How Much Weight During Pregnancy
One of the primary concerns of any woman that has become pregnant, or is thinking of becoming pregnant, is what is a healthy weight? and how much weight gain during pregnancy is healthy? As with most things that concern humans there are no hard and fast rules about weight gain because every person is different. With that said, there are some guidelines you can follow, but the most important thing you can do is follow the directions of your doctor.
The key to maintaining a healthy weight before pregnancy is to have a healthy diet. Once you have become pregnant, eating right is the key to maintaining a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy. Keep in mind that the old adage that you are “eating for two” does not give you license to eat anything you want anytime you want. In order for your child to receive all of the nutrition it will require to be healthy you actually only need to increase your caloric intake by 100 to 300 calories per day.
Healthy Weight before Pregnancy (BMI)
A healthy weight to become pregnant is an overall healthy weight, and this varies from one woman to another depending on height, bone structure, muscle mass, and so on. The best way to determine if you are at a healthy weight is to consider your BMI(body mass index). A woman that is underweight will have a BMI of less than 18.5; BMIs of 18.5 to 24.9 are considered to be in the normal for a woman. BMIs of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while BMI readings in excess of 30 are considered obese. There are two ways to find your BMI; one is to purchase a scale that calculates BMI along with giving standard weight readings. These scales vary in how accurate they are, but they can give you an idea of your BMI. The best, and most accurate, way of finding your BMI is to have your doctor figure it for you. Your doctor will do more tests, and consider more factors when figuring your BMI.
Once You Know Your BMI
Once you know your BMI there are guidelines for recommended weight gain during pregnancy. The following guidelines are for women that are carrying one child. For woman with BMI readings less than 18.5 you should gain at least 28 pounds, but no more than 40 pounds during your pregnancy. Women with BMI readings of 18.5 to 24.9 should gain at least 25 pounds, but not more than 35 pounds during their pregnancy. Those with BMI readings from 25 to 25.9 should gain at least 15 pounds but not more than 25 pounds during their pregnancy. For those with BMI readings above 30 you should gain at least 11 pounds but no more than 20 pounds during your pregnancy.
For those that are carrying multiples you will gain more weight. For those with BMI readings of 18.5 to 24.9 you should gain 37 pounds but not more than 54 pounds. For those whose BMI falls into the 25 to 29.9 range you should gain at least 31 pounds, but not more than 50 pounds throughout your pregnancy. For those with BMIs above 30 your weight gain during your pregnancy should be at least 25 pounds but not more than 42 pounds.
Use this tool to help you monitor your weight during pregnancy.
Where does Pregnancy Weight Go?
If you have a baby that weighs 7 to 8 pounds then why did you gain 20 or more pounds during your pregnancy? Let us look at the areas where the rest of pregnancy weight gain goes. First, the baby accounts for 7 to 8 pounds of weight. Then larger breasts will account for approximately 2 pounds. While you are pregnant, your uterus expands and gains weight, this accounts for another 2 pounds, and the placenta weighs about one and a half pounds. The amniotic fluid, which surrounds and protects your baby during pregnancy, weighs 2 pounds, and the extra blood you carry while you are pregnant, weighs 3 to 4 pounds. The last item on the list are the fat stores your body creates while you are pregnant, these weigh 6 to 8 pounds.
When You should see Weight Gain
During the first trimester of pregnancy, you do not need to gain much weight. If you start your pregnancy at a normal healthy weight then you only need to gain a few pounds during the first trimester of your pregnancy. Steady weight gain is more important for the health of your baby during the second and third trimesters. During this time period, you should gain 3 to 4 pounds each month for the duration of your pregnancy.
As mentioned above, the information in this article are just guidelines that can be followed if you become pregnant. Your doctor will be able to better advise you of your exact weight gain needs because they will take all of your personal factors into consideration. Your doctor will also be able to recommend a pregnancy diet plan that will fit your needs.
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