It is normal to gain some weight during your pregnancy. What is important though is how much you gain and of course that the weight you gain during your pregnancy is healthy. Eating healthy and the amount of exercise that you have during your pregnancy are contributing factors that determine your weight gain and whether it is a healthy weight gain.
I know that during pregnancy you will have your cravings and it is important to indulge! After all you’ll be getting meals from family and friends and it is only during this time that you can wake your hubby in the night and get him to run around finding what you crave! Nevertheless, it is very important that your weight again does not exceed the normally indicated amount. Unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy can lead to problems such as simply feeling uncomfortable during your pregnancy to more serious conditions such as gestational diabetes. Don’t forget that unnecessary weight gain can also be that much harder to loose.
It’s true that most well-wishers and family will make statements to the effect that you are eating for two, unfortunately this is not really accurate. What you need to do is to make sure that you eat enough healthy food that has the necessary nutrients for your little one to grow within you.
How much you should gain during your pregnancy will largely depend on your weight when you conceive. If you are underweight when you conceive you have enough to gain and if you are overweight when conceiving you will have to keep an eye on how much you gain through your pregnancy.
The latest guidelines of ideal pregnancy weight gain were issued in 2009 by the Institute of Medicine. As per the guidelines issued by them, the following are the recommended weight gain based on a woman’s BMI (body mass index) before becoming pregnant if she is pregnant with one baby:
Underweight: Gain 13kg to 18kg
Normal weight: Gain 11.5kg to 16kg
Overweight: Gain 7kg to 11.5kg
Obese: Gain 5kg to 9kg
And here are the guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy with twins, based on the mother’s pre-pregnancy BMI:
Normal weight: Gain 15.4kg to 24.5kg
Overweight: Gain 14kg to 22.68kg
Obese: Gain 11.34kg to 19kg
Underweight: No weight gain guidelines are available because of insufficient data.
The above mentioned weight gain are guidelines but it is important to discuss with your OB/GYN on your weight gain as each pregnancy differs and your medical practitioner will have a knowledge of your medical history which will help him better assess your required weight gain during your current pregnancy.
It is important that you do not ‘diet’ or cut down on your diet. Instead eating healthy with a wide range of nutrients is very important. Do not be afraid of gaining weight and shedding your weight later on. Fear of losing pregnancy weight should never be a reason to eating less. Given that your weight gain would include your baby’s weight and amniotic fluid as well, your total weight gain will not be completely the weight you need to lose post pregnancy.
By the time you approach your due date roughly, your baby, the amniotic fluid and the placenta will include one third of the weight you gain. Each pregnancy differs but this is a rough estimate:
At birth, a baby weighs about 2.8kg
The placenta, which keeps your baby nourished, weighs 0.7kg
The amniotic fluid, which supports and cushions your baby, weighs 0.8kg
The remaining of the two thirds of your weight gain is due to the changes during pregnancy. On average:
The muscle layer of your womb grows during pregnancy and weighs an extra 0.9kg
Your blood volume increases and weighs an extra 1.2kg
You have extra fluid in your body which weighs approximately 1.2kg
Your breasts weigh an extra 0.4kg
You store fat which provide energy during pregnancy and this fat is approximately 4kg
Now that you have the facts and the guidelines, enjoy your pregnancy by eating healthy and exercise often to make sure that you have a safe and comfortable pregnancy.