Pregnancy is a time of changes. Like it or not, you will gain weight so your body can support the life that is growing within. However, being pregnant is no reason to quit your exercise routine and indulge in junk food. Future moms only need about 250 extra calories a day, so there’s no need to overeat. Ideally, your daily calories should come from fresh fruit, vegetables, whole rain, fish, and lean meat, not pizza or sugar-laden treats. So, let’s find out how much weight you can expect to gain while pregnant:
Weight Gain during Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, moms-to-be should gain 11 to 40 pounds based on their body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy. If you were underweight prior to getting pregnant, it’s safe to gain 28 to 40 pounds. Women with a normal weight can expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds, while those who are overweight should gain 15 to 25 pounds. The recommended weight gain for obese moms is 11 to 20 pounds.
In general, it’s safe to gain up to five pounds in the first three months, and about one pound every nine days for the rest of your pregnancy. If you’re carrying twins, you will gain more weight. In this case, you will need up to 100 percent more of the essential nutrients, such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Taking dietary supplements is a must.
What Happens If You Gain Too Much Weight?
Health experts recommend overweight and obese women to slim down before getting pregnant. This will reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, miscarriage, and macrosomia. Carrying a lot of extra weight can make labor difficult too. Since it’s not recommended to go on a diet while pregnant, you should lose the extra pounds ahead of time.
Being overweight when pregnant is bad for you and your baby. Women who carry too many pounds are three times more likely to need an emergency C-section. Additionally, their risk of thrombosis and bleeding after birth is higher. They are also more likely to have a macrosomic baby, which may cause birth asphyxia, facial nerve injuries, shoulder dystocia, and trauma to the birth canal.
The best way to reduce pregnancy weight gain is to eat healthy and maintain an active lifestyle. It’s virtually impossible to gain too much weight if you follow these rules. Keep processed food to a minimum, cut back on sugar, and fill your plate with whole, natural foods.