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Scientifically, it is a proven fact that pregnancy weight gain is a natural and crucial phenomenon. A healthy weight gain during pregnancy helps you avoid complications related to pregnancy, such as caesarean delivery, gestational diabetes, etc. Obesity cannot be linked to weight gain during pregnancy because obesity is defined as excessive fat accumulation in the body.
However, pregnancy weight gain also occurs because of the weight of the embryo developing in the mother’s womb and maintaining a sufficient weight, which is important for a healthy pregnancy. Also, your pregnancy weight gain depends on your pre-pregnancy BMI (Body Mass Index). Body mass index is a numerical value used to measure your weight about your height. So, it is used to determine if an adult is at a healthy weight or not.
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight gain in pregnancy. Significant weight gain during pregnancy depends on many factors, including your pre-pregnancy weight gain and your BMI. Also, many underweight females follow pre-pregnancy diet plans. But make sure you consult your doctor before starting it.
So, here we are sharing a few general guidelines for pregnancy weight gain:
|Pre-Pregnancy Weight||Recommended Weight Gain|
|Underweight (BMI below 18.5)||28 to 40 lbs. (about 13 to 18 kg)|
|Healthy weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||25 to 35 lbs. (about 11 to 16 kg)|
|Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)||15 to 25 lbs. (about 7 to 11 kg)|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||11 to 20 lbs. (about 5 to 9 kg)|
When You’re Expecting Twins Or Other Multiples
If any female is carrying twins or other multiples, she likely needs to gain more weight. Again, consult with your doctor to determine what’s right for your body.
So, here you can consider these general guidelines for pregnancy weight gain if carrying twins:
|Pre-Pregnancy Weight||Recommended Weight Gain|
|Underweight (BMI below 18.5)||50 to 62 lbs. (about 23 to 28 kg)|
|Healthy weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||37 to 54 lbs. (about 17 to 25 kg)|
|Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)||31 to 50 lbs. (about 14 to 23 kg)|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||25 to 42 lbs. (about 11 to 19 kg)|
Misconceptions Regarding Weight Gain In Pregnancy?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural and healthy because mothers need to support the growth and development of the baby. Many females restrict themselves to losing weight and follow weight loss diet plans for fear of gaining weight, which is “wrong.” This can lead to a deficiency of proper nutrients in the baby, a risk of heart disease in the later stages of the child’s growth, etc. Pregnant women should follow a pregnancy diet chart that is loaded with nutrients, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc.
Many women, especially in developing countries, have poor education regarding pregnancies, which leads to the misconception about weight gain during pregnancy. Thus, there are several studies that suggest that obesity is a side effect of pregnancy. As the female’s body is incapable of easily getting back into its previous shape after delivering a baby.
Getting overweight after pregnancy is not because women start consuming an excess number of calories but because of a psychosomatic disorder from coping with the stress of being a mother. This further leads to the unsettling mechanism of weight gain and eventually the onset of obesity. Retaining a normal body weight after your pregnancy is a slow but achievable process. It can be accomplished by performing regular exercise, following a proper postpartum weight loss diet plan, and, above all, having positive willpower.
How To Gain Healthy Weight During Pregnancy?
To gain an adequate amount of weight during pregnancy, you can follow the below tips:
- Start consuming 5–6 small meals every day with proper gaps.
- Always keep quick, healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts, raisins, cheese, dried fruits, etc.
- Add calcium to your diet, such as milk, and importantly, eat what you want to eat because this is the time for you to cherish your pregnancy (but please do confirm with your doctor if you have any medical history).
How Much A Women Should Gain Weight During Pregnancy?
The required body weight of a female during pregnancy completely depends on her body weight before and after conceiving. Here is a list of some of the reasons:
- Placenta: This is the part that keeps the baby nourished, and it weighs around 0.7 kg (1.5 lb).
- Amniotic Fluid: It supports and cushions the baby in the womb. It weighs approximately 8 kg (1.8 lb).
- During Birth: The baby weighs approximately 3-4 kg at birth.
And the rest of the extra weight is due to the changes that happen to the female body while you are pregnant. So, on average:
- The muscle layer of the womb (uterus) grows dramatically and weighs an extra 0.9 kg (2 lb).
- The mother’s blood volume increases, and she gains an extra 1.2 kg (2.6 lb).
- The breast adds 0.4 kg to the total weight.
- Mothers’ bodies store approximately 4 kg (8.8 lb) of fat to provide energy for breastfeeding.
So, all these calories are attained by consuming a healthy and balanced diet of grains, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats and oils. However, limiting processed foods, packed foods, sugars, and extra fats can help you attain your goals. You can also follow the foods to avoid during pregnancy to maintain a healthy womb.
Thus, on a trimester basis, in a woman with normal pre-pregnancy weight:
- Pregnancy Weight Gain First Trimester: 1.58757329 kilograms.
- Pregnancy Weight Gain in the Second Trimester: 0.45359237 kilograms per week
- Pregnancy Weight Gain Third Trimester: 0.45359237 kilograms per week
Please note: This is just an average assumption. You and your healthcare provider need to decide what is best for you.
A Word From Fitelo
During your pregnancy, your healthcare provider or doctor will keep a close eye on your weight. Your part is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Also, try to include a regular 30-minute bout of moderate exercise in your daily routine. It will help you stay active during your pregnancy. Exercise may include brisk walking or swimming, or yoga for pregnancy (but consult with a doctor first before starting any type of yoga). Make sure to keep your routine check-ups aligned so that you can track your weight gain. This will also help your healthcare provider offer suggestions if any are required.
An Inspiring Weight Loss Story Of A Mom
Mehak lost 34 kg and more than 15 inches in 6 months. A mother of an infant who was dealing with obesity shed kilos without any exercise. So, let’s read her motivated and incredible story.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When Is Weight Gain Most Important In Pregnancy?
Ans: Actually, steady weight gain is essential in the second and third trimesters. According to the healthcare providers’ guidelines, you’ll gain about 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) a week until delivery.
Q: How Does Pregnancy Weight Gain Affect The Female Body?
Ans: Most pregnant women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22lb to 28lb), putting on most of the weight after week 20. Much of the extra weight is due to your baby growing, but your body will also be storing fat. This is because your body is storing fat to produce milk for your baby.
Q: How Much Weight Gain Is Considered Healthy During Pregnancy?
Ans: It’s totally dependent on women to women. Most women gain weight somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds (11.5 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy. Others will gain approx. 2 to 4 pounds (1 to 2 kilograms) during the first trimester, and then 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) a week for the rest of the pregnancy. So, the amount of weight gain depends on your situation.
Q: Can You Explain The Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart By Week In Kg?
|Pre-pregnancy or early pregnancy (less than 10 weeks) BMI (kg/m2)||Total weight gain range|
|Underweight (<18.5)||12.5 kg–18 kg|
|Healthy weight (18.5 – 24.9)||11.5 kg–16 kg|
|Overweight (25.0 – 29.9)||7 kg–11.5 kg|
|Obese (≥ 30.0)||5 kg–9 kg|
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This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.