A healthy weight gain during pregnancy is important for the wellness of both mum and baby. If a mother doesn’t gain enough weight, her baby may be born small. Low birth weight infants have a greater chance of health problems. However, if weight gain is too much, the baby may grow too large. This could lead to problems on the birthing process and increase risk of complications during pregnancy. It is also hard for most women to lose a large amount of excess weight after the pregnancy.
BMI will give you an idea of how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. You will also need to know your Body Mass Index (BMI) before getting pregnant. BMI is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight.
These days, your health care provider will weigh you the first time of your scheduled appointment. Your doctor will do this so he can check your BMI. He won’t weigh you again unless he is worried about how well you are eating. To check how well your baby is growing, your health care provider will measure the size of your belly.
Once you know your pre-pregnancy BMI, use the guidelines below about weight gain during pregnancy. However, talk to your health provider about your specific pregnancy weight gain goals.
Normal: If your weight before pregnancy was in a healthy state like BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, 0.5 -2 kilos in the first trimester and about 0.4 kilo’s every week for the rest of pregnancy. A total of gain weight between 10 and 20 kilo’s is usual.
Overweight: If your weight prior to your pregnancy is overweight for your height like BMI of 25 to 30, a weight gain of 7 to 10 kilo’s is more ideal. However, if you were obese like BMI of 30 or higher, the gain weight should be 5 to 8 kilo’s.
Underweight: If your weight before pregnancy is underweight for your height like a BMI below 18.5, the healthy weight gain for you is 12 to 18 kilo’s.
Twins: If you are expecting twins, the ideal weight gain should be 17 to 25 kilo’s if you had a healthy weight before pregnancy. If you were overweight before pregnancy, it’s 14 to 23 kilo’s and 12 to 20 kilo’s if you were obese.
Weight gain during pregnancy varies from woman to woman. The average weight gain is between 10 and 13 kilos. The usual pattern of weight gain is 1 to 2 kilos during the first three months, followed by 0.4 kilos per week or 1 to 2 kilos per month during the final six months.
Excessive weight gain will predispose you to pregnancy problems like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure; therefore,it is not appropriate to lose weight during pregnancy. Even if you’re overweight before pregnancy, it is also important to gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy. If you’re underweight, it’s essential to gain a reasonable amount of weight while you’re pregnant, particularly on the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy. Without the extra weight, your baby may be born earlier or smaller than expected.
If your health care provider recommends gaining more pregnancy weight, here are some suggestions:
A healthy diet should ensure you don’t pile on the pounds and keep you and your baby happy and thriving. Cut out snacks that are high in fat and sugar, such as biscuits, ice cream and cakes. Replace them with more nutritious snacks such as cereals, fresh fruits and low-fat cheese, a yogurt or a handful of dried fruit.