Weight management in pregnancy is quite crucial and largely affects the health of both mother and baby. Thus, when you are pregnant, Doctors, and even all the elders advise you to opt for a healthy lifestyle and abandon all the fast food, laziness, etc. It is all done so that you can maintain weight during pregnancy in an optimal manner.
Pregnancy And Weight Gain
Being overweight prior to pregnancy may accelerate the chances of developing pregnancy-related complications like gestational diabetes, delivery complications like preeclampsia, and the need for a C section. These women are advised to gain 15 to 25 lbs (about 7 to 11 kgs).
If you are underweight prior to gestation, then you are recommended to gain a considerable amount of weight. Without the annexation, if extra fat(weight), there’s a greater chance of delivering a smaller baby. These women will enjoy pregnancy with great ease if there’s a 28 to 40 lbs (13 to 18 kgs) gain of weight.x
Gaining excess weight during gestation may elevate the risk of baby’s health disorders i.e., giving birth to a large baby ( greater than normal) and pregnancy-related issues such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, difficult labor, etc.
In general, you should gain about 4 to 5 kgs during the first three months and almost 1 kg for the rest.
What Is Normal Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
It is normal and secure to gain appropriate weight during pregnancy as that is the indication of the healthy growth of the fetus. According to a study, it is reliable for the underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese women to gain 13 to 18 kg, 11 to 16 kg, 7 to 11 kg, 5 to 9 kg respectively throughout the gestational period. And if they are carrying twins, the recommended weight gain is 17 to 25 kg, 14 to 23 kg, and 11 to 19 kg for normal weight, overweight and obese women respectively.
These varying ranges are normal in weight gain. But if there are any high or low deviations from these ranges, then be ready for the upcoming complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, pregnancy-related hypertension, hyperemesis gravidarum, etc. which are the major hurdles on your way.
Related Reading: Being Overweight During Pregnancy- 10 Potential Complications
12 Tips To Maintain Weight During Pregnancy
The most crucial factor for a pregnant woman is to maintain a healthy weight which neither should rise too much nor should go down excessively. The obese women shouldn’t be gaining heavy weight and the low weighing ones prior to gestation shouldn’t lose much weight (loss of weight should be considerable).
You’ll notice an insignificant loss of body weight primarily in the first trimester. And as you step into the third trimester, the fetus puts on a heavyweight.
As per OWH, an average of 5 lb (2.3 kg) is gained by them and also they grow at least 4 inches to at most 6 inches during this trimester. Apart from an annexure of weight from the developing fetus, the weight of the placenta also annexes to contribute towards the overall bodyweight of the mother.
Thus, considering the maintenance of rapid weight gain during first trimester during gestation, pregnant women should be aware and cautious to apply every tip and trick to maintain weight during pregnancy that has been discussed below-
1. Eat right diet moderately
Intake of healthy food is an indispensable factor for maintaining normal pregnancy weight. One should not ingest that many extra vitamins, minerals, fat, and calories to nurse the developing fetus.
There’s a need for a healthy pregnancy diet devoid of sugar and lipids; for ensuring the proper nourishment of the baby, you should eat citrus fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich diets, prenatal vitamins, etc. As an expecting mother you must include some superfoods in your pregnancy diet to confirm good health of yourself and of the child as well.
2. Quit smoking
Smoking not only interrupts in regulating weight but also radiate negative impacts on mother’s and fetus’s health. Smoking poses several risk factors for the mother including cardiac disorders, COPDs, emphysema, etc. that deteriorates the mother’s overall health and weight.
Also, the pregnancy may terminate with miscarriage, SIDS ( Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), premature births, and various detrimental outcomes.
3. Opt the right time to become pregnant
If you ain’t pregnant yet and planning for it then choose the time when you are the healthiest because that enhances your chances of a healthy pregnancy and healthy birth with no risk accompanied by the delivery. If you wonder what is the best time to get pregnant, you should be looking at these signs of ovulation to know most fertile time.
You shouldn’t only go for the physical well-being of the mother for planning a pregnancy but maternal age is also a great factor. Women who already have children before (earlier than 16 years old) or late in life (more than 40) are at a higher risk for preterm birth. Also, women who get pregnant frequently (less than 18 months between births) are more liable to have a preterm birth. This overall affects the weight of the mother.
4. Reduce stress
If you want healthy gestation with no birth defects, reducing stress is the prior task as this may exacerbate your mental health and affect the digestion process. Thereby, placing impediments on your way of maintaining weight (causing weight loss). There are a few tried and tested ways to handle emotions during pregnancy, and thus reducing stress.
5. Get proper vitamins
Maintenance of weight is important for pregnant women as they neither should gain nor lose excess weight. You should start the intake of folic acids and minerals and other various indispensable vitamins and supplements to ensure proper health, weight, and nutrition. Foods with folic acid abundance are spinach, broccoli, kidney beans, etc. Daily intake of prenatal vitamins with appropriate amount assist in ensuring the correct amount for regulating weight and accelerating blood counts.
