Pregnancy & Weight Gain

Gaining weight is a major cause of concern for most pregnant women. But weight gain is a normal and healthy part of your pregnancy – and it is necessary to nurture your growing baby.

In today’s fitness-conscious world, most pregnant women are anxious to know what the ideal weight during pregnancy is. But in reality, there is no ideal weight as the necessary weight gain varies from woman to woman. Here are a few guidelines that are generally followed as the standard for healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Recommended Guidelines For Healthy Weight Gain:

  • If you were of normal weight before getting pregnant – you are expected to gain around 9 to 13 kgs throughout your pregnancy
  • If you were underweight before pregnancy – you need to gain more weight (normally around 12-18 kgs). Your doctor should be able to provide you with more specific guidelines
  • If you were overweight when you conceived, you will still need to gain around 6 to 11 kgs during pregnancy
  • But if you are carrying twins or multiples, you may have to gain around 20 kgs or more. The amount of healthy weight gain will depend on the number of babies you are carrying

Whatever your previous weight, now is the time to adopt a sensible approach by eating healthily. Speak to your doctor if you feel you are gaining weight too fast or too slowly. And remember, your regular antenatal checks and scans will usually pick up any health problems related to your baby’s weight gain.

Distribution Of Pregnancy Weight

Gaining weight during pregnancy varies from woman to woman. Here’s a list that shows roughly where that extra weight goes.

Baby: 3.4kg
Placenta: 0.68kg
Extra Fluid: 1.36kg
Increased Blood: 1.25kg
Amniotic Fluid: 0.8kg
Uterus: 0.9kg
Fat Deposits: 3.18kg
Breasts: 0.5kg
TOTAL GAIN: 12.02kg *

These are average figures only. Your own weight gain will probably differ due to various factors including the weight/ size of your baby, your own pre-pregnancy weight and whether you’re expecting twins. With twins, you might be carrying two placentas and amniotic sacs and the babies’ combined weight will be greater.

Overweight Or Underweight – Are You At Risk?

Maintaining a recommended weight gain is important during pregnancy – and other factors like nausea, morning sickness and gastric disturbances could work against you. Which is why, most experts recommend you to achieve your ideal weight before you get pregnant. Becoming overweight or underweight during pregnancy increases your risk of health problems.

Risk of being Overweight

Being overweight puts extra strain on your heart, which is already working harder than usual. It could also lead to

  • Back problems – as the muscles and ligaments relax during pregnancy, making them prone to injury
  • Higher risk of developing high blood pressure that could lead to pre-eclamsia
  • Pregnancy diabetes is also a possibility – especially if you are less mobile
  • Excessive weight gain could cause you to have a Caesarean birth

Risk of being Underweight

Women who are severely underweight during pregnancy and who are not eating enough are more likely to have a baby who is small and weak at birth, and this can have serious long-term effects on their health. Generally, restricting nutrients to the baby during pregnancy has far more serious consequences than over-indulgence. So don’t forget, Dieting is OUT!

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