All of us are weight conscious, aren’t we? And all of us tend to worry when it comes to the issue of gaining weight during pregnancy. A healthy diet and a regular exercise regime will make your baby get all the necessary nutrition fr growth and development, and contrary to the popular belief of eating for two during pregnancy, all you need is some extra calories. On one hand, we feel tensed at the idea of bloating up and not fitting into those lovely slim-fit jeans and on the other, we feel comforted that a good weight gain shows a healthy growth of the little one. It’s actually a catch 22 situation.
Why is it so necessary to gain weight gradually during pregnancy? Read on for answers to some similar questions.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
As a matter of fact, your weight gain during pregnancy will depend on how much you weighed at conception, and how appropriate your weight is considering your height and age. Pregnancy is by no means a license to eat twice as much, if you refer to the old wives tale of ‘eating for two’. The trick here is to eat well, eat healthy and eat appropriately to provide your baby in the womb with all essential nutrients that he or she needs to develop. There is no fixed limit of the weight you should gain as it differs from person to person and the body mass index (BMI). However, it can be safely said that the average weight gain during pregnancy is 10-12 kgs. Here is the timeline. In the first trimester, the weight gain is hardly perceptible (0.7 to 1.4 kgs), you may gain around 4 kgs. In the second trimester and in the third trimester, you may gain 6- 8 kgs. Putting it in weeks, you might gain around 4 kgs in the first 20 weeks and almost 8 kgs in the remaining weeks.
Pregnancy Weight Gain By BMI
Here is pregnancy weight gain guidelines as per your BMI, however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain.
If your BMI < 18.5, then you are underweight and should gain about 13-18 kgs
If your BMI is 18.5-24, then you are normal and should gain about 11-16 kgs
If your BMI is 25-29 then you are overweight and should gain about 7-11 kgs
If your BMI > 30 then you are obese and should gain about 5-9 kgs
Pregnancy Weight Gain Distribution
The extra weight that you put on during your pregnancy gets distributed between your body, the baby, placenta, uterus and amniotic fluid. Take the cue from the below distribution of weight gain during pregnancy for a BMI 25.
Your breasts, placenta and uterus will grow upto 900 gms to 1 kg in weight individually
The amniotic fluid takes about 1.3 kgs of the weight gain
Your blood and the body fluids take about 1.3 to 1.8 kg of weight individually
The stores fats and proteins to the tune of 3.6 to 4.5 kgs
The baby takes about 2.72 to 3.6 kgs
Why Is It Important To Gain Weight During Pregnancy?
Weight gain is the single most efficient parameter of monitoring a normal pregnancy. That is why it is recorded every time you visit your doctor. If you are underweight during pregnancy or if your weight gain is very slow, it may be an indication of poor growth of your baby. In such a case, you will need to have a more healthy and nutritious diet and take better care of yourself. If your weight is increasing rapidly, then it may be an indication of excess intake of unhealthy food and it may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure or large babies. If the weight gain is rapid, along with high blood pressure then it may be an indication of PET or pre-eclampsia.
What If I Am Overweight During Pregnancy?
If you are overweight, you have a higher risk of having a complicated pregnancy and can be prone to pregnancy conditions including gestational diabetes and hypertension. Women who have a BMI greater than 35, a weight loss of less than 5 kilograms appears to have more benefits than risks. This also decreases the risks of having a premature baby. If you are overweight, do not go on a diet and starve yourself on your own, as your weight loss needs to be strictly monitored by your doctor. This, too, can be dangerous for you and the baby. Consult your doctor for a good diet plan to prevent becoming overweight.
What If I Am Underweight During Pregnancy?
Gaining weight would be ideal for you, else your baby can be very small and tiny. This weight gain should be composed of healthy fats, so do not stuff yourself with high calories food for a rapid weight gain. It can be dangerous to you and your baby. Even though you may put on weight quickly, it will not be healthy weight gain.
Is It Safe to Lose Weight When Pregnant?
If you are obese, your doctor may recommend losing weight, but this should happen under the supervision of your doctor. If you are advised to drop a few kilos, you should be closely monitored by your doctor, though such kind of cases are not very common. Refrain from dieting or resorting to other methods of losing weight at all costs.
How Can I Ensure I Gain The Right Amount of Weight During Pregnancy?
The below tips would serve helpful:
Do not have large meals, break them into 5-6 smaller meals
Have healthy pregnancy snacks by you to fight pregnancy hunger pangs
Do not consume too much of sugar, opt for foods that are low in calories and high in nutrition
Limit the use and consumption of fats- cooking oils, butter, sauces, mayonnaise etc
Plan a moderate exercise regime – yoga, meditation and walking would be easy and do you much good
And, enjoy this time, do not be stressed or think about the weighing scale all the time
Should I Worry About What Others Say About My Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
The amount of weight you should gain varies for every individual and a person with low BMI may have a different weight gain than a person with high BMI. It is a fact that women are anxious and worried about the weight gain largely due to how others look at them. Thoughts like “Am I not gaining enough weight?” or “Am I becoming large too soon?” can worry you due to comments and observations from others. Rest assured if your doctor is satisfied with your progress, you need not worry about what other people think.
As you put on your pregnancy weight, you will also get that beautiful pregnancy glow and the long pregnancy tresses. So, enjoy your pregnancy days– they are so memorable!