How much weight gain is normal during pregnancy?

How much weight gain is normal during pregnancy?

Once you know you’re pregnant, you can surely expect to put on some kilos in the coming months. During pregnancy, as your belly keeps getting bigger, the weighing scale becomes your enemy and you just can’t seem to keep your hands off food. There are many reasons why women put on weight during pregnancy. This weight gain indicates that your body is doing its part in order to prepare you and your baby for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Sure, these changes seem like a lot in a small amount of time but pregnancy weight gain can actually be healthy for your little one.

Average Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The average healthy weight gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weighed before you were pregnant. According to the American Pregnancy association:
  • Women with a healthy weight should gain an average of 12 to 15 kilos.
  • Women who were underweight before pregnancy should put on around three to four kilos more than healthy women. Ideally they should put on 15 to 18 kilos.
  • Women who happened to be overweight prior to pregnancy must still put on a few pounds during those nine months but in a range of 7 to 8 kgs It is always advisable for overweight women to consult a professional health care during pregnancy to avoid any complication risks.
Women who are pregnant with more than one baby will not undergo the similar weight gain path during those nine months, with extra weight being added to the total for the additional babies and additional placentas. A twin pregnancy will lead to a weight gain of 35 to 45 pounds. Multiples are often born early through a caesarean section to lessen the stress on mother’s body. Also Read: Top 10 Reasons for Low Birth Weight in Babies

Where is all pregnancy weight going?

Not all of your pregnancy weight gain is baby’s weight or fat! Then where does all of the fat go? Here’s the detailed breakdown.
  1. Stored nutrients for breastfeeding – The pregnant woman’s body prepares for future breastfeeding by storing some nutrients during pregnancy. These nutrients are stored in the form of fat, thus adding up about another 3 to 5 kilos.
  2. Increased Blood Flow – The supply of blood increases by around 50% for an expecting woman, which is pretty massive. It adds on 2 -3 kilos of weight (this might also be the cause of your swollen feet)
  3. The Baby – The baby weighs around 3 to 4 kilos at the time of the birth.
  4. Breast Tissue – Breasts also develop to arrange for milk production for the newly born, adding about 1 or 2 kilos of weight in the total.
  5. Bigger Uterus – The uterus gets bigger in size during pregnancy. This puts on another 2 to 3 kilos of weight.
  6. Placenta – During those nine months, you’re developing a whole new organ inside you- the placenta. It weighs around 1 to 2 kilos.
  7. Amniotic Fluid – It is also termed as a pregnant woman’s water. The amniotic fluid is a protective liquid where the baby resides. It weighs around 1 to 2 kilos.
Also Read: Importance of folic acid during pregnancy

What if I’m overweight or underweight before pregnancy?

If you take proper care of your nutrition and diet, being overweight or underweight will not necessarily lead to birth complications.
  • Underweight women can safely increase the calories with the intake of healthy foods like cereals, fruits, vegetables and whole grains to increase their body weight.
  • Obesity in pregnant women upsurges the threat of certain complications like gestational diabetes, premature labor, overweight baby and cesarean delivery. It is best advised to see a doctor who will help you determine if the benefits of weight loss offset any probable threats.

Also Read: How to deal with midnight hunger during pregnancy?

How To Control Pregnancy Weight Gain?

Although losing weight isn’t considered healthy during pregnancy, you can certainly slow down the process of weight gain by taking certain simple measures:
  • Steer clear of delectable fast food as they are loaded with bad carbs.
  • Ditch the belief of ‘eating for two’. Eat when you feel hungry.
  • Stick to fibrous fruits, low-fat dairy, healthy greens and whole grains.
  • Watch the portions of your food.
  • Join prenatal exercise and yoga classes for pregnant moms-to-be.
  • Get involved in meditation & healing.
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