The World of Pregnancy

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

Finally, the dream of becoming a mother is about to come true. However, you`ll soon find that while your pregnancy develops, there are significant changes that appear regarding your appetite, but also from an emotional and physical point of view. But when do you gain the most weight during pregnancy?

Gaining weight during pregnancy is something that is absolutely normal, but you need to be careful not to weigh too much. Normally, a pregnant woman shouldn`t gain more than 10 kg to 12 kg during her entire pregnancy. It`s essential for you to understand that not the quantity of food that you consume is important, but rather its quality and diversity. Ideally, you need to keep in mind now that you are pregnant you shouldn`t eat for 2, but maybe eat healthier food.

In some cases, when a woman is obese, she may be allowed to lose weight during pregnancy, but only under the strict supervision of a nutritionist. However, in most cases, women should not try to lose weight during pregnancy.

Weight during pregnancy is very important because women who do not weigh enough risk giving birth prematurely, and those who accumulate too many kilograms risk having a birth with various complications and consequences, both for themselves and for the baby. Being overweight before becoming pregnant increases the risk of having certain complications in pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Although in the case of overweight women, some weight gain is recommended during pregnancy, experts say women who are obese can get even less weight than what is said in these guides without any risk to the baby.

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

A few years ago, the Institute of Medicine published a Body Mass Index (BMI) guidance report to help women have a clear vision of the weight they need to acquire during pregnancy. The body mass index is the weight-to-weight ratio and is also a very useful tool in this case.

The weight a woman needs to get depends on the weight she had when she got pregnant. Depending on the BMI, the optimum value of overweight during pregnancy is between:

  • 11 and 16 kg for a normal-weight woman with a BMI of 18.5-24.9;
  • 13 and 18 kg for a woman underweight with a BMI below 18.5;
  • 7 and 11 kg for a woman overweight with a BMI of 25.0-29.9;
  • 5 and 10 kg for an obese woman with a BMI greater than 30.

Of course, a twin pregnancy involves other changes, so these values ​​change as follows:

  • Between 17 and 24 kg if the woman had a normal weight before she was pregnant;
  • Between 14 and 22 kg if the woman is overweight;
  • Between 11 and 19 kg if the woman is obese.

From Where Do I Get these Extra Pounds?

These kilograms are essential for the evolution of pregnancy over the 9 months and are distributed as follows:

  • Baby 3, 5 kg;
  • Placenta between 1 and 1, 5 kg;
  • Amniotic fluid between 1 and 1, 5 kg;
  • Breast tissue between 1 and 1, 5 kg;
  • Blood volume 2 kg;
  • Fat stores for nutrition and breastfeeding between 2, 5 kg and 4, 5 kg;
  • Enlargement of the uterus 2 kg. (4).

When Do You Gain The Most Weight During Pregnancy?

Most women who give birth to healthy babies gain the most weight somewhere around weeks 25 to 35 of pregnancy. This obviously varies depending on the pregnant woman`s body and the weight before conception.

If the pregnant woman was underweight before getting pregnant, she would probably need to gain more weight than other women. If she was overweight, she would need to take less weight. Underweight and overweight are associated with a higher risk of complications during pregnancy.

That is why consulting a weight calculator during pregnancy according to the weight and height of the future pregnant is so important.

Visit your doctor regularly because he can make recommendations about how much weight you should take to make sure your pregnancy is normal and that you get the right nutrient intake.

Weight during pregnancy should be gradual and take the most weight in the third trimester of pregnancy. Normally, the pregnant woman should weigh between 0.9 kg and 1.8 kg in the first three months of pregnancy and then between 1.3 kg and 1.8 kg per month for the rest of the pregnancy.

During the second semester, the pregnant woman`s stomach is usually oriented upward, while during the third trimester it drops quite low, and the fetus begins to move regularly, while the mother can feel these movements.

In the third trimester pregnancy takes the most weight during the entire pregnancy, being the last series of the weight gains. The fetus will grow rapidly at this stage, gaining up to 28 g per day. The pregnant woman`s belly will change its shape quite rapidly, along with the fetus`s turn to the birth position.

Fetal movements can be intense enough for the pregnant woman to become stronger and more frequent due to improved brain function, baby’s eyes and muscles. The upcoming mother can feel her “rolling”, which can cause pain or discomfort when she is near the mother’s ribs or backs.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight during Pregnancy

Here are a few tips that you can use to avoid gaining too much weight during the 9 months of pregnancy.

1. Give Up on the Idea of Eating for Two

As your baby will be developing, after a few weeks of pregnancy you`ll start to feel the need to eat more. Now you`ll need around 300 kcal more than you used to consume before the pregnancy. The best thing you can do is to visit a nutritionist who will be able to make a customized food program that you can follow during your entire pregnancy. This way you`ll be able to avoid eating more than you have to and gaining extra pounds that will be so hard to get rid of after your pregnancy.

2. Drink a Lot of Liquids

During your pregnancy, staying hydrated is essential, being more important than ever because of the large blood volume from your body. Nutritionists advise you to drink at least 2l of liquids daily, either water, tea or natural juice.

