Once a woman finds out she is pregnant she starts to worry about all the things she should and shouldn’t do during her pregnancy. One of the things that they worry about is how much weight they should gain.
How much weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on a lot of factors though. How much weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on what you weighed before you became pregnant and if you are carrying more than one baby or not.
Let’s start by saying that how much weight you gain isn’t the important part. What matters is that you are eating the right foods to give your baby the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. Something else to keep in mind is that you don’t really need to “eat for two”, infact you only need about 300 extra calories per day.
Now, how much weight should you gain during pregnancy? Let’s start with your starting weight:
- If you were an average weight before pregnancy you should gain between 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy.
- If you were underweight before your pregnancy you should gain 28 to 40 pounds throughout the whole pregnancy.
- If you were overweight or obese before pregnancy then you should only gain between 15 and 25 pounds.
If you are having twins, you should gain 10 to 20 additional pounds.
In general you will only gain 2-4 pounds in the first trimester and about one pound a week for the rest of your pregnancy. I wouldn’t obsess over this though because some women are sick during their pregnancy and end up losing weight during the first trimester. This is OK as long as you are open with your doctor so they can get you on some medicine to so you can keep food down. For me I lost 11 pounds in my first 3 months of pregnancy, but by the end of my pregnancy I had gains 21 pounds.
You should not try to lose weight during pregnancy. Often times when you are losing weight you are not getting enough nutrients. This means that the baby will get the nutrients and you won’t, putting your health at risk.
For an idea of where all the weight comes from during pregnancy:
- The baby weighs about 8 pounds
- The placenta weighs 2-3 pounds
- You also have 2-3 pounds of amniotic fluid
- Your breast tissue expands and you gain 2-3 pounds of breast tissue
- Your blood supply almost doubles during pregnancy, so you gain 4 pounds in blood
- You gain 5-9 pounds of stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding since you won’t eat much
- Your uterus expands as well so you gain 2-5 pounds with a larger uterus
- The total is 25 to 35 pounds, any additional weight gain is fat that will be harder to lose after pregnancy.
If you are worried about gaining too much weight during pregnancy you have some options. You shouldn’t eat much more than you were eating prior to pregnancy, especially in the first couple of months. To give you an idea about how much 300 calories actually is, check out SparkPeople. All you need to do to get the extra calories is drink an extra glass of milk and eat an additional banana every day, not a whole meal. Being pregnant makes you hungry though, so if you are worried that you are eating too much, you can always exercise while you are pregnant to help keep the weight gain low. There are a lot of safe exercises to do while pregnant.
When you were pregnant did you worry about weight gain?