- Gaining right weight during pregnancy is important
- Underweight pregnancies increase the risk of preterm birth
- Ensure nutrient rich food for healthy weight gain
- Monitor the weight for each appointment with the midwife or doctor
- Consult with a nutritionist if you need assistance
Gaining the right weight during the pregnancy is important to stay healthy for mother and the baby. Having the essential nutrients through sufficient food helps the mother to maintain proper weight.
Monitoring the mother’s weight even before getting pregnant is also advisable as it plays a crucial role in your pregnancy. If the mother has low BMI before pregnancy, it is recommended to achieve the normal weight in order to go through a healthy fetal development.
Before talking about weight gain during pregnancy, let us look at the healthy weight before getting pregnant. Generally, a person with a Body Mass Index less than 18.5 is considered as underweight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered to be healthy, and BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered as Overweight. Meanwhile, anybody with a BMI above 30 is considered as an Obese person.
Even when you start planning for pregnancy, have a look at your weight. If you are underweight, it is recommended to gain some healthy weight for a healthy pregnancy. If you are Overweight or Obese, it may affect your fertility; hence the pregnancy may get delayed.
Now, let us talk about the weight gain during pregnancy. As per expert opinion, chances of preterm births are higher in underweight pregnant women.
According to the recommendations of various International health organizations, a healthy woman should gain a weight between 11.33 kg to 15.87 kg during the full term pregnancy.
In other cases:
- An underweight woman should gain a weight between 11.33 kg and 18.14 kg.
- An Overweight pregnant woman should gain a weight between 6.8 kg and 11.33kg.
- An Obese woman should gain a weight between 4.9 kg to 9.07kg.
If it is a condition of multiple pregnancy mostly twins, the weight gain will be different. But, even when carrying twins or more, there can be a standard weight gain which makes the pregnancy healthy and out of danger.
As per the recommendations, if the mother is carrying twins:
- A healthy woman should gain a weight between 16.78 kg and 24.49 kg.
- An overweight woman should gain a weight between 14.06 kg and 22.67 kg.
- An obese woman should gain a weight between 11.33 kg and 19.05 kg.
Out of the total weight gained, a major part goes to the fetus and amniotic fluid along with other fat and nutrients.
- The baby inside mother’s womb will be around 3.40 kg
- The amniotic fluid weighs around 0.90 kg.
- The blood and body fluids together constitute for about 3.62 kg.
- The breast tissue weighs around 0.90 kg
- The uterus will have a weight of about 0.90 kg.
- The fat nutrients and other proteins weigh around 3.17 kg.
- The placenta weighs around 0.68 kg.
Since the supply of essential nutrients to the baby is inevitable during pregnancy; it is recommended not to put on a weight loss diet during the entire pregnancy. The pregnant woman may or may not gain weight during the first trimester. In case of any abnormality in gaining weight, always consult it with your midwife or the healthcare provider.
Whenever you have the regular check up with the Gynecologist or midwife, take the reading of your weight and compare it with the last time. If it’s a normal weight gain, continue the diet in the same direction. If you need help with your nutrient supply, get an appointment with a nutritionist. These days a lot of mobile applications that can help you track your weight change and compare it with the expected range.
A healthy weight gain is always associated with a routine workout. A minimum of 30 minutes spent for physical activities like walking running, swimming or Yoga helps you maintain the sufficient weight. The caloric intake of about 1800 calories during the first trimester, 2200 calories for the second trimester and 2400 calories during the third trimester is also needed to stay healthy.
Nutritionists advise avoiding too much of processed food. Though eating processed food may make you feel good, it will not provide sufficient nutrients for the body, especially during pregnancy. Hence, gaining healthy weight would not be possible with processed food. A near calculated balanced diet with all the required micronutrients like vitamins and minerals as well is the key.