How much weight gain is too much weight gain in pregnancy?

January 10, 2022

5 Minutes

You are pregnant! While it gives the absolutely valid excuse to blame your weight gain on, you already feel insecure because of it. Your mom tries her best to over feed you and constantly complain that you have not gained enough weight; your friends say that you have to workout to stay fit and not gain too much weight; your sister says that she still is unable to shed the extra pounds; and your partner adores you no matter what!

Clearly you are ready to eat the next person to point out your weight gain. You sometimes even panic and wonder if you are still within the healthy pregnancy weight  gain limit.

You need to understand that everyone’s pregnancy is different and there is no one size fits all standard to how much one should weigh when pregnant. It’s not just your fat that increases the number on your weighing machine; mostly it’s the body fluid. Your baby, the placenta with amniotic fluid, your growing breasts, the increased blood you need and natural fluid retention all add on to it.

Weight gain recommendations for pregnant women!

Your BMI indicated your healthy weight gain limit.

BMI

Weight in pounds

Weight in kg

Weight  for twins

Underweight

BMI Less than 18.5

28-40 pounds

12-18 kg approx.

50-62 pounds

Normal Weight

BMI 18.5 - 24.9

25-35 pounds

11-15 kg approx.

37-54 pounds

Overweight

BMI 25.0 - 29.9

15-25 pounds

06-11 kg approx.

31-50 pounds

Obese

BMI greater than or equal to 30.0

11-20 pounds

05-10 kg approx.

25-42 pounds

You can calculate your BMI here: BMI Calculator.

Risks of too much or too little weight gain!

So now you know the healthy weight gain limit. Monitor it! If you are already over weight, please do not listen to well-wishers who ask you to ‘eat for two’. Your growing baby definitely does not need as much food as you need. Excessive weight gain could lead to a greater risk of complications such as:

  • gestational diabetes

  • hypertension

  • caesarean section

  • having a large baby (macrosomia)

  • stillbirth

Babies born to mothers who put on too much weight are more likely to develop overweight and obesity in later life, develop more health problems, and be born with heart disease (especially if you smoke as well).

There are consequences for being under-weight too, like having a pre-term baby and a low birth weight infant. So, Yes. Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy can help protect your health and the health of your baby.

There may always be other underlying health conditions which may lead to rapid and excessive weight gain during pregnancy. So make sure you consult your physician under such a situation.

You might have the urge to maintain weight and shed the extra kilos and ponder if it is safe to loose weight when pregnant. Don’t ever try to lose weight during pregnancy, unless your health care professional asks you to. And, do it under proper guidance. It is not advisable to start a new diet as well. Please consult a nutritionist, if you decide to do so.

How to manage your weight gain?

Eat right!

It’s important to eat well when you’re pregnant to give your baby a healthy start. A well-balanced nutritious diet is the key. Ahem…Ahem… yes, it is essential to check on your cravings. Also, it is not necessary to consume extra calories in the first trimester. You only need about 300 extra calories a day during the second and third trimester of pregnancy to support your baby’s growth and development.

balanced diet fruits veges and pulses
Exercise!

Moderate exercise can help burn excess calories. If you are not used to being active, try walking. Start slowly from 15 minutes a day and gradually build-up. Remember, you are trying to stay active and not achieve your peak fitness. Try to involve your partner which makes it fun and helps to stay consistent. Ask your health care provider what exercise would be right for you before getting started.

Pregnant woman doing outdoor exercise

Hope your weight gain doubts are cleared. Remember, ‘It’s normal to gain weight during pregnancy. It’s something that has to happen to your body!’

So embrace it, because it’s the only time when you don’t have to tuck in your tummy and not worry about it.

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