An overview of weight gain facts during a healthy pregnancy

One of the most typical characteristics of pregnancy is weight gain. The majority of pregnant women are concerned about how much weight they should gain during these nine months that the fetus is growing in their body. Too little or too much weight gain can cause complications both for the mother to be and for the new baby.  Having an appropriate weight gain can help a pregnant woman go through pregnancy without many difficulties and can facilitate the labor.

What to expect?

During pregnancy your body will change to accommodate for the new life that is about to be born.  You are at the beginning of big physical changes and the way you feel about your body image is important. Depending on how accepting you are of the changes that you see on your body, you will enjoy pregnancy or not.  Try not to see weight gain in pregnancy as a negative thing. Focus on your best bits and pamper yourself.

Feeling that your body is no longer under your control may cause some insecurity. Try to see the bright side: for nine months, which is not such a long time at all, you will have a new life growing and developing within you.

Healthy diet

Have a healthy diet and try to eat as much food with low GI as possible, minimizing the intake of foods with high GI. This will help you feel fuller for longer, which is important since as months go by you may find yourself feeling hungry quite often.

Low GI foods include oats, low sugar and low fat products, wholemeal bread, pasta and cereals, eggs salad leaves, oily fish, yogurt and berries.

High GI foods include cakes, chocolate, pies, high-sugar fruits, white pasta and white rice, crisps and meat.

What is the optimum weight gain for a pregnant woman?

According to Mayo Clinic the weight gain of a pregnant woman depends on her weight before pregnancy. If she was underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5, then the weight gain should be from 28 to 40 pounds. If she was normal weight with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, then the weight gain should be from 25 to 35 pounds. If she is overweight with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, then she should have a weight gain of 15 to 25 pounds.  If she is obese with BMI exceeding 30 then a weight gain of 11 to 20 pounds should be OK.

In certain pregnancies, when the pregnant woman is obese then the physician might put her on a diet to lose some weight while pregnant. 

First trimester

During the first trimester women who experience heavy early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, morning sickness and tiredness might find themselves losing weight. This is actually not worrying at all as a healthy weight gain will start as soon as the symptoms begin to wear out.  

However, weight loss during the second and third trimester can be dangerous for the woman’s and baby’s health and she should consult her doctor.

Where does the weight gain go?

Increased blood volume – 3 pounds Breast – 2 pounds Womb – 2 pounds Baby – 7.5 pounds Placenta – 1.5 pounds Amniotic fluid – 2 pounds Fat and protein – 7 pounds Retained water – 4 pounds

By keeping a healthy diet and a positive view of the changes that are happening in your body you will be able to have a healthy weight gain and a healthy pregnancy.