An average weight gain during pregnancy depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI
A woman’s pregnancy period is the most testing time of her life but yet the most rewarding as well. Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable, but if not monitored closely, this weight gain can also cause long-term health problems and hassles in your daily life. An ideal weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. Normal pregnancy weight gain depends on BMI, and you must consult your doctor if you are overweight or underweight.
Gradually a woman gains weight as the baby grows inside the body. Some people suggest that a pregnant woman eats for two, but it does not license you with eating in excess. Pregnancy is a sensitive time, and one must be careful if they gain weight which is more than the average weight gain during pregnancy. First, let us see the factors responsible for normal pregnancy weight gain.
What is normal pregnancy weight gain?
No woman gains a similar amount of weight during pregnancy. Weight gain is dependent upon various factors like metabolism, prep-pregnancy weight, BMI, and if you are carrying twins or more. Here we have shared the ideal weight gain during pregnancy corresponding to your BMI.
- BMI under 18.5 weight gain should be 28 to 40 lbs
- BMI normal 18.5 to 24.9 weight gain should be 25 to 35 lbs
- BMI overweight 25 to 29 weight gain should be 15 to 25 lbs
- BMI obese 30 or more weight gain should be 11 to 20 lbs
The Health Fortune recommends you consult your gynecologist if you have weight-related issues. If your weight is too high, the doctor will advise you to manage your weight throughout pregnancy to avoid complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and any negative impact on the baby. And if you are underweight, the doctor will recommend you to gain a reasonable amount of weight depending upon your BMI.
Why do you gain weight during pregnancy?
Average weight gain during pregnancy is because of multiple reasons.
- The breast of a woman grows larger.
- The uterus becomes bigger with the growing baby.
- The body creates an extra blood volume to carry oxygen to your baby.
- The placenta tends to grow larger.
- Amniotic fluid responsible for protecting a baby also adds up to the body weight.
What if you are overweight?
Being overweight can create many complications during pregnancy. These problems might include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and delivery through the C section. And a child born overweight tends to be an overweight baby and might also have health issues like obesity and heart diseases later in life.
What if you are underweight?
Maintaining the correct average weight gain during pregnancy is vital for the baby’s health. We recommend you consult your doctor and take a prescribed diet if you are underweight and put on weight that’s more than the normal pregnancy weight gain. Also, if you further lose weight during pregnancy, you must consult your gynecologist immediately.
Being underweight during pregnancy might raise health concerns like antepartum hemorrhage, premature rupture of membranes, anemia, endometriosis, and cesarean delivery. These complications might affect the baby, and the baby might be born underweight, which can be very critical for the baby’s health.
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy
If you are overweight or you find a drastic rise in your weight, you need to regulate the extra pounds. You must stay away from any crash diets and take the doctor’s advice to take a diet with complete nutrition. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can also result in blood clots during the postpartum period, hypertension during pregnancy, and prolonged labor. The Health Fortune has shared a few tips you can use to regulate excessive weight and have healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
- Try avoiding fast food but if you crave junk food, try opting for foods with low fat like boiled chicken breast, salads with chicken, and cottage cheese without mayonnaise. You can also have vegetables like tomato, lettuce, low-fat dressing, vegetable soup, sandwiches with vegetables, and plain bagels. Try avoiding food items with fatty oils like fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, and french fries.
- Milk is essential to fulfilling the calcium requirement of your body, and it is vital to incorporate 4 glasses of milk into your diet. Avoid milk products with whole milk and choose to skim or low-fat milk options. You can eat low-fat yogurts and fat-free cheese also.
- Limit your sugar intake by switching to healthier options like lemon water, fruit juices, and smoothies instead of consuming soft drinks, iced tea, ice cream shakes, and powdered beverages. These drinks have empty calories and will increase your sugar levels. Try using natural sugars like honey and dates instead of white and brown sugar.
- Do not binge eat on foods with added salts and reduce salt usage in your regular meals as it causes water retention in your body.
- During pregnancy, you have to be cautious of your nutrition. Avoid eating high-calorie snacks and processed foods like chips, cookies, candies, donuts, cakes, and frozen food which do not have any nutritional value and end up increasing your calorie intake. It is vital to switch to healthy snacks like low-fat yogurts, fresh fruits, and low-calorie desserts. You can have vegetables with hung curd or hummus, or you can also make yourself a healthy salad.
- It is ok to use fat in moderation. Try using low-fat alternatives like olive oil and sunflower oil, which are great for cooking and preparing your meals. Instead of margarine, butter, and sour cream, you must use these alternatives. You can also switch to low-fat sauces, salad dressings, and cream cheese options.
- You can grill, sauté, boil, or bake your food instead of frying your food. Prepare your meals in hygienic and clean conditions with healthy substitutes.
- For the first three months, you might not need to consume extra food and can limit yourself to your previous intake of calories. In the next trimesters, you will start gaining weight, and you can gradually increase your intake of calories.
- You cannot heavily exercise, but exercising is also vital for the baby’s health and will help you cope with labor. Swimming, aqua aerobics, and yoga classes are highly recommended workout regimes by doctors for pregnant women. You must go for a walk every day.
Pregnancy duration is a sensitive phase for a woman both physically and mentally. We advise you to be patient and not give yourself any kind of mental stress. It is essential to keep a check on average weight gain during pregnancy for the health of the baby and the mother. Consult your health care provider and dietician in case of any doubt. It’s best to be aware of your health concerns which will help you enjoy this beautiful phase of your life with your mind at ease and your body in check at all times.