Pregnancy is a magical journey for everyone involved. But growing a baby inside your body can be a surreal and sometimes uncomfortable experience that leads to several changes. Although this exciting time in your life is bound to keep you busy, you are going to gain weight in pregnancy, and that’s completely normal! But many expectant mothers don’t really know when they are going to gain the pregnancy weight, how much is healthy and how to best manage it. So, we’re here to shed some light and answer these queries. If you’d like to know more about pregnancy weight gain, then this is the article for you. Keep reading!
When Do You Start To Gain Weight During Pregnancy?
Gaining some pregnancy weight is a normal part of the process which starts early. You’ll start to gain weight during your first trimester, that is, within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The average weight gained during this period is around 2 to 4 pounds (1). Although you must keep in mind that everybody is different, and it’s not alarming if you, like some women, don’t gain any weight at all. It’s also important to keep in mind that the rate at which you gain weight will differ as your pregnancy progresses. The average weight gained during the second trimester, that is from the 13th week to week 27 is around 1 to 2 pounds per week, which is quite a bit (2). But the weight gain will naturally slow down during the third trimester, week 28 to 40, which is the last leg of pregnancy. At this period women generally gain around 1 pound a week (3).
However, note that this is just a general guideline and that individual differences exist, as no two pregnancies or bodies are the same. Most mothers are surprised at how quickly they gain weight even when they can’t see their belly sticking out. But it’s safe to say you’ll gain anywhere between 30 to 60 pounds while pregnant. It can depend on how big your baby is and what your muscle mass, pre-pregnancy weight and height is. The pregnancy weight isn’t just caused by a growing baby. It is also due to increase in blood volume, amniotic fluid, and the development of the placenta (4).
Talk To Your Doctor About What Appropriate Weight Gain Looks Like For You
Figuring out what your target weight should be for every stage in your pregnancy can be a little tricky. After all, no two people are the same. And what’s too much or too little for someone else, might be just right for you. So learn to be a little patient with yourself and go to a doctor to help determine what your ideal weight should be. A person who is pregnant with multiple babies will need to gain more weight and consume a larger amount of calories in order to support the growth of all the babies.
So, it’s best not to refer only to a pregnancy weight gain chart when trying to figure out how much weight you must gain per week. The Center Of Disease Control And Prevention offer certain guidelines and trackers to this effect. So that you can calculate your average pregnancy weight based on your Body Mass Index. But this tool is not a hundred percent accurate (5). You could also use an online pregnancy weight calculator to keep track of your weight gain every week, but again, keep in mind that this is just for reference and may not be applicable to your special circumstance (6). And this is why it’s imperative that you reach out to your health care provider in order to holistically navigate through the specific issues that may be affecting your pregnancy weight gain.
Tips To Safely Manage Pregnancy Weight
It’s important to keep an eye on how much weight you gain because there are adverse effects to gaining too much or too little. And the last thing you want to deal with is complications such as diabetes, preeclampsia and high blood pressure arising during your pregnancy. Or a baby with a low birthweight with health issues of their own.
This is why all pregnant women must know that they don’t really have to eat for two for the majority of their pregnancy. In fact, you only need to increase your calorie intake by 250 to 300 calories per day during your second and third trimester. This isn’t a big difference. Apart from this, you should consult your doctor to cater to your specific nutritional needs.
However, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies in order to get enough minerals, fibers and vitamins into your system. Choosing whole grains instead of refined grains is also a good move and make sure to stick to low fat dairy products. Some moderate exercise can also help keep you active and strong.
Being pregnant isn’t always as glamorous as it’s thought to be. Most of the time it’s eating right and getting enough rest and exercise in order to keep you and the baby safe and healthy. So, make sure your pregnancy weight doesn’t get in the way of having a safe delivery.