It is crucial to monitor your weight during pregnancy, but it can be confusing to know how much weight you should gain. It is a common misconception that you should eat for two people when you are pregnant, but this is not the case. You only need to consume enough calories to support your baby’s development and store fat for breastfeeding. Here are some tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to gaining weight during pregnancy.
Your medical care provider should keep an eye on the right weight gain for you, but in general, a woman who begins pregnancy at a healthy weight (within the recommended BMI zone) should gain between 25 and 35 pounds by her due date, a woman who is underweight when she falls pregnant should aim to gain 28 to 40 pounds and an overweight woman only needs to put on between 15 and 25 pounds. Very overweight – or obese – women should gain fewer than 15 pounds. If you are having twins, the expected weight gain is higher.
When should I put on weight?
The ideal amount of weight gain during the first trimester is only a couple pounds, when the baby is still small. From the beginning of the second trimester until the end of pregnancy, a rough guide to weight gain is no more than one pound per week.
Gaining too much weight
Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is crucial to avoid complications like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), backaches, leg pain, varicose veins, and stretch marks. It can also make it much harder to shed the weight after the birth. However, pregnancy is not the time to go on a diet as it may harm the health of the unborn child. The best pregnancy tips include eating healthily and staying active.
Gaining too little weight
Being underweight can cause a number of issues during pregnancy, such as premature birth and a low birth weight baby. Additionally, it can mean that the mother’s body is not storing enough fat in preparation for breastfeeding. However, there are some naturally slim women who remain so throughout the pregnancy and give birth to healthy babies.
Staying active during pregnancy is important as it helps prepare your body for the physical demands of labor and birth. Most pregnant women can safely do moderate exercise, unless specifically advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. However, excessive exercise can be harmful to the baby.
Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist who has been writing for Emma’s Diary-one of the UK’s most popular pregnancy and baby websites-for over a decade. In her articles, Debra covers pregnancy-related topics such as pregnancy tests, pregnancy tips, pregnancy symptoms and more, as well as women’s health and beauty issues. She has also been featured in many glossy magazines in London and the Home Counties for her travel articles.