Weight management is typically confusing in pregnancy. There is no better feeling for women in their life that they give life from their blood. The word pregnancy fills the place in every women’s heart that they never knew that was empty till then. When the bud grows inside unknowingly nearly 50% volume of the mother’s blood increases.
The body will be too busy in nurturing every little change happening at this period. Usually, women eat for themselves, and from the moment they hear the news that they are pregnant they start eating for both. Here comes the confusion, amount of consumption, and type of food to take, gradually leading to some unknown weight. Officially, there are no specific guidelines to maintain the right weight, due to the growth of the baby. But the weight gain of the mother must be safe and healthy to both the mother and the baby as it affects the baby on long-term health. It is very important to know how much weight a pregnant woman should weigh during her carrying time. Here let’s know some facts about how much weight should gain during pregnancy.
Weight gain in pregnancy
It is normal to gain weight during pregnancy; it brings changes in the body weight as the baby grows and every woman gains weight differently. The weight gain during pregnancy depends on the weight a woman maintains before her pregnancy. To give the baby a healthy start, the mother should eat well. Before pregnancy, if the woman is underweight, she may need to gain little more, and if overweight, she needs to gain less while in pregnancy.
Most of the women gains between 11-16 kgs and according to the condition of the pregnant mother and child the weight influence. The conditions include the mother’s morning sickness while carrying twins or triplets, etc. Body fat contains only some of the weight and the other’s due to the placenta, the baby, water surrounded by the body i.e.; amniotic fluid, rise in blood volume, growth of breasts, and other due to natural fluid retention. Body mass index (BMI) measures body fat concerning weight and height. The doctor or the midwife records the BMI of every pregnant woman. Half of the pregnant women suffer from morning sickness; this may cause less weight gain during the first few months of carrying.
Average weight gain during pregnancy
Different studies vary in their results in their research, as the study depends on the lifestyle of the people, area, and the circumstances they live-in. The average healthy weight gain range, given by the study of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists both for women expecting a single baby and twins.
- Underweight women expecting a single child recommended putting a weight between 13 to 18 kg.
- Normal weight pregnant women- expecting a single child ranges from 11-16 kg and expecting twins’ weight ranges between 16.8-24.5 kg.
- Overweight women expecting single children ranges from 7-11 kg and expecting twins’ weight ranges between 14.1-22.7 kg.
Importance of Gaining weight during pregnancy
The weight gain recommendations vary in the women when carrying one baby and twins. Some studies proved that only one-third i.e.; 30-32% of pregnant women gain the recommended weight.
The mother delivers a small baby, which may have difficulty in breastfeeding in the early days and increase the risk of illness in the latter days when the mother gains less than the recommended amount of weight.
Mother delivers a large baby, which may go through cesarean delivery, obesity during the childhood of the baby, and other complications to both mother and the child in the latter days when the mother gains more the recommended while pregnancy. Hence, it is important to maintain the recommended weight.
Managing the weight
Managing the perfect weight helps to lead a happy life. The right amount of weight is manageable- with regular moderate pregnancy exercises. Avoiding full-fat dairy products and sugar-filled, fatty food, and drinks. Including healthy, nutritious food to the diet that includes vegetables, cereals, fruits, fish, meat, low-fat dairy products, etc. Unless the doctor advises do not go with the heavy exercises as heavy, aggressive exercises are very harmful to pregnant women. Sparing 30 minutes each day walking, swimming and mild pregnancy exercises work wonders for the delivery and to manage the weight.
Always recommended to know the avoidable and right food to take while pregnant.
Be mindful of the food consumed, that does it contain the nutrients that keep both the mother and baby healthy. Nutrients in the diet include iron, calcium, folic acid, iodine, and protein. Maintaining the fluid intake to the suggested amount regulates a happy lifestyle. Morning sickness dehydrates the body so, the ones who are suffering from it, recommended drinking more water.
Steps considered to gain weight
- The regular consultation of the doctor for complete check-up helps not to gain weight and aids you to reach the goals in all the weeks of carrying.
- Tracking of weight gain at the beginning and regularly from the beginning throughout the pregnancy progress to compare the healthy weight gain range. This helps not to come out of the track of diet, exercise, and weight.
- A balanced diet is a must during pregnancy. Have a daily checklist and consume the food accordingly, which will not deviate from the balanced diet chart. Must consult the health care provider for better information about food safety during pregnancy.
- Limiting the foods rich in solid fats and sugar like soft drinks, fried food, full-fat milk, fatty meat, a must followed step for not gaining weight.
- The calorie intake must be alert and should know how many calories required for body metabolism. Usually, the first three months of pregnancy, a woman, does not need any extra calories. Later three months she needs 340 extra calories and later days she needs 450 of additional calories each day.
- Physical activity is safe when done under consultation and when done at the required amount of time. When she does not include physical activity, it becomes difficult during delivery time.
Risks of underweight and overweight in pregnancy
Pregnant women must maintain the pace of the weight according to the recommended chart. Track of weight gain, an important chart that decides one’s healthy living either in pregnancy or not. Very few women put on the recommended weight during pregnancy. Most of the women gain too much weight, which is more than the required amount which includes risk factors.
During pregnancy, too much weight contributes:
- Diabetes during pregnancy time
- Heavy baby, gives birth to a large baby
- May deliver premature baby before the complete time of formation or the time let for the baby to grow in the mother’s womb
- Delivery complications may arise
- More bleeding while delivery
- Difficulty in losing weight post-pregnancy
Little weight gain contributes:
- Birth of the baby weighing less weight
- Gives birth to a premature baby
- Fine difficulty in eating and gaining weight
- May include long term health problems
Gaining weight too fast results in serious health issues, edema- swelling in the body, blood pressure.
Overweight and underweight during pregnancy contributes to a higher risk of the baby and the mother.
To do things to gain weight
It is not a healthy option to lose weight to maintain the personality as it affects the baby and mother’s health in the long-run. Gaining too much and too little weight is not safe. A healthy pregnant woman, not weighed at every doctor visit unless she is underweight or overweight. Try to eat well, maintain good health. For every issue, consultation of doctor for the support avoids risk. Regular walking aids during delivery avoiding complications. Excess walking results in swelling of legs which is more than usual.
A mother experiences a miracle in day to day living in her pregnancy time. Every act of the mother since week 1 shows the difference in health. The growth of the baby is the result of the perfect food that the mother consumes during her carrying. The weight that pregnant women should maintain is always confusing so, its always a better option to follow the doctor’s guidance. We can see the weight in the blooming belly where the baby grows spending weeks together. A healthy living always comes from the maintained weight. A woman who maintains the right BMI in regular days, less prone to diabetics during pregnancy, and have a better pregnancy time in all the issues compared to others.