Related Reading: Top 10 Protein-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
6. Proper prenatal care
Before and during pregnancy, you should go for prenatal check-ups that will let you track your pregnancy-related issues, maintain weight during pregnancy, and many beneficial outcomes. Overweight women are more likely to give birth to a big child and for low weighing ones, it can be a small child; thus, to avoid such complications you should look up for prenatal care to assure optimum weight gain or loss.
7. Get ample sleep
For the proper nourishment of the developing fetus and mother, ample sleep for 6 to 9 hours is needed. However pregnancy is not really a time when to-be-moms sleep well. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy is a common occurrence.
Give it a shot to sleep on your left side for enhancing blood flow to you and your baby. If you don’t get adequate sleep, then that may deplete your mental and physical health, thereby causing a decrement in total weight.
8. Get a flu shot
Flu shots, also called influenza vaccines are injected to protect and fight against influenza viruses. If a pregnant lady has been a victim of flu shots, then it may turn out to be fatal for her and the baby. She may begin to lose much weight which is an unhealthy symptom. So, you are recommended to get a flu shot to regulate your weight and health.
9. Practice exercise
You are not advised for laborious exercise during pregnancy but a moderate one can bring positive effects on your health (weight loss for overweight and slight weight gain for underweight). Moreover, it strengthens the immune and circulatory systems too. One such easy exercise with many benefits is walking during pregnancy, its easy to do and does not require anything else than determination.
10. Avoid alcohol
Eating a healthy diet isn’t the only way to maintain weight during the gestational period. If you don’t want any negative impacts on your baby, you should probably quit alcohol. Drinking alcohol prior to and during pregnancy and also while breastfeeding may not only heighten the risk of FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) but also illfare your weight with several diseases.
Related Reading: 10 Drinks To Avoid During Pregnancy
11. Avoid intake of certain foods
During pregnancy, you shouldn’t be ruling over your dietary choices. Certain foods should be avoided when trying to conceive, such as raw or half-cooked meats, sushi, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, etc. Unpasteurized milk (animal products) and raw meats may cause food poisoning. Some may come up with digestion issues that interrupt normal weight maintenance.
12. Stay hydrated
If the body isn’t well hydrated during pregnancy, it may deteriorate your weight, may lead to nausea, headaches, etc. Adequate intake of water especially during the third trimester improves your health regulation and sinks down the chances of preterm labor and contractions. It also helps you maintain weight during pregnancy. Check here how to stay hydrated during pregnancy?
Many women don’t want to gain weight during pregnancy! Well, that’s impossible! However, Maintenance of weight (that may fluctuate from weight loss to weight gain) is the requisite factor for ensuring the proper health and safety of both the fetus and mother. Complications may arise anytime and anywhere in pregnancy, so it requires prenatal care and constant guidance and supervision of your health care providers.
Throughout the gestational period, women are more likely to gain weight during the third trimester (weeks 28 to 40) as the fetus as well as placenta grow up in size with the gradual passage of time. In addition to body weight, the weight of the growing fetus and placenta also annexes extra weight. Thus both overweight and underweight women are more intended to gain weight when the pregnancy reaches the third trimester.
The amount of weight gain while pregnant relies solely on several factors such as BMI (Body Mass Index), the number of gestations, physical activity levels, nutritional habits, etc. The amount of weight a woman may gain throughout the pregnancy may depend on her pre-pregnancy BMI.
Also during the third trimester, apart from gaining weight so fast during pregnancy from the fetus and placenta, you may also receive weights from amniotic fluid, breast tissues, fat reserves for delivery and breastfeeding, larger uterus, and increased blood supply.
In the first trimester, there is no need of adopting drastic changes in your diet, you can get into your usual calorie intake. But some women may have to go through morning sickness (or hyperemesis gravidarum) which may cause loss of weight.
Thus, to pursue the supply of nutrients and vitamins in your body and also to gain minimal weight while pregnant, you need to consume extra 100 calories per day.
Women in the second trimester tend to gain reasonable weight, thus to avoid any excess weight-related issues ( in the case of some women), you may consume extra 350 calories per day. The gaining of weight during the third trimester is at its peak. Therefore, for the maintenance of a healthy weight, you should not take more than 450 calories per day during the third trimester.
Some women may face problems in gaining weight during pregnancy; well that may be associated with morning sickness, metabolism and body issues, loss of appetite, or other medical issues.
But almost all women (overweight, obese, normal, or underweight women) may gain a considerable amount of weight during their gestational period unless there are no major medical complications.
Gaining no weight may be detrimental for your health and baby too. One can analyze that it is possible to gain some weight but gaining no weight at all during pregnancy isn’t well matched and good. Thus, it isn’t possible to not gain weight during pregnancy.