Some women seem to gain very little weight while pregnant when others put on visible pregnancy pounds. If you’re not sure how much weight gain to expect now that you’re carrying a child, you’re not alone. It’s a subject worth discussing because many women just aren’t aware of what is deemed a safe amount of weight. Too much excess weight increases risk factors for hypertension, gestational diabetes, and complications during labor and delivery. In fact, in 2015, 47% of American mothers gained more than the recommended amount of weight suggested by their physicians.
If you don’t put on enough pounds, however, your child can be born prematurely or have a low birth weight. That’s why it’s so very important to track your weight at home and with regular doctor’s visits while pregnant. You can avoid the complications that occur with too much and too little weight gain.
Here is what you need to know about weight gain and pregnancy.
The normal range for weight gain is between 25 to 35 pounds but BMI is just as important.
Body Mass Index or BMI is very important in determining what is a safe amount of weight to gain according to your build. It is calculated by your height and weight which helps you understand what a safe amount of pregnancy weight to carry is.
Pacing your weight gain is imperative to prevent disease and complications.
You should only see a three to four pound weight gain during the first trimester. By the second trimester, however, you’ll gain more. Most women gain up to 14 pounds during this time. By the third trimester, there may be some weight loss, but the amount gained with the pregnancy should be about 10 pounds.
This amount increases if you’re carrying more than one child at a time. Keep in mind that multiples change these estimations. When in doubt, ask your physician for guidelines to follow if you’re carrying twins or triplets.
What to Expect states that a 30-pound weight gain consists of the following:
- The baby himself or herself weighs 7.5 pounds.
- The placenta weighs 1.5 pounds.
- The amniotic fluid weighs 2 pounds.
- The uterine enlargement weighs 2 pounds.
- The maternal breast tissue weighs 2 pounds.
- The maternal blood volume weighs 4 pounds.
- The maternal fat stores weighs 7 pounds.
This gives you an idea of where your weight gain comes from.
Making sure your baby is getting adequate nutrition.
Nutrients and calories are essential for your baby’s health and growth. Make sure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet and taking the prenatal vitamins that were given to you by your OBGYN. That way, you’re protecting your child from birth defects, illnesses, and diseases.
Be conscientious about the food you consume while pregnant. Don’t give in to every craving that you have. Although you’re “eating for two,” be aware that there is too much of a good thing.
If you have concerns that you’re gaining weight too rapidly or haven’t reached your goal weight gain despite being pregnant for a while, speak to your physician. He or she will give you advice about diet and exercise.