Over the years we have had conflicting messages about how much weight a pregnant woman has to gain; how much pregnancy weight gain is normal or recommended.
While in the good old days women were literally expected to eat for two and ended up putting on perhaps too much weight. Then there was period when women were advised not to put on much pregnancy weight at all.
Turns out both these extremes were not correct. Fact is that a certain amount of pregnancy weight gain is normal, it is indicated and it is necessary for the good health of the mother and baby.
Pregnancy weight gain; why is it necessary? Its stating the obvious, but it bears repeating that this is a brand new life that a pregnant woman nurtures inside herself, from stretch as it were.
Everything from the baby’s muscle tissue, to organ or bone tissue to all its nourishment comes from the mother.
The mother’s organs are working harder than ever before; her heart has actually grown in size to better do the extra work it is required to. Sounds like she needs some extra calories here wouldn’t you say? Not eating properly during pregnancy can actually result in lower birth weight or neonatal problems as well.
How much pregnancy weight gain is normal? Rule of thumb is 2 to 4 pounds during the first three months of pregnancy and then 3 to 4 pounds per month for the rest of your pregnancy. 25 to 35 pounds pregnancy weight gain is actually recommended by a lot of experts for those women who have normal weight before their pregnancy.
This recommended weight gain could be scaled up for women who are underweight to begin with, and scaled down for women who were overweight before they got pregnant.
Even overweight women need to put on some weight because of the changes that their bodies will undergo: the uterus expands, the breasts grow larger, and there is the amniotic sac, fluid and the placenta; the baby itself will be an average of 7 pounds.
What kind of pregnancy weight gain is good? While it is not needed to eat for two when pregnant, one needs about 200 to 300 calories more per day than earlier.
However, what you eat is even more important and how much you eat. Your calories and consequently your pregnancy weight gain should be coming from nutrient dense food that is low in fats and sugars.
Also the weight gain should be slow and steady, not sudden. If there is a sudden spike that appears in the weight gain, a woman should be looking very carefully at what she eats.
Pregnancy weight gain calculators: At a number of places one can find out if their weight gain during pregnancy is appropriate and is progressing along acceptable patterns. Here for instance is a pregnancy weight gain calculator that asks you for your weight before pregnancy, current weight, how tall you are and how many weeks pregnant you currently are.
Based on those details it will calculate what you should be weighing now. Based on the details you put in you will be told if your weight gain is normal, above or below normal.