Weight Gain During Pregnancy
How concerned should you be about pregnancy weight gain?
The right amount of weight gain during pregnancy helps your child grow. While you might hear about women who gained next to nothing and lost it all when the baby was born, they’re the exception. That means that it’s not a good idea to be extremely worried about the scale while you’re carrying your child. In fact, steady weight gain can help reduce your chances of getting some of the more unpleasant complications of pregnancy, like fatigue, backache, indigestion, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and stretch marks.
The weight we gain while we’re pregnant helps nourish our babies. It’s also stored up to help breastfeed our babies after their born.
The weight we gain while we’re pregnant helps nourish our babies. It’s also stored up to help breastfeed our babies after their born.Out of the weight you’ll gain while pregnant, the baby makes up seven to eight pounds. However, the rest isn’t fat! The placenta weighs one to two pounds. The amniotic fluid that surrounds our babies is another two pounds.
Our uteruses increase in size when we’re pregnant, making up another two pounds, and as our breasts grow, we’ll probably gain two or three more pounds. Extra blood for maintaining your unborn child weighs about four pounds, and the fluids required to keep maternal tissues healthy weight a similar amount. Nutrients and fat stored to nourish our babies make up only about seven pounds of the weight we gain during pregnancy.
However, different people should gain different amounts of weight during pregnancy, based on how much they weighed before they became pregnant. That’s because if you’re overweight, you already have the fat stores needed to nourish your growing child. Underweight women will have to add a little extra. In general, if you started at a healthy weight, you should gain between twenty-five and thirty-seven pounds.
Women who are underweight should gain between twenty-eight and forty pounds, and women who are overweight before becoming pregnant should weight fifteen to twenty-five pounds more. Of course, it’s not the numbers that are important, but the health of your child. Your doctor, midwife, or other professional will be able to tell you more accurately whether you’re gaining weight in a way that’ll ensure the health and proper nourishment of your baby.
While it’s okay for your weight to fluctuate a little, you should have a fairly steady gain throughout.
Of course, the rate at which we gain makes a difference, too. Steady gain is a lot better than putting a lot on at once. Expect to put on between two and six pounds in the first trimester, depending on your weight before becoming pregnant. Then, you’ll probably put on a pound or two a week thereafter. It’s more important to make sure that you gain weight steadily than it is to watch the numbers.
That’s because your child requires a steady, daily nutrient supply to grow. While it’s okay for your weight to fluctuate a little, you should have a fairly steady gain throughout. Never diet while pregnant, and if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially late in the pregnancy, contact your health care provider immediately. This could be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Women carrying twins should have their weight gain closely monitored by their health care professional – expect to gain thirty to forty pounds, but not double what you’d gain for one child.
Many women are worried about whether being underweight can cause a serious problem. That’s because it can be hard to gain when you’re suffering from morning sickness. Fortunately, at this time, your child doesn’t need as many nutrients during this phase, so even mothers who lose a little should be okay. However, you should try to gain if possible.
To eat healthily while pregnant, it’s important to look for foods that are rich in the nutrients your developing baby needs. Eat breakfast every day, and make sure you consume enough protein. Peanut butter, cheese, beans, and nuts are all a good way to improve your body’s protein intake. Don’t be afraid to snack between meals on foods like dried fruit or yogurt, and avoid junk foods and soda.
Gaining too much weight while pregnant can be a concern – eat about 100 to 300 extra calories per day, not double what you’d normally consume, even if you are “eating for two”. Gestational diabetes, an increase in fatigue, leg pain, backaches and varicose veins are all possible side effects when we gain too much during pregnancy. A very large gain can also increase the chances of needing a C-section.
If you started off heavier than ideal, you may have a higher chance of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. It can be harder to measure uterus size or hear your baby’s heartbeat, too. Since babies born to larger women tend to be larger themselves, a C-section is more likely, since natural birth is harder. However, you should not try to lose weight while pregnant.
Instead, have your health care provider monitor you closely to make sure that your child and you are as healthy as possible. Once again, healthy eating and smart behaviors are the most important part of making sure that you have a healthy child. So, watch the scale, but don’t let it rule your life, and remember weight gain during pregnancy is only temporary!