How much weight should I gain?

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Do you know that your coming newborn’s weight and health will be directly linked to your nutritional status before getting pregnant? Based on your size and weight before pregnancy and the weight you gained during the 9 months, you can somehow have an idea of your baby’s weight.

  • If you have a large stature -> your baby tends to be large too: your maternal size plays a role in the ultimate size of the placenta which is an indicator of placental health. The placental health determines the amount of nutrition available to your fetus -> the more food there is, the more your newborn will weigh. 
  • If you have a short stature -> it is crucial to have an adequate pre-pregnancy weight and a satisfactory weight gain.

Are you wondering how many kilograms it is safe to gain during the coming 9 months? Well, mom-to-be, know that the recommended weight gain is based on your pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI).

P.S. BMI is an index that measures the nutritional status.To know what your BMI is, do your calculations:

Weight=(kg)

Height = (m)

BMI = Weight (kg) / Height2 (m2)

BMI

Nutritional Status

<18.5

Underweight

18.6 – 24.9

Normal weight

25-29.9

Overweight

> 30

Obese

Now, check the table below to know how many kilograms you can gain during your pregnancy:

Weight category

Total weight gain (kg)

First trimester gain

Second and third trimesters (weekly gain)

Underweight

12.5-18

2.3

0.49

Normal weight

11.5-16

1.6

0.44

Overweight

7-11.5

0.9

0.3

Obese

6

 

 

If you are having twins, you should gain 16.6-24.4 kg if you have a normal weight; 13.9-22.5 kg if you are overweight; and 11.2- 18 kg if you are obese.

Have you ever thought how those gained kilograms are distributed in your body? 

3.37kg – 3.82kg  -> Fetus 

3.37kg -> Stores of fat and protein 

1.8kg -> Blood1.2kg -> Tissue fluids

0.9kg -> Uterus0.81kg -> Amniotic fluid

0.67kg -> Placenta and umbilical cord

0.45kg -> Breasts Total = 12.5 – 13Kg

How can I stay within the recommended amount?

  • Eat a healthy diet while you're pregnant and ask your doctor to help you set up an exercise program that's right for you.

  • Eating for two doesn't mean eating twice as much as you usually do. In fact, you only need about 340 extra calories a day in your second trimester and 452 extra calories a day in your third trimester of pregnancy. 
  • In your first trimester, you don’t need to add any extra calorie to your diet except if you are underweight.What happens if I gain more or less than the recommended amount?
  • If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, you are at a higher risk of having a cesarean delivery. 
  • You will retain too much weight after pregnancy and will have a higher weight in subsequent pregnancies. 
  • If you get pregnant and you’re overweight, you will be at a higher risk of complications including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
  • Your baby may be too large at birth, which can cause you and him/her labor complications. And children whose mothers got pregnant while overweight are more likely to become overweight or obese themselves.
  • You might have trouble starting and continuing breastfeeding. 
  • On the other hand, if you start pregnancy and you are underweight or you don't gain enough during pregnancy, you will be at a higher risk of delivering a preterm infant or a low birth weight baby (<2.4 kg). Preterm birth can cause health problems or even be fatal for the baby if it happens too early.TIP:  If you are gaining weight too fast, cut back on the calories you are eating.
  • The best way to eat fewer calories is by decreasing the amount of “extras” you are eating.
  • “Extras” are added sugars and solid fats in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no-added-sugars. They have fewer “extras.” How will I get rid of all those extra kg later?
  • Much of the weight you've been accumulating will be gone pretty soon after you give birth. 
  • You will lose half of your pregnancy weight in the first six weeks after delivery. 
  • For the rest, remember that it took nine months to put on the weight, and it can take just as long or longer for it to come off. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to shed the pounds and keep them off.
  • Don't start cutting back on calories right away, though. Being the mother of a newborn requires lots of energy and that means giving your body all the nutrition it needs. 
  • If you're patient and give your body a chance to do its work, you may be surprised at how much weight you lose naturally, especially if you're breastfeeding.