There is no way to discuss pregnancy without talking about the healthy weight gain during pregnancy.’ Your doctor will discuss it, other moms and pregnant people will ask you how much weight you have gained as if it is something that should be common knowledge and far too many moms to be spend their pregnancy fretting over every pound or ounce lost or gained. The bright side is that soon, all this attention to weight and gaining will shift to your baby. But in the mean time it is nice to know what to expect.
According to most resources, weight gain during pregnancy should be anywhere from 25-35 pounds. Health wise, the whole ‘eat for two’ scenario is not one that should be necessarily played out to remain healthy during pregnancy. And the difficulty is that many women become hungry enough during pregnancy to eat for two at times and then they are bludgeoned with guilt over eating too much. If they aren’t gaining enough weight, this too can cause concern and guilt. The trick is embarking on a diet that is healthy and satisfies your nutritional needs as well as your developing baby’s needs’.
For a woman that is considered normal weight before pregnancy, the weight gain should be around 25-35 pounds. Still, consider that medical conditions and swelling can contribute to this weight gain by adding fluid weight and you shouldn’t be overly focused on your numbers. The average woman, despite sound medical advice and treatments gains an average of 50 pounds during pregnancy. For women who are already over weight, the weight gain ideally should be less. Doctors estimate that after the first trimester where many women gain around 5-10 pounds, weight should be put on at a rate of 1.5 pounds per week. Some women actually lose weight during the first trimester due to morning sickness or food aversions and this too is nothing to excessively worry about.
Doctors monitor your weight as a way to ascertain whether you are progressing normally and to help predetermine any medical conditions such as diabetes or toxemia that you may be developing. Women who can’t gain adequate weight may also have to be put on nutritionally enhancing diets to ensure that their baby (and them) is getting enough nutrients and vitamins.
If you are one of those women, like the many thousands before you who find out they are pregnant and begin attracting weight like a magnet, take time to relax. First of all, your body is in a period of major transition and there is a good chance that it may know best. Every women reacts differently to pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations. If you are eating healthy and try to restrict fats and sugars while upping nutrient intake you are doing your part. The number on the scale should not be your only indicator as to whether you are ‘normal’ or not. Making wise decisions, taking vitamins and eating every several hours to ensure your glucose levels stay maintained is the best way to have healthy weight gain during pregnancy. If you are doing this and still gaining more than normal, just allow your doctor to monitor the situation and avoid getting all worked up.
Doctors have a knack for making women who are already uncomfortable and bound by societal expectations to feel worse at a time in their life when it is the last thing they need. Remain strong and confident in yourself no matter what they say. If they tell you that your weight gain is too much just make sure your diet is on track and leave the rest to Mother Nature. It definitely isn’t worth you becoming upset to reach a target of normalcy.
it’s interesting when you consider healthy weight gain during pregnancy, just where all that weight comes from. Surprisingly, the beginning weight gain is no real indication of your baby’s size. The fluids from the placenta and uterus as well as the extra blood supply can really add up. In the end your weight gain is broken down as follows (on average):
Baby – 8 pounds
Placenta 3 pounds
Uterus 2-5 pounds
Amniotic Fluid 2-3 pounds
Blood Supply 2-4 pounds
Fat Stores – 5 pounds
Breast milk/tissue increase 5-9 pounds
Even better is that some of this weight will be lost on its own at delivery without you having to diet or lose weight. If you are breast feeding, you may find that some of the weight from the extra fluids and tissues stays around a bit longer. If you stay within the measures for healthy weight gain during pregnancy you will have an easier time losing your baby weight afterwards.
If you find that you are gaining more than normal or expected and are staying on a healthy diet you should never try to lose weight. This can be bad for you and your developing baby. There is nothing that you can do about it in that moment and it is best to continue eating healthily without worrying about how many pounds or ounces you have gained. Stay active as much as possible and eat meals that are high in nutritional value than just ‘tasting good’ or comfort foods. If you have cravings for foods or snacks, give in to them with the intuition that it is probably just something your body needs. Pregnancy is about delivering a healthy baby and taking care of your self along the way. While your weight gain is important, it shouldn’t be your focus or cause you emotional distress. Enjoy yourself, be wise, eat often and plenty and enjoy this time when you are privileged to not feel forced to count calories!