Eating for two might be a fun and carefree phrase associated with pregnancy and food consumption, but what’s the truth behind pregnancy and weight gain? How much excess weight should you put on over the nine months? How can you successfully do this? And what impact will it have on your growing baby? In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about pregnancy weight gain.
Why do you need to gain weight during pregnancy?
Your body naturally gains weight during pregnancy to make room for your growing fetus, and to be able to give it the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy. This excess weight will also help you nurse your baby after birth. However, the weight you gain during pregnancy won’t go straight to your bump. Almost the entirety of your body will gain weight in preparation for bringing new life into the world. However, when it comes to weight gain, there are limitations. If we gain too much weight during pregnancy or gain too little, this can lead to complications with our birth and baby.
Problems associated with weight gain
- Excess blood sugar causes Gestational diabetes
- Preeclampsia resulting in high blood pressure can cause serious organ damage.
Issues that may occur if you’re underweight
Not gaining enough weight during your pregnancy can harm your baby too.
- Premature births are more common
- Not enough fat is being stored in your body to care for your baby pre-and post-birth.
How much weight you should gain during pregnancy?
Your genetics, metabolism, and weight pre-pregnancy will all play a role in how much weight you gain. In addition to this, women can gain weight at different stages of their pregnancy. The majority of women begin noticeably gaining weight after twenty weeks. However, it’s important not to compare your weight gain to others.
If you have concerns surrounding how much weight you’re gaining, speak with your doctor. They’ll be monitoring your weight at check-ups and will inform you of any concerns they might have.
Gradual weight gain will occur in all different areas of your body, so don’t just look at your bump when evaluating your size.
Weight gain happens in the following areas of the body:
- Amniotic fluid
- Fat stores
- Body fluid
How to safely gain weight during pregnancy
The age-old saying of eating for two might be a worthwhile excuse for eating another slice of cake or consuming two lunches on those particularly hungry days. But, unfortunately, the majority of the time you shouldn’t be eating for two. Depending on your original weight, most women should maintain a healthy and balanced diet, with small calorie increases as their pregnancy progresses.
As usual, appetite and weight will fluctuate over the nine months. On some days, you might feel hungrier than others. Cater to what your body is telling you and feed it the fuel it needs.
Below is a table of the average excess calorie intake per trimester. In the first trimester, your baby is so small that your regular diet is enough to cater to their needs. As they grow bigger, you’ll start to notice you’re craving more calories and eating a little extra.
Similar to the average pounds gained, calorie intake isn’t the same for every woman. If you’re concerned about how much you should be eating or want dietary advice, speak with your medical team. They’ll be able to assist you in creating a nutritious and fulfilling meal plan.
Average excess calorie intake per trimester
How to maintain and healthy pregnancy weight
To maintain a healthy pregnancy weight, you need to be eating a nutrient-rich diet combined with light exercise. Keeping the body active will help maintain your weight and give you more energy. We recommend discussing a safe and effective workout routine with your doctor early on in your pregnancy and adjusting this throughout.
Regarding food, you should be eating healthy, filling meals, and reducing your sugar and saturated fat intake. The following foods are a good choice:
- Fatty fish
- Fresh vegetables
- Whole grains
And make sure to always stay hydrated with plenty of water.
Weighing yourself can be a daunting prospect, so don’t worry too much about stringently monitoring every ounce you gain or lose. Your doctors will make you aware if there’s anything to be concerned about.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and moving your body is the key to growing a happy and healthy baby and to a successful postpartum.
If you want to know more about how your body is changing during the nine months of your pregnancy, you can sign up for the New Baby N You Newsletter.