If it’s your first pregnancy then you must be experiencing excitement, joy, and anxiety. It is totally natural to feel this way. Because pregnancy is a big deal! You are trying your best to work on an optimal diet for your little one to be healthy. At the same time, you should also know about how much weight gain during pregnancy is recommended. And how many extra calories do you actually need!
Yes, you do need extra calories. But “eating for two” is a myth. And no, your dark circles are not because you need to eat more. Don’t end up overeating because an average pregnant woman requires only around 300 extra calories a day. That’s in addition to the number of calories she used to have before she was pregnant. That’s how she will gain the right amount of weight while expecting. Let’s discuss this in detail.
How Much Weight Gain during Pregnancy is Ideal?
While you are making it a routine to have healthy protein shakes every other for your baby’s health, you should know the recommended weight gain during pregnancy. A woman with an average weight before pregnancy should gain around 25-35 pounds after pregnancy. An overweight woman’s weight gain should be around 15-25 pounds. And it’s okay for an underweight woman to gain 28-40 pounds on average.
Generally, a pregnant woman should gain around 2-4 pounds in the first 3 months. For the rest of the pregnancy period, an average of 1 pound is to be gained a week. You can rely on this information because these are the normal and average stats.
However, if twins are expected, the weight gain can be around 35-45 pounds during pregnancy. The weight gain in the first 3 months is the same as for a singleton pregnancy. And after that, an average of 1 and a half pound is to be gained every week.
Normal Weight Gain during Pregnancy
Do some simple math. You need to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). You do this by dividing your weight (in kgs) before pregnancy by your height (in meters), squared. Or, simply take advantage of the internet and use a BMI calculator online. You should know that BMI calculations are not exactly perfect calculations. However, they do offer some helpful guidelines. Your health care provider will give you the best advice about your weight gain plan. Especially if you suffer from health conditions like blood pressure or diabetes, you need to consult with your health care practitioner.
The baby is still tiny. This means that the total weight gain should be 3-4 pounds. However, women who suffer from morning sickness tend to lose weight initially instead of gaining any. But that’s alright. The appetite will pick up in the second trimester.
In this trimester, the baby starts to grow steadily. The weight gain should pick up. For the women with an average pre-pregnancy weight, the weight gain in the second trimester is around 14 pounds.
In the third trimester, the baby’s weight gain picks up pace. But the mother’s weight may taper off a little with a net gain of around 10 pounds. For some women, the weight holds steady. While for others, it may drop a pound or two in the ninth month.
This is the estimate of normal weight gain during pregnancy for a healthy woman. If you suffer from any health conditions, your stats will be different. Your gynecologist will guide you about it.
Extra Pounds and Baby Weight During Pregnancy
Ever wonder about the weight distribution in your body during pregnancy? You may feel like all the weight is concentrated in your belly. But that’s not true. For an average weight gain of 30-pound, we are going to give you an approximate breakdown.
- The baby weight during pregnancy around 7.5-8 pounds.
- The placenta weighs around 1.5-3 pounds.
- The amniotic fluid weighs around 2-3 pounds.
- The maternal breast tissue weighs around 2-3 pounds.
- The maternal blood volume weighs around 4 pounds.
- Maternal fat storage weighs around 5-9 pounds.
- The uterine enlargement causes a weight gain of 2-5 pounds.
- Fluids in the maternal tissue weights around 4 pounds.
- The total weight gain can be 28 to 39 pounds.
Healthy Weight Gain during Pregnancy
Weigh yourself regularly to keep an eye on your weight gain. Try weighing yourself on the same scale and wearing none of the same clothes. It is recommended to weigh yourself once a week. If you start weighing yourself every day, the fluid fluctuations may drive you crazy. If you are scale phobic, weigh yourself at least twice every month. Or, you can wait until the prenatal checkup every month. But for those who want to stay on track, a lot can happen in one month. So, it is advisable to keep an eye on the scale and ensure a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Benefits of Avoiding Excessive Weight Gain in Pregnancy
If you try to maintain optimal weight during pregnancy, you will help yourself in the following ways.
- You will reduce the chances of experiencing common pregnancy symptoms like leg cramps, heartburn, lack of sleep, and backaches.
- You will be able to move around and stay active.
- The risk of preterm birth will be diminished.
- Optimal weight and a healthy pregnancy will impact the baby’s health positively.
- You will lower the risk of having an overweight or an underweight baby. Also, your baby will not suffer from nutrient-deficiency or malnutrition.
- You can get back to a healthy and adequate postpartum weight.
Incorporate Regular Exercise to Keep the Weight in Control
Generally, pregnant women think that exercise after pregnancy will make them attain their previous body weight. Most of them are not into the idea of working out during pregnancy. But you should know that in order to have a healthy weight, you should consider a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise every week. And the exercise has to be aerobics of moderate-intensity. In addition to weight control, it will help you feel lesser discomfort and stay fit. Swimming, yoga, walking and joining an aerobics class specially designed for expecting moms are pleasant options. Also, quit habits like smoking while you are pregnant.
Good luck with a healthy pregnancy and delivery!
1. What to eat to Increase Baby Weight During Pregnancy?
Focus on a healthy diet. If the baby’s weight is lesser than normal, you need to consult with your healthcare practitioner for advice on increasing your calorie intake.
2. Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?
In addition to the baby weight, it goes in the placenta, amniotic fluid, blood volume, breast tissues, fluids, uterine enlargement, fat stores, and so on.
3. Is It Safe to Lose Weight When Pregnant?
You shouldn’t focus on losing weight in pregnancy as in the normal days. However, if you are overweight, you may incorporate a healthy exercise routine to get back on track.
4. What if You Gain Too Much Weight During Pregnancy?
Consult with your doctor and consider a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise every week. Choose exercises or moderate-intensity like yoga, swimming, walking, and so on.
5. How Much Weight Should a Woman Gain During Pregnancy?
The average weight gain is around 28-39 pounds. It varies according to the category of normal, underweight, and obese pregnant women.
6. What’s The Average Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
The average weight gain by the end of the first trimester is around 3-4 pounds. And that by the end of the second trimester is around 14 pounds and by the end of the third trimester is around 10 pounds.
7. What’s a Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
When you gain between 28 to 39 pounds, we call it a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. According to some stats, it has to be around 25-35 pounds.