Not too much and not too little - is the motto when it comes to the issue of weight gain in pregnancy. The optimal weight gain is dependent on your weight at the beginning of your pregnancy. The rule of thumb is: Depending on your initial weight, you may gain about 10-18 kilograms on the scale at the end of pregnancy (40 weeks). Your overall weight gain should not be less than 7 kilograms at the end of pregnancy; otherwise, the growth of your baby could be at risk.
Your child’s well-being: your ideal weight gain
Did you know that your weight gain during pregnancy affects the birth weight of your child and this will in turn affect its long-term health into adulthood? Therefore, an ideal weight gain is important – not only for you but also for your baby.
It is recommended by gynaecologists that an average weight gain until the end of pregnancy is 12 kilograms. This is approximately half of the weight comprises of the amniotic fluid and placenta. The rest is made up of tissue fluid, increased blood volume, breast tissue and fat deposits. Your doctor will monitor your weight gain during your check-ups and consult you if there are any noticeable changes.
How is the distribution of my extra weight?
Baby: about 3.50 kg
Uterus: about 1.00 kg
Placenta: about 0.75 kg
Amniotic fluid: approx. 1.30 kg
Pro Chest: about 0.30 kg
Blood volume: about 1.15 kg
Tissue fluid: approx. 2.00 kg
Fat deposit: about 1.70 kg
Total weight increase: about 12.00 kg
Average weight gain during pregnancy
Depending on the progress of your pregnancy, your weight gain increases about 2 kg during 1st to 16th week, 17th to 22nd week, 23rd to 26th week, thereafter an increase of 500 grams per week from the 27th week of your pregnancy.
How much will I gain? Will I lose these weight gained after pregnancy? Many women are concerned about the impending weight gain. However, this weight gain is normal and no cause for concern. It is the easiest in distinguishing your pregnancy. Your body is changing, because from now on the body is suited to provide the needs for your baby. So be proud of your curves!
Over- and under-weight in pregnancy
Overweight and underweight during pregnancy are risk factors and may have consequences for you and the baby.
The risk factors for obesity include high blood pressure as well as gestational diabetes. It is true that women with normal-weight can be affected by this most transient form of diabetes. Therefore, it is 3 times more likely for obese pregnant women to be affected by gestational diabetes during the course of pregnancy and your baby’s health. Obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of your baby to be overweight or develop diabetes in its later life.
Also, being underweight during pregnancy carries an increased risk of pregnancy complications such as prematurity or developmental disorders in your baby. If you are underweight at the beginning of your pregnancy, you definitely should pay attention to include a balanced and nutritious diet.
Regardless of being overweight or underweight during your pregnancy: Please do not consider any self-imposed diets or other measures to reach the expectation of obtaining your “normal weight”, you could be causing some serious harm to your baby. Do speak and discuss with your doctor if you are over- or under-weight. Find out on the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet during pregnancy.
How do you keep an eye on your weight?
Weigh yourself once a week, always under the same condition, e.g. on a fixed day before breakfast. Also, the body mass index (BMI) provides a good way to monitor and control weight. It is calculated as the ratio of output weight and height (kg: cm).
What is the ideal weight gain in your Body Mass Index (BMI) during pregnancy?
BMI below 18.5: 12 to 18kg
BMI 18.5 to 24.9: 11 to 15kg
BMI 25 to 29.9: 6 up to 11 kg
BMI over 30: 5 up to 9 kg
You may determine your BMI using the BMI calculator found on the Health Promotion Board website, at the beginning of your pregnancy. If you are unsure about your weight gain or eating habits, discuss with your doctor about it.
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