Shared 3 months ago • Featured Tip
Being able to conceive and the prospect of bringing a new life into the world is something that is highly satisfying and full of joy. Mothers-to-be generally start to take extra care of their diet and make sure they eat right when they are pregnant so that the fetus does not have to suffer. Though it is important to eat healthy during pregnancy, a lot of women and/or their loved ones tend to get carried away and end up gaining more weight than they should.
The good news is that this is the time when those few extra kilos aren't the cause of concern. In fact, they're a healthy and necessary part of the process. But what exactly is normal weight gain during pregnancy? How much is too much weight or too little?
If you were underweight to start with, you might need to gain a few more kilos than the average mum-to-be. Women who don't put on enough weight during pregnancy are at higher risk of premature birth, having babies with low birth weight and other complications.
But if you were heavier before your pregnancy, you'll probably need to keep your weight gain in check. Being overweight or adding too many kilos during pregnancy can lead to complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, birth defects or having a big baby.
Today, where our modern lifestyles expose us to minimal physical activity, the risks of becoming overweight during pregnancy are higher, and some may mistake it for a healthy body. Not only does being overweight have adverse effects on the pregnancy, it may also lead to the birth of an unhealthy baby, which may leave long-term negatives in the body and health of the mother for her to struggle with, for a lifetime.
Some disadvantages of abnormal weight gain in pregnant women:
In order to be able to understand the importance of controlling weight gain in pregnancy, it may be essential to know what could go wrong if the weight is not controlled or kept under check. Here s what could go wrong:
The increasing weight may be one of the biggest reasons for developing long-term health problems such as diabetes and cholesterol that find an easy access to the body during the time of pregnancy.
The chances of a normal delivery in obese women are highly minimal, as observed by experts around the world.
In the case of disorders such as preeclampsia, it may become necessary to deliver the baby sooner than the regular time period, and it may also put the organs of the mother at great risk.
Sleepless or tired nights may be common in the case of women who suffer from abnormal weight gain during pregnancy and this is something that may affect the journey and process of pregnancy as a whole.
How much weight to gain and when?
Unlike the equation used to calculate your BMI, the process of putting on kilos is not an exact science. Your rate of weight gain will depend on a variety of factors, such as your metabolism, your activity level and your genetics. These vary by trimester:
During your first trimester, your baby is still tiny, which means you don t need to gain more than a total of 1 to 2 kilos. However, if you're suffering from morning sickness, you might not gain much (or might even lose a little). That s OK, as long as your appetite picks up and you make up for those kilos in the second trimester.
In your second trimester, your baby starts to grow in earnest. Your weight gain should pick up, if you started out pregnancy at a normal weight, you would gain a total of approx. 6 kilos by the end of this trimester.
In your third trimester, baby s weight gain will pick up steam, but yours may start to taper off for a net gain of about 4.5 kilos. Some women find their weight holds steady or even drops a kilo or two during the ninth month, when ever-tighter abdominal quarters can make finding room for food a struggle.
Gradual weight gain is as important as the number of kilos you gain, since your baby needs a steady supply of nutrients and calories to grow during his or her stay in the womb.
Tackling abnormal weight gain and keeping it at bay:
One of the most important things to do in order to keep abnormal weight gain at bay in the event of a pregnancy is to make sure that you are eating healthy. If you overtly indulge in fatty foods and junk items, you may be putting your body at the risk of gaining quick kilos. However, if you eat a balanced diet and make sure that you consult your gynaecologist for dietary advice, you may be able to keep excessive weight at bay. Light exercises such as swimming, walking or yoga can also help but you must make sure to take expert help and suggestions before performing any physical activity that may put yourself or your baby at risk. With the right help you may be able to go through a healthy pregnancy and achieve health and happiness for your baby.
You don't need to eat for two. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can make it hard to shift after your baby is born.
Bear in mind that keeping active will help you to control your weight. Exercise is good for you during pregnancy. Staying active will also increase your chance of having a straightforward labour and birth.