Pregnancy, all on its own, is extremely overwhelming. The only real solace you find lies at the bottom of your favorite food bucket, because, let’s face it, you’re eating for two and this isn’t exactly the time to watch your weight.
Well, if that’s what you think then you couldn’t be more wrong. Piling on the pounds during pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, chances of obesity, your sugar levels, can complicate your delivery, and even puts your newborn at risk. Maintaining a healthy weight at this time is more important than ever; all that changes is what ‘being a healthy weight’ means during pregnancy.
The key is to allow for planned weight gain that’s in sync with the timeline of carrying a growing baby.
Truth Bomb: All you need is 300 extra calories a day when you’re pregnant. These should come from nutritional sources; not chocolates and donuts that are hard for your body to process, given that it’s preoccupied with taking care of you, and your baby. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t give into your cravings; just be mindful, don’t use it as a free pass every time.
How Much Weight Gain Is Normal?
- A woman with a healthy weight before pregnancy can gain 25-35lb during her term.
- An underweight woman should gain 28-40lb, to put her body in a healthy position for delivery.
- An overweight woman should restrict her weight gain to 15-25lb when expecting.
Tracking Your Weight Gain During Each Trimester
- In the first trimester, gaining 2lb-4lb is normal.
- Then, it should be about 1lb every week, for the next six months.
- If you are pregnant with twins, you should gain 1½lb each week, for the next six months.
How To Avoid Extra Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weight gain exceeding the appropriate amount has implications for both mothers and infant, and contributes to postpartum weight retention.
- According to UK researchers, moderate exercise can help women avoid gaining excess weight during their pregnancy. Brisk walking is a good way to start.
- If it’s a planned pregnancy, try to get to a healthy weight before you start trying.
- Aim for 30 minutes of light-moderate activity each day, and take up workout programs like yoga, swimming, or get on the elliptical cross trainer to control your pace and intensity. Always consult a gynecologist and keep him/her in the loop as far as your exercise routine is concerned.
On an end note, you can start working out to full intensity after the postpartum period (consult your doctor again), and even sign up for couples exercises or mommy-baby workouts to keep fit while bonding with your new family.