Want a healthy pregnancy weight gain? Read on for how much weight you should gain, and how a fit pregnancy will help you stay on track!
Weight gain in pregnancy is not only inevitable but desirable and you should expect a steady increase as your baby develops.
Pregnancy is not a good time to go on a diet – if you’re overweight it’s much better to try and address the issue before you become pregnant. However you can change the way you eat to ensure you enjoy a healthy pregnancy diet with all the right prenatal vitamins and nutrients and do your best to avoid piling on extra unnecessary pounds. Regular exercise will also help you to maintain a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. The most important criteria is to aim for a healthy pregnancy and provide your baby with the best possible start in life.ancy and produce healthy, normal weight babies.
Remember, eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much! It does mean eating carefully to ensure you include all the right nutrients for you and your baby, without adding extra calories that won’t benefit either of you. A healthy pregnancy diet only needs to include around 250-300 additional daily calories – but not until the third trimester!
So what is a normal weight gain in pregnancy?
Most healthy pregnant women gain between 8-14 kgs (17.5- 30lbs) – the average is around 12.5 kg (or 27.5 lbs) which is of course considerably more than your baby will weigh.
So how is your extra pregnancy weight made up?
- At birth the average baby weighs around 3.3 kg (7.3lb)
- Expect the placenta to weigh 0.7kg (1.5lb)
- The amniotic fluid weights around 0.8kg (1.8lb)
- Your breasts will grow in size – that extra cleavage will add around 0.4kg (0.9lbs) to your weight
- And your body will store around 4kg (8.8lb) in preparation for feeding your baby
- The muscle layer of your uterus increases and will add around 0.9kg (2lb) to your weight
- Pregnant women have an increase of around 50% in the volume of blood circulating in their body –and this adds another 1.2kg (2.6lb)
- Extra fluid adds 1.2kg (2.6lb) to your pregnancy weight
When can you expect to gain weight during pregnancy?
Generally you would expect to put on approximately 1-3 kg or 10% of the total gain during the first trimester, around 6-8kgs during the second trimester and then a slow and steady gain of approximately 3.5-4kgs during the third trimester.
Too much or too little weight gain during pregnancy
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can affect your health and increase your blood pressure, increasing the risk of complications such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. There is a higher risk of C-section deliveries among obese women and it can be difficult to shift the pregnancy weight after the birth.
Gaining too little weight during pregnancy can cause problems such as premature birth or a baby with a low birth weight – although plenty of naturally slim, fit and healthy women remain slim during pregnancy and produce healthy, normal weight babies.
A fit pregnancy will help you maintain a healthy weight gain
Staying active and continuing to exercise during pregnancy will help you to maintain a normal weight gain whilst pregnant and make it easier to regain your pre-baby body after the birth.
Keeping your body toned doesn’t just add to your strength and stamina – it makes you feel good about yourself. You’re already likely to be managing some real emotional swings as your hormones fluctuate – exercise will help you adapt to your new shape and to love the way your body looks.
This report from NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence ) will give you some more details on pregnancy weight management before, during and after pregnancy. Read more about the benefits of exercise during pregnancy here!