For a healthy pregnancy, it is advised to gain weight, which varies from person to person. Let us discuss weight gain during pregnancy.
We will also discuss why you should NOT worry about losing this weight after the delivery of your healthy baby!
Appropriate weight Gain!
While gaining weight is essential and always recommended by doctors to pregnant mothers, gaining too much weight can also pose severe health risks. It can also increase the extent of stretch marks, you will gain after delivery. How much weight should you gain then? This depends upon the BMI value of your body. We will talk about a healthy weight for pregnancy in this article.
Step 1: Calculate your BMI
BMI is Body Mass Index. It is the measure of the body’s leanness or healthiness. It depends mainly on the height and weight of the body. In addition to this, it also depends upon other factors like your age and gender. All these factors collaborate to tell if you are a healthy person, overweight, or underweight.
This is a very important factor to determine how much weight should you gain and when should you start gaining weight during your pregnancy for a healthy baby. Look for the BMI tables online and determine in which category your BMI falls. If your BMI falls in the normal category, you are advised to gain around 25 to 35 pounds.
This was step 1 to determine what weight you should gain for a healthy pregnancy. Now, let us look at Step 2.
Step 2: How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
The answer to this question is not the same for everybody; it depends upon the person’s Body Mass Index (BMI). You will be surprised to know that the answer is not even the same for two people having the same BMI. The reason for this is that two people with the same BMI may even have different body metabolism and genetics.
So, the pregnancy weight gain chart can always be referred to, but it is most important to keep in touch with your doctor. Doctors know your body’s metabolic rate and other important factors and only he can tell you the best range and rate at which weight should be gained during pregnancy.
P.S.: pregnancy weight calculators are also available, but don’t make it a replacement to your doctor.
The weight gain varies with trimesters. Refer to the points below to know the right weight gain guidelines, based on your BMI.
- Weight gain in the first trimester:
During this time, the baby is really small and not more than three to four pounds is required. So, help yourself to increase this much and your baby will be able to grow healthy with this much extra weight. Keep in mind that in any trimester, gradual weight gain is important. Remain steady with this much amount and you will be able to keep yourself and your baby healthy!
- Second Trimester:
How much weight gain in the second trimester is recommended?
Till this time, the baby is growing at its fastest and you may gain a lot of weight. The grown baby will also need a lot more calories and energy from the mother. So, the expected weight gain is around 14 pounds.
- The Third Trimester:
During this time, the baby will gain a lot of weight and will eventually grow to its fullest size. At the same time, the mother may even start experiencing a drop in her weight. That might be around two to three pounds. This might be due to the transport of even more energy to the baby now!
But there will be a net gain of around 10 pounds. This is normal and near the ninth month, the abdomen will feel really tight and usually makes it difficult to make room for food.
IMPORTANT: The weight gain should always be steady. This is important to ensure that the baby gets nutrients and energy at a steady and stable rate. The flow of nutrients should never stop and for this, a steady gain in weight is very important.
BMI and factors it determines:
The BMI during pregnancy and the recommended healthy weight for pregnancy is given below. Refer to this chart anytime, but DO consult your doctor, if you find something unusual happening with you.
- BMI <= 18.5
This is rated as Underweight.
Recommended weight during pregnancy for Underweight people is between 28-40 pounds.
Weight gain should be 1 and 1-1.3 pounds for the second and third trimester, respectively.
- 5 <= BMI <= 24.9
If you have your Body mass index in this range, Congratulations! You have Normal Weight
You are recommended to have total weight in the range of 25 to 35 pounds.
Weight gain should be 1 and 0.8-1 pounds for the second and third trimesters, respectively.
- 25 <= BMI <= 29.9
This is categorized under Overweight.
The recommended total weight is 15-25 pounds for a healthy baby.
Weight gain should be 0.6 and 0.5-0.7 pounds for the second and third trimesters, respectively.
- BMI >= 30
This is the last category and the person with this BMI is surely Obese.
She gains a total weight of around 11-20 pounds.
Weight gain should be 0.5 and 0.4-0.6 pounds for the second and third trimester, respectively.
Hence, the minimum weight gain during pregnancy varies with the BMI of the mother and needs to be carefully calculated and implemented.
The Rocky Road
It is understandable that the rate of weight gain and other weight gain goals may not remain steady. There may occur days when you barely want to eat something and some other days when it might become difficult for you to control your hunger. All this is acceptable if your weekly goals are properly met.
Where is the weight going?
Ever thought where is the weight and even increasing weight going?
Is it all in the belly?
It seems to be all in the belly, but this is not exactly the case! The weight is distributed among different body parts. Let us have a look at the approximate weight distribution in the body.
- As expected, most of the bodyweight goes to the BABY- 7.5 POUNDS.
- Baby needs a good nutrient store, so MATERNAL ENERGY AND FAT STORE- 7 POUNDS.
- 4 POUND goes to the MATERNAL BLOOD AND FLUIDS IN TISSUES, each.
- THE PLACENTA holds about 1.5 POUNDS.
- 2 POUNDS each for BREAST TISSUES, UTERINE, and AMNIOTIC FLUIDS.
Why is this distribution important?
You need to have sufficient and minimum stated weight in these body parts. This is really important for the baby to grow healthily and also for the mother to remain healthy and ready for nursing the baby.
Losing Weight After the Baby is in your lap!
Some people think that it is really hard to lose the weight gained in the nine months. They think that their abdominal will remain enlarged and a lot of work out and other exercises will only help them to reduce their weight and gain their sexy looks again!
But this is not true. Below are listed some of the most awesome and natural ways in which you can easily lose weight and that too in less time.
- Breast Feeding:
You may be surprised, but YES, breastfeeding leads to the mother’s weight loss at the fastest speed. It may help you lose several pounds by breastfeeding alone. It has been seen that the mothers who feed the baby themselves, even for some months, are more likely to lose more weight than those who do not feed the baby themselves at all.
- It’s Automatic too!
Once the baby comes out, the mother’s body loses a lot of weight, and gradually, this weight keeps on decreasing automatically. So, you don’t need to worry about several gained pounds. They will go away once the baby is out!
- Yoga and other amazing ways:
There are many yoga classes for new moms. You can join them and fetch some health benefits for yourself. You can even send your babies to the childcare. This will let you have some quality time with yourself, without worrying much for your kid.
This will help boost the Endorphins level and provide you several health benefits. Yoga and Gyms can definitely help you lose weight.
Concluding the article, I would like to REMIND you that gaining weight during pregnancy is an important step in the process. This ensures the health of the mother and the baby. The recommended weight gain varies from person to person. This depends upon the Body Mass Index of the mother.
BMI needs to carefully calculated so that the recommended weight gain can be approximated, which will lead to normal delivery and a healthy baby.
You DO NOT need to worry about this weight gain. You can easily shed this weight off by some days of Yoga and Gyms. In fact, the best way to shed this off is Breast Feeding the baby, which definitely has added health benefits for the baby too!