Pregnancy weight gain is a good indicator not only of whether a mother’s nutrition is adequate but also of fetal growth progress. Namely, the weight of a newborn baby directly depends on the mother’s nutrition before pregnancy and the weight she gains in pregnancy.
Measuring weight regularly is not enough in order to know whether a woman gains weight is within acceptable limits. Knowledge of how many kilograms she should gain in certain gestational age is also necessary. For that purpose, we made this pregnancy weight gain calculator that calculates how much weight a woman should have for all gestational ages according to her weight before pregnancy.
How many calories do women need per day during pregnancy?
The average women need about 2000 calories a day and pregnant women between 2300 and 2500 calories, experts say. In other words, in relation to the period before conception, mothers need only 300-500 calories more during the day. Of course, these recommendations are not the same for all women. Some women need a higher calorie intake than the above, for example in extremely thin women or in the case of twin pregnancies. Also, some pregnant women should consume fewer calories than mentioned, as in the case of pregnant women who have to lie down during pregnancy.
How much weight should women gain during pregnancy?
Pregnancy weight gain depends on many factors such as metabolism, genetics, or the activity of the pregnant woman. A woman should gain 10 to 14 kg (22 to 30 pounds) during the 9 months of pregnancy. This extra weight in pregnancy is distributed as follows:
Baby: 3.5 kg (8 pounds)
Placenta: 1 – 1.3 kg (2-3 pounds)
Amniotic fluid: 1 -1 .3 kg (2-3 pounds)
Breast tissue: 1 – 1.3 kg (2-3 pounds)
Blood: 1.5 kg (3 pounds)
Uterine enlargement: 1-2 kg (2-4 pounds)
Fat needed for later breastfeeding: 2-4 kg (4-8 pounds)
Of course, a woman should gain more weight than stated if it is a twin pregnancy. Experts recommend that women should gain 16 to 25 kg (30 to 55 pounds) in this case.
Pregnancy weight gain is gradual. Women gain only about 2 kg (4 pounds) in the first trimester of pregnancy. On the other hand, the highest and fastest pregnancy weight gain is in the third trimester. Then pregnant women get about 500 g (1 pound) a week.
If you are pregnant and stop gaining weight for more than two weeks, or gain much more weight than recommended, you should consult your doctor.
How to track pregnancy weight gain?
Women should measure weight regularly during pregnancy. To track pregnancy weight gain, it is a good idea to follow these tips:
If a woman gained too many pounds in pregnancy, she risks getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and problems during childbirth. Also, pregnant women who gain too much weight are more likely to develop stretch marks on the skin, which then remain and it is almost impossible to get rid of them.
On the other hand, if a pregnant woman doesn’t gain weight enough, there is a risk of premature birth, as well as the risk that the baby will be too small. This is accompanied by many complications at birth, both for the baby and the mother. For moms who do not gain weight at all in two consecutive weeks between the fourth and eighth months, it is a sign that something is wrong. This is another situation in which you should definitely consult a doctor.
At the end
Although women should track their weight gain during pregnancy, weight shouldn’t be a stress for them. I know very well that getting so many kilograms so fast can upset women, especially while hormones rage in their bodies. But, stress about weight can be as fatal for the baby like any other pregnancy stress. Instead of stressing about weight, it would be better to practice fitness. Fitness is a good way to control pregnancy weight gain, but it has many other benefits for pregnant women also. Just, be careful, many exercises aren’t recommended in pregnancy. That’s why it’s best for you to find licensed professional and proven fitness programs. I recommend you the workout prenatal program on Fit2Be.
At the end, have in mind, every pregnant woman is a beautiful woman, and it cannot be otherwise since she carries within her such a wonderful, little being.