Weight Gain During Pregnancy Month by Month: How Much Is Normal?
Want to know what exactly is normal weight gain during pregnancy? Find out everything you need to know about pregnancy weight gain in order to have a comfortable delivery.
Pregnancy is a time of many physical and emotional changes that happen within the body of the mother. It is completely normal to gain some weight during pregnancy, but it is also important to know how much weight you should gain. One of the best ways to start a pregnancy is to be at a healthy weight. Continue reading to find out how to gain weight the healthy way and what to eat during pregnancy.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy?
Develop healthy eating habits and exercise regularly to help you lose the pregnancy weight gain after your baby is born. If you gain a healthy amount of weight you will have a more comfortable pregnancy and easier delivery.
On the other hand, gaining too much weight makes it harder to return to your normal weight after the baby is born.
The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your body mass index (BMI) which is typically calculated by your weight and height. Most expectant mothers should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. The majority of them will gain two to four pounds during the first trimester, and then one pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy.
Overweight women need to gain less weight (15 to 20 pounds) while underweight women will need to gain more (28 to 40 pounds). If you're having more than one baby, you should gain between 37 to 54 pounds.
How many calories should a pregnant woman eat a day?
Proper nutrition is very important during pregnancy, so you need to carefully consider the foods you consume. Make sure that you have a well balanced diet which will allow you to gain the weight you need to provide the essential nutrients for your developing baby.
You need to watch what you eat, because everything you consume gets passed on to your little one. This means that if you're eating junk food when you're pregnant, your baby is eating junk food too. Your pregnancy diet affects your baby's health, so you need to be more careful than ever.
A pregnant woman of normal weight should aim for a caloric intake of 1,800 per day during the first trimester, 2,200 during the second, and 2,400 during the third trimester. These calories should be attained by eating healthy diet that contains protein, dairy, grains, healthy fats and oil, vegetables, and fresh fruits.
If you don't want to gain too much pregnancy weight, try to avoid processed foods, sugars, and extra fats. Gaining too much weight while pregnant is associated with an increased risk for birth complications such as premature birth and c-section delivery. But, if you stick to the recommended range of weight gain in pregnancy you can significantly reduce your risk of possible health problems such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
How much does a placenta weigh at birth?
At birth, an average baby weighs about 3.3kg (7.3lb) and the placenta, which brings nutrients to your baby weighs 0.7kg (1.5lb). The amniotic fluid which cushions your child weighs around 0.8kg (1.8lb). The other two thirds of that extra weight is a result of the changes that happen within your body during pregnancy.
What to eat during pregnancy
A healthy, well balanced diet will give your baby the nutrients it needs to grow and develop properly. It is recommended to have around 2,000 calories per day, until the last three months when you'll need an extra 200 calories per day.
Keep in mind that you don't need to actually eat for two. Too much weight gain during pregnancy can cause numerous health problems.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to eat more carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, cereals, brown rice and wholemeal bread. You should also eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese, and foods that are high in protein such as meat, eggs, fish and pulses.
Try not to have large meals and try to stay active and exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Some of the best exercises for pregnant women include walking, swimming and yoga. Avoid foods and drinks with added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Stay away from junk foods such as candies, chips, cakes, ice cream and cookies.
Instead of eating junk food, choose foods that are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and folic acid. Eat foods that are packed with vitamin C such as citrus fruits, berries, and melons.
Don't forget that you should also drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Avoid beverages that contain sugar and caffeine and take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid and other vitamins and minerals that are essential in pregnancy.
Folic acid is also essential and every woman needs around 400 micrograms of folic acid before conceiving. After pregnancy is confirmed you should increase the dose to 600 micrograms. Folic acid reduces neural-tube deffects and the risk of preterm delivery.