Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Most doctors recommend a weight gain of anywhere between 25 and 30 pounds for a healthy pregnancy. However, some gain a bit more and some may even gain a bit less yet still have a healthy baby and a healthy body afterward. Typically you should gain about 3.5 to 4 pounds during the first trimester, about 12 to 15 pounds during the middle trimester and about 8 to 10 pounds in the last trimester for a total of about 30 pounds or so.

You’re probably asking yourself, how much weight should I gain during pregnancy? However, many women actually lose weight during the first trimester due to morning sickness. This is actually normal and nothing to be concerned about so long as your weight gain picks up afterward and the baby is making normal progress.

Weight Gain In Pregnancy

The second trimester is when most women start feeling better. Your weight gain at this time should be about a pound a week adding up to about 12 to 15 pounds. Usually the second trimester is when you will feel the very best during your pregnancy, the morning sickness has usually passed, you are not really huge yet so it is still relatively easy to get around and you have an abundance of feel-good hormones running through your system. The second trimester is also when the baby starts to move around so it is a very exciting time.

The last trimester, or the 7th, 8th and 9th month, your belly is starting to become huge. It becomes much harder to get around. At this point you should still be gaining about a pound a week until the very end when your weight gain may start to slow down as your due date gets closer. However, some women continue to gain weight and water retention can be a problem towards the end so you may weigh even more.

So if you gain about 25 to 30 pounds and your baby weighs about 7.5 pounds where is all that weight located?

Averge Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Well the average baby weighs about 7.5 pounds, some are less and some are more. The amniotic fluid weighs in at about 2 pounds. The placenta will weigh about 1.5 pounds and your breast enlargement in preparation for feeding the baby will account for about 2 pounds. Your uterus started off quite small, about the size of a golf ball but it has enlarged to accommodate the baby and it now weighs over 2 pounds. You should have about 4 pounds of extra blood circulating in your system and nature has made sure that you have about 7 pounds of additional fat in order to save the baby in case of famine. Not to mention, if you are retaining water, which usually adds up to another 4 pounds. All in all it adds up to around 30 additional pounds.

And that is healthy and the way it should be. You should gain weight during pregnancy, your body is doing some amazing things when it is creating this life inside of you.

Now you may gain more weight or you may gain a little less. Some women have 10, 11 or 12 pound babies and some women have babies that weigh in at 5 pounds or less. You want a healthy baby regardless of the weight. It is important to monitor your weight and try to have a healthy weight gain throughout. Your doctor will weigh you at every appointment so you will know where you are.

Do not try to slow down your weight gain by dieting or doing anything crazy like that. You and your baby both need proper nutrition at this time and it is very important. You need to eat a healthy and balanced diet and make sure that your diet consists of healthy and nutritious foods and little or no junk.

After delivery you can begin to think about losing the weight but it may not come off quickly and that is okay. Your body needs time to recuperate. You can speed up your weight loss efforts by feeding your baby the best possible food, which is human breast milk. Breastfeeding is the very best food for babies and it is also the healthiest thing for the new mom. Keep in mind, though, that it took awhile to gain the weight and it may take awhile to lose it also.

Plus Size Pregnancy

Many, many plus-sized women get pregnant every year. The vast majority have healthy pregnancies and give birth to a healthy baby. Even so, if you are plus-sized you do have higher risk factors than someone who is of normal weight and size.

If you are overweight or if your body mass index is 25 or greater, your risk for certain pregnancy complications is higher. Gestational diabetes and peeclampsia are both more common in overweight women than they are in women who are at a lower weight. Both of these complications can be dangerous for your baby and for yourself as well. It is now known why being overweight can affect a pregnancy in this way, however, it is something to be aware of. Most women, including overweight women never have a problem with this so long as they eat healthy, exercise moderately and watch their weight throughout the pregnancy, so don’t worry, just be aware.

There are some other issues you should be aware of also. Studies have shown that overweight women have a higher rate of neural tube defect. These are defects with the baby’s brain and spinal cord development and it is often linked to a folate deficiency in the mother. Some studies have indicated that overweight women have lower levels of folate in their blood than other women. Because of this potential problem, your doctor may prescribe a prenatal vitamin with a higher dosage of folate. If you are overweight and planning to become pregnant you may want to consider taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid prior to conception.

Plus Size And Pregnant

Gestational diabetes is more common in women of a higher weight. Gestational diabetes is elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Your doctor will check your blood sugar at certain intervals and if you do develop gestational diabetes, you will need to modify your diet. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development estimate that women with a BMI between 19 and 24 have about a 2% chance of developing gestational diabetes but that goes up to 6% if your BMI is over 25 and 9% if your BMI is over 30.

Approximately 10% of overweight women will develop a condition called gestational hypertension during pregnancy. This is when your blood pressure is high with a reading of 140 over 90 or higher after the 20th week of pregnancy but there is no protein in your urine. Gestational hypertension is a small concern but it puts you at risk for preeclampsia, which is indicated by high blood pressure along with protein in your urine. Preeclampsia can put your baby at risk for intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, placental abruption and still birth.

The most common complication for women who are overweight and pregnant is for a longer labor and the possible risk of cesarean section. However, between 26 and 35% of all deliveries are cesarean section and it can be attributed to many different factors, not just being overweight.

Eating a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy and working with your doctor to control your weight gain can help reduce any additional risks and increase the likelihood that you will have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.