How much weight should a pregnant woman gain?

Justina Valentine

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How much weight should a pregnant woman gain

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain? This is one of the concerns that women have during pregnancy. It can be harmful to the mother’s and the unborn child’s health to gain too much or too little weight during pregnancy. 

Although it is now widely accepted that one should not “eat for two” while pregnant, as was once believed. Yet, there is still a cause for concern among women regarding weight gain during pregnancy. 

On the one hand, it is well known that both the mother’s and the fetus’ health depend on the mother’s gaining weight healthily. According to experts, a pregnant woman with a normal preconception weight can gain from 11 to 16 kilos. 

This will depend on her size and height since weight gain is not usually the same in all pregnancies. Although, for a healthy pregnancy, the woman must control her weight.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain?

It’s crucial to prevent gaining too much weight while pregnant. This is attainable if you regularly engage in appropriate physical activity and consume a well-rounded, balanced diet.

You can avoid weight issues and any risks to your health. However, it is advised that a pregnant woman gain weight gradually.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain throughout pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy

Weight gain during pregnancy is a highly individualized process, and no set number is universally accurate for all pregnant women. It is, however, generally recommended that a woman aim to gain 1 to 4.5 pounds in the first trimester and then about 1 pound per week for the rest of her pregnancy.

This means a total of about 25 to 35 pounds for women with a healthy body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy.
Although, the exact amount of weight gain may vary based on a woman’s starting BMI and other individual factors. It is best to speak with a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain in
first trimester of pregnancy

During the 40 weeks of pregnancy, you won’t gain the same amount of weight. Generally speaking, there is little to no weight gain during the first trimester of pregnancy.

At this point in pregnancy, women who experience nausea and vomiting can lose a few pounds. Although some women may gain a little weight, the recommended weight gain is between 0.5 and 1.5 kg.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain in the second trimester of pregnancy?

You’ll notice that the weight gain is quicker during this trimester and that every time you step on the scale, you’ve added a few grams. However, it is advised to gain between 3.5 and 4 kg of weight during this trimester.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain in the third trimester of pregnancy?

Maintaining and gaining the same amount of weight as in the second trimester would be ideal. You can watch your diet and cut back on foods that are too high in fat if you have gained too much weight in the middle of your pregnancy.

The truth is that your pre-pregnancy weight affects how much weight you gain during pregnancy (or how much weight you should gain):

  • Pregnant women who are overweight should limit their weight gain to no more than 7 to 11 kg during pregnancy.
  • Underweight women, on the other hand, will need to gain more weight—between 13 and 18 kilograms overall.
  • If you’re carrying twins or more than one child, you should gain between 16.5 and 24.5 kilograms.

Why you shouldn’t put on too much weight while pregnant?

Obese or overweight pregnant women are more likely to experience complications during their pregnancy. The mother and her child may experience health problems as a result. Such as:

  • Gestational diabetes 
  • Hypertension
  • Preeclampsia (a placental pregnancy complication characterized by an increase in the pregnant woman’s blood pressure and increased protein levels in her urine)
  • Premature labor and/or C-section deliveries

Babies born to obese or overweight mothers are more likely to experience birth defects. Such as:

  • Macrosomia (fetal size increased above normal)
  • Possible birth injuries
  • Childhood obesity
  • Stunted growth
  • Asthma in children
  • Developmental delay and cognitive issues

Obese or overweight women are two-to-three times more likely to have serious disorders that could harm their children, so this is a concern that should not be ignored.

How will I know if my weight is normal while pregnant?

A person’s BMI (body mass index) can be calculated using their height and weight to determine if their weight is below normal, normal, overweight, or obese. 

However, you should gain between 10 and 15 kilos during pregnancy if your weight was within the normal range according to this index.

If your pre-pregnancy weight was below the normal range, you should put on more weight than a woman with a normal pre-pregnancy weight. And if you are obese or overweight, your weight gain should be less.

  • Underweight: BMI less than 20. Weight gain in pregnancy of up to 12.5 kg.
  • Healthy weight: BMI between 18.5 and 25, with a weight gain during pregnancy of 11.5 kg.
  • Overweight: BMI between 25 and 30. weight gain during pregnancy of 7 kg.
  • Obesity: BMI between 30 and 40. Weight gain in pregnancy of 7 kg.

Weight gain during pregnancy with a single baby 

Weight gain during pregnancy with twins

To know more about BMI. Read this article to learn more about Body mass index and how to calculate BMI during pregnancy

Mistakes women make during pregnancy

Frequent mistakes that some pregnant women make to control their weight:

  • Skip meals: It’s not convenient. The developing fetus requires consistent and regular nutrient deliveries. Smaller meals should be consumed more frequently. It will aid in regulating blood sugar levels and aid in digestion, as well as reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Avoiding diet drinks: Do not consume diet drinks. Sucralose (a non-caloric sweetener) and aspartame, a sweetener found in many low-calorie foods, are both safe to consume during pregnancy. Both have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. It is, however, recommended to drink more water than diet drinks.
  • Following a strict low-fat diet: Consuming healthy fats during pregnancy is crucial, especially Omega 3 fatty acids (found in foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower oil, and fish like salmon and tuna). These fats are crucial for the fetus’ retina and the central nervous system’s growth and development. Only saturated fats like butter, whole milk, and fatty meats should be reduced, according to health experts.
  • Weighing yourself daily: Instead of focusing solely on your weight, it is preferable to concentrate on a healthy diet. Pregnant women are not required to count calories or weigh themselves daily. The doctor should keep track of this record during periodic checks.
  • Thinking that prenatal vitamins are enough. Prenatal vitamins are one type of nutritional supplement, but they should not be used in place of a healthy diet.

Guidelines for healthy weight gain during pregnancy

  • Eat frequently, but try to eat little. It helps prevent nausea in addition to decreasing appetite.
  • Try to stay away from fried foods. If you like to snack, opt for finely chopped vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, or pasteurized quesillo.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits. They’ll give you a ton of vitamins and are low in fat and calories.
  • Rather than eating white bread, switch to whole-grain bread and cereals to pack in as much fiber as possible.
  • If you frequently top salads with mayonnaise, consider substituting a vinaigrette or yogurt sauce flavored with herbs.
  • Consume cheeses and dairy products with low or no fat.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and sugary drinks. Water or, in this case, natural juices should be used in place of this kind of soft drink.
  • Avoid sweets, chocolates, and junk food in general if your weight gain is very high.
  • Start with a large plate of salads if you are very hungry before meals because they help you feel full.
  • Avoid wine and alcoholic drinks.
  • Stay away from junk food like chips, candy, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. Directly refusing to purchase or prepare this type of food at home is the best way to avoid consuming it.
  • Consume daily amounts of protein (such as chicken, lean meat, eggs, and fish) and moderate amounts of carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, and bread).
  • Avoid fats, including those found in margarine, butter, sauces, mayonnaise, and a variety of other foods.

Final thought

Pregnant women frequently worry about gaining weight during their pregnancies. Given that the baby depends on her for all of the nutrients it needs to grow, a pregnant woman feels a great sense of responsibility.

The amount of food a pregnant woman consumes does not, however, need to be doubled. This could result in her gaining too much weight while pregnant, which is harmful to both her and the unborn child.

Gaining weight gradually throughout pregnancy helps the baby develop normally and healthily. Do not begin a weight loss diet if you are quickly gaining weight; this is discouraged throughout pregnancy.

You can, however, form habits that will prevent you from quickly gaining weight.

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