Healthy weight gain during 3 trimesters of pregnancy

weight gain pregnancy

All women need healthy weight gain during pregnancy. This is a universal truth and needs no doubts or debates. The interesting question is where does all that extra weight added on to a woman’s body gets deposited during pregnancy.

Scientific researches have shown that healthy weight gets distributed in a different part of the body. It does not focus on one particular organ or body part.

The baby in the womb normally weighs between 7.5 – 8.5 lbs. The maternal stores or the womb itself comes as 8 lbs and the placenta takes about 1.5 – 2 lbs.

During this time the body needs plenty of water.  The water content in the body weighs something like 4 lbs. Although it is almost a trend to become skinny or at least slim in recent years.

we should not forget the women’s body need to gain weight during pregnancy. The body weight should not be controlled unnaturally. 

A modern-day mom, in order to maintain her weight, takes all kinds of diet pills even during pregnancy. This is absolutely dangerous because it is going against her biological requirements. 

It is more of a social and cultural problem nowadays and for our own well being.  It must be changed.

Know Your Healthy Weight

A pregnant mother needs to put on weight and there is no shame in doing that. Actually it is to be ensured that the diet taken should contain all the required nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you need during pregnancy. You should avoid junk food and diets with more fat and sugar content. Fruits are absolutely necessary during this time. 

During the later stage of pregnancy, the weight gets spread out uniformly. The average body weight should increase by 25%. In the early stage, the weight gain happens at a comparatively slower rate.

There are specific measurements to correctly access the weight gains in different stages of pregnancy. In case the woman is overweight she must put in an additional 3 pounds. In case she is underweight she should add in 5 pounds.

But compared to the pre and postnatal stage weight gain should be monitored properly. Additional diet charts should be maintained throughout the pregnancy. If the woman was overweight before conceiving she should gain at least fifteen pounds extra. 

Similarly, if she is underweight the additional weight should be 25-35 pounds. The overall diet for a pregnant mother should be nearly 300 calories at the most. Weight gain, therefore, becomes very critical for a pregnant mother because she has to take care of herself and baby. 

Moreover, if your weight is less than the healthy weight range then you should try to gain extra weight but if your body weight is more than the healthy weight then try to lose some weight. 

But always it is good to take advice from your doctor. As the pregnancy weight is impacted by a few factors like if you are having twin pregnancy, if you are going through morning sickness, eating unhealthy or undernourished, or have any health issue.


Eating wisely during pregnancy: Extra Calories Diet Plans