A positive effect of well staying hydrated is that you sometimes avoid the sensation of hunger. However, you`ll have to go to the toilet a lot more frequently which isn`t too pleasant. Pay attention to the drinks that contain caffeine, soda or alcohol. You should exclude them from your diet completely.

3. Don`t Gain Weight during the 1st Trimester of Pregnancy

There are a lot of pregnant women who claim that during their first trimester of pregnancy they tend to eat more to gain weight willingly because they think this is good for their baby. In the first trimester, weight gain is the result of changes that occur in the mother and less in the fetus. More blood is produced to support the development of the fetus and feeding it with the necessary oxygen and nutrients. Keep in mind that all doctors claim that until the second trimester, when the baby starts to develop more rapidly, is not necessary to eat more to compensate for new life growing inside you. Ideally, you should avoid gaining more weight than half a kg per month during the 1st trimester. – More info!

Changes and fluctuations in weight may occur during the 3 quarters, but the sudden increase or decrease in weight may be a cause for concern. Normally, growth is around:

  • 900 g – 1, 8 kg in the first quarter;
  • 500 g per week to a total of 5-6 kg in the second quarter;
  • About 500 g per week in the third trimester to a total of 3-5 kilograms.

4. Prenatal Supplements Can Help

These prenatal supplements contain the necessary quantity of minerals and vitamins (iron, vitamin A and D, folic acid, Calcium or zinc) that you need during your entire pregnancy. However, you need to be careful regarding the quantity of vitamin A that you consume daily (not more than 5000 units/day) because larger quantities can be dangerous for your baby.

5. Include Fruits & Vegetables in your Diet

Fruits and vegetables are foods that bring the highest intake of proteins and vitamins to your body. It`s preferred to consume only fresh fruits or vegetables and avoid those that are dried or frozen.

Bananas should be included in your daily diet because they contain a lot of potassium, but also citrus fruits, especially lemons, oranges and grapefruits, because of they contain vitamins A, B, C and Calcium. Vegetables, such as carrots, cabbage, tomatoes or peppers, shouldn`t miss from your diet as well. By consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, you`ll have all the necessary nutrients and you won`t need to gain weight. – Check this!

It`s not recommended to follow a diet during pregnancy. Reducing calories can lead to malnutrition and can affect the growth and development of the fetus. It also increases the risk of having a baby with a low weight or even death. Loss of pounds immediately after birth is not recommended as it can affect breastfeeding and may lower your energy level.

6. Stay Away from Some Foods & Drinks

There`s a long list of foods and drinks that you need to exclude from your diet completely. They might be considered dangerous for both you and your baby:

  • Alcohol – Even though the tradition says 1 glass of wine is beneficial after every meal, during the pregnancy you should stay away from alcohol because it can be extremely toxic for your baby.
  • Foods and drinks that contain caffeine – They only help retaining water in the body, which in your situation might lead to stretch marks and cellulite, being in the same time harmful for your baby. He might become more agitated than usually.
  • Fats – Try to eat smoked salmon, smoked cheese, sausages, pork pate, any kind of ground meat, pork or beef liver.

In conclusion, you need to avoid all foods that contain sugar or fats.

7. Physical Exercises Make Wonders

If your doctor has told you that doing physical exercises won`t put you or your baby in any risks, then it`s recommended to do 20 minutes of workout every day. You don`t need to do complex exercises, but rather only easy and simple exercises in which you don`t need to put too much effort. Besides these, 10 minutes of walking everyday will help you feel a lot better, to have a healthy pregnancy and be in good physical shape.

8. Pregnancy Journal

During the pregnancy is more than a necessity to have a balanced food program. This program should include 3 main meals per day and 2 smaller meals in between. It`s not sufficient to consider that only your doctor should keep a medical record with the development of your pregnancy. It`s also recommended for you to have your own pregnancy journal in which to note all the changes from your diet that you`ll be establishing with your nutritionist.

9. The Massage Helps Considerably

To be able to adapt much more easily with your body`s changes during the pregnancy, you could use a very efficient method, meaning a massage. Prenatal massage helps in regulating blood pressure, fights against fatigue which might be felt more frequently during this period, maintains the elasticity of your skin, increases the tone of your abdominal muscles and reduces the risks of stretch marks occurrence.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a massage during pregnancy is that it offers physical relaxation, which has a positive effect for both the mother and baby. So, a massage isn`t a form of being pampered, but it rather helps in inducing a state of mental and physical health.

10. Try New Activities!

If you have a healthy pregnancy, then it means you don`t have any restrictions from your doctor regarding the activities you are able to perform. So, leave your bed, do any home stuff you may need to, go outside for a walk in the park or make a surprise to your partner by cooking something that looks great in a food magazine. Practically, you can do whatever you like during pregnancy if it helps avoid gaining weight, but keep in mind that moderation is the key.

Image courtesy of SimcoeMuskokaHealth.org
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