BMI
|Pampers Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator
||Best for additional classes
Best for simplicity
The New South Wales’ Government put out this calculator free fpr all to use, and it is straightforward, simple and easy to use. All you have to do is simply input numerical details into its’ pleasant and simplistic interface, as well as further details such as whether you are having twins. Furthermore, the site also includes frequently-asked questions which may be worth a read, providing information on pregnancy. Additionally, you will be able to join an online health coaching programme to guide your pregnancy weight gain journey, making for a great yet easy-to-use guiding platform.
Best trusted source
This calculator was made by Medibank Australia, an integrated healthcare company providing private health insurance. The calculator and content was reviewed by Dr. Cheryce Harrison and Professor Helena Teede, from Monash University. With such accreditations, this calculator is not just easy to use, but also an extremely trustworthy platform. Additionally, the site provides information explaining and breaking down pregnancy weight gain at each trimester.
Best for variety of pregnancy tools
The Omni Calculator is a calculator relied on by many mothers, as it contains much needed information about pregnancy trimesters. However, its selling point stands to be its 31 other fertility and pregnancy calculators, such as a due-date calculator. This allows the site to be a multi-purpose, all-in-one parenting site where many tools are easily accessible.
Best for information on BMI
This calculator is a no-frills platform put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its best feature would be the inclusion of a table providing valuable information about BMI both pre- and post-pregnancy, which will definitely help many mothers-to-be and first time mothers out there! Furthermore, it contains trackers for women pregnant with not just a single baby, but twins as well.
Best for additional classes
Many parents are no stranger to Pampers, a diaper brand dedicated to every baby’s happy and healthy development. It is an extremely reliable and reputable brand trusted by parents globally, and their website has various parenting tools including the pregnancy weight gain calculator. For parents looking to learn more about babies and children, the site provides childhood education classes which will definitely enrich your knowledge!
What to eat during pregnancy to maintain or improve weight?
Food and diet greatly affects the pregnancy process and developmental outcome of both mother and child. Although diets are commonly heavily debated on, and can be different across cultures, it is not necessary to follow extreme or strict dietary guidelines. General advice include eating healthy such as including more greens and healthy fats. Read on for specific nutrients you should be looking to consume more of, and what to avoid!
Folate and folic acid
Folate is a nutrient which helps against neural tube defects and potential abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord, as well as premature birth. Its advantage in lowering risk of birth defects makes it a nutrient many mothers consume, and is commonly form as folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. Consumed vitamins and supplements, citrus fruits, and dried beans to acquire folate and folic acid.
Calcium is no stranger to many, as most people know of its benefits for bone health. It indeed supports healthy and strong bones, as well as teeth, but is also necessary for day-to-day functioning of the body’s circulatory, muscular and nervous system. Eating dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese can give you calcium. Some non-dairy products such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are a good source too.
Vitamin D, much like calcium, helps promote bone strength, making it a valuable added vitamin. You may take fortified milk, fish, and eggs to get the vitamin D.
Protein is an essential nutrient important for both mother and child. Start to eat lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and soy products.
Iron is extremely important for the development of the baby, and when pregnant, you should consume double the normal amount of iron, as it is essential for the body to produce more blood to supply oxygen to the baby. When the mother does not consume enough iron, she could suffer iron deficiency anemia, resulting in fatigue, and increasing risk of premature birth. You may want to eat red meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified foods, beans and vegetables, among other foods as these are a good source of iron.