PREGNANCY WEIGHT GAIN: How Much Is Normal?
Pregnancy

How much weight should I gain during pregnancy

Pregnancy Weight Gain: How Much Is Normal

“How much weight should I gain during pregnancy” is a question that all moms have as soon as they get pregnant. Experiencing weight gain during pregnancy is a natural thing. However, excess weight gain can have a negative impact on the health of pregnant women and their fetuses. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight gain

To manage your weight gain successfully during pregnancy you need to find out how much weight you should gain based on your BMI (body-mass index) and personal characteristics. Here is all you need to know about the most popular method to calculate the exact weight you need to gain in pregnancy according to your height and weight.

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

There are a number of factors that could contribute to the amount of weight a pregnant woman gains as she carries the baby. If she was underweight before she got pregnant, there is the possibility that she would gain more weight than if she was overweight before she got pregnant.

The most common way to know how much weight you should gain during pregnancy is by calculating your BMI. 

What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.

  • Metric units: BMI = weight (kg) ÷ height2 (m)
  • US units: BMI = (weight (lb) ÷ height2 (in)) * 703

BMI CATEGORIES:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

It is important to note that you shouldn’t calculate your BMI while pregnant. This is because BMI does not take into account whether the weight is carried as muscle or fat, just the number. 

What you need to do is to calculate your pre-pregnancy weight to determine your pre-pregnancy BMI, and then you’ll know how much weight it is normal for you to gain during pregnancy.   

Once the pre-pregnancy body mass index is determined, you can tell how much weight it is normal for you to gain, and compare it to your current pregnancy weight.

How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy According to My BMI?

According to CDC, here are the weight gain recommendations based on your BMI.

Weight Gain Recommendations For Women Pregnant With One Baby

Weight-Gain-Recommendations-For-Women-Pregnant-With-One-Baby
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy – one baby

Weight Gain Recommendations For Women Pregnant With Twins

Weight-Gain-Recommendations-For-Women-Pregnant-With-Twins
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy – Twins

Click here to calculate your BMI »

Most Women Gain Too Much Weight in Pregnancy

According to recent studies published in the Journal of the America Association, most women, about 48%, gained too much weight during pregnancy and only about 32% of women gain the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy.

That’s is a problem because women whose weight strayed outside of the guidelines were more likely to have experienced complications during their pregnancies. 

The Dangers of Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy were at increased risk for having unplanned cesarean sections and delivering babies with higher than average weights. Other complications may include:

  • Macrosomia in babies – Macrosomia refers to a very large body size. It is often used to describe an oversized fetus.
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Baby’s shoulder getting stuck during delivery (shoulder dystocia).
  • Preeclampsia
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble losing weight after delivery
  • Puts the developing baby at risk of obesity
  • Experience more pregnancy symptoms, such as varicose veins, achy joints, and heartburn.
  • Increased chances of having complications during delivery

On the other side, women who didn’t gain enough weight were at risk of having underweight babies. Weight gain below the recommendations is associated with having a baby that is small for gestational age, or a preterm birth.

Although there are safe methods to lose belly fat during pregnancy, it’s not recommended to try and lose weight during pregnancy. Dieting or limiting food intake could mean the baby doesn’t get enough nutrients needed for their development. Make sure to take prenatal vitamins to ensure your growing baby gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need during pregnancy.

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

Here are 5 important steps that will help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight gain:

Work with your health care provider

It is important to talk about your weight gain goals at the beginning of your pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife can provide support and refer pregnant women to a dietitian or other services if needed. 

Track your pregnancy weight gain

Start with calculating your pre-pregnancy BMI and compare your progress to recommended ranges of healthy weight gain.

Eat a balanced diet

Carb-loaded bagels probably sound appealing when you’re fighting off first trimester morning sickness, but eating a balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. You should plan a healthy and balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from the main food groups, as well as key nutrients. Stick to a healthy pregnancy diet that is high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Avoid certain foods and drinks that are not safe during pregnancy, such as raw and processed meat, seafood, and fish, raw eggs, too much caffeine, alcohol, etc. 

Exercise regularly

If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue or start regular physical activity.

Don’t miss your pregnancy tests, scans, and checks

In pregnancy, you’ll be offered blood tests, ultrasound scans, urine tests, and the GBS test. Pregnancy tests help to identify health concerns for you and your baby and also monitor your baby’s development in the womb. 

 

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