Pregnancy Weight Gain
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
What is the safest weight gain in pregnancy?
- How do we monitor it?
- What are the consequences on the baby?
The March of Dimes, a fantastic charity that promotes healthy babies from gestation through infancy, says that the average woman should gain 25-35 pounds over the course of the pregnancy. A woman who became pregnant while she was overweight should gain 15-25 pounds, and a woman who was underweight at the start should gain 28-40 pounds.
What is overweight?
The Federal Government of the United States still uses a Body Mass Index chart to determine whether someone is over or under weight. This system is tragically flawed because body fat and lean body mass are not part of the equation. So, if you really are not aware of whether you are under or over weight, ask your doctor or get a body fat test through the hospital or your personal trainer.
What about body weight gain month to month?
According to the March of Dimes, pregnancy weight gain can start slow and end quickly, or vice versa. Different women and babies are different, and the rate of growth could speed or slow at any given time, and it could be due to many circumstances. However, your doctor may look at you cross-ways if you gain a lot of weight at the beginning of the pregnancy, because she may fear you putting on too much weight. At Babycenter.com, you can use their weight gain calculator to see what a normal pregnancy weight gain is over time for you. The flow chart indicates that the majority of the weight is put on at the end of the pregnancy.
Should I diet during pregnancy?
For most women, eating a diet balanced with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains is best for baby. Pregnant women need to eat and eat well, but they do not need to overeat. “Eating for two” is not exactly accurate. Most fetuses require around 300 calories per day, not enough for a complete secondary diet.
If your doctor is concerned about your weight, you have gestational diabetes, or there are other underlying health concerns, he will put you on a diet for the protection of the child. This is not the same as an extremely restrictive diet for the purpose of weight loss.
More importantly, there are many foods that a healthy mom should avoid during pregnancy. Fish that are high in mercury, and foods that harbor harmful bacteria are some examples. The best selling book for moms everywhere, What to Expect When you Are Expecting, gives comprehensive lists of what to eat and what not to eat for an optimal pregnancy and childbirth.
What if I gain too much weight during my pregnancy?
Too much weight gain does happen. There are circumstances that may cause the mother to gain more than she wanted, and it is not a time for self-blame. Statistics say that women who gain too much or too little weight can impact birth weight. Women who gain too much weight are more likely to have a caesarian delivery, statistically. And, of course, women that gain too much weight then have the tough task of reducing that weight after childbirth with the added pressure of taking care of an infant. It can be a very stressful experience for the mother.
The idea is to keep everything about weight gain during pregnancy in perspective:
- Watch your weight gain, but don’t obsess about it.
- Eat foods that you know will nourish the body and brain of that little person.
- Keep moving if your doctor allows.