Weight Gain During Pregnancy - What's Normal?
Pregnancy is an exciting time; it is a time where your body will be preparing itself for a nursing body that will be developing and carrying your baby for 9 months.
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The Normality of Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is an exciting time; it is a time where your body will be preparing itself for a nursing body that will be developing and carrying your baby for 9 months. It is accompanied with hormonal changes, mood changes and weight changes. It might be a stressful time for many women who might be stressing on the weight gain and fearing all the body changes and not losing the weight after pregnancy.
How much weight should you gain during your pregnancy?
Pregnancy weight gain depends on your Body Mass Index (BMI) before pregnancy which is a measure of body fat based on your weight and height. Weight gain also differs between being pregnant with one baby or being pregnant with twins.1
Weight Gain range in one baby
Weight Gain range in twins
BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2
BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2
BMI ≥30 kg/m2
How much weight should you gain each trimester?
Weight gain should be gradual it is not like you will be gaining all the weight as soon as you know that you are pregnant, or that you will keep on gaining weight when you get pregnant! In fact, these are misconceptions many women think are true.
The 1st trimester is when your baby is still tiny and pregnancy weight gain should be minimal about 0.5-2kgs in the whole trimester. Some women who experience morning sickness or sickness in general might lose some weight during this trimester and it is just fine if they make up for this weight in the other trimesters.1
The 2nd trimester is when your baby starts growing and when you will start seeing a gradual increase in your body weight at a rate of 0.5-1kg/week.2
The 3rd trimester is when your baby is growing the most and your weight will be increasing gradually at a rate of 0.5-1kg/week.2
Where does the extra weight go?
It may feel like all the weight is in your belly or it is all Fat gain, but the extra weight comes from different areas which are the baby weight, placenta, amniotic fluid, uterine enlargement, maternal breast tissue, maternal blood volume, fluids in maternal tissue and only few of the weight is the maternal fat stores!2
You need to gain weight in all these areas to have a healthy baby and pregnancy, and to prepare your body for nursing.
Why Is It Important to Gain the Recommended Amount of Weight During Pregnancy?
The amount of weight gain is important because both gaining too much or gaining too little have long-term consequences on both your baby’s health and your health.
If you gain less than the recommended amount of weight you are at risk of delivering a small baby. Small babies might have growth and developmental delays, might have difficulty breastfeeding, and might not reach their age milestones.1
If you gain more than the recommended amount of weight you are at risk of having complications in the delivery and delivering large babies. This puts the baby at a higher risk of having obesity in childhood and puts you at a risk of being overweight or obese because you increase the amount of weight you will hold after pregnancy.1
Pregnancy weight gain is not to be avoided; it needs to happen to help your body support the growth and development of a healthy baby. Eating for two is a misconception, you just need to eat a bit more to support in reaching the recommended weight gain for your body.
Don’t let the fear of weight gain let you miss on enjoying the beautiful journey of pregnancy but always consult your nutritionist and doctor if you have any concern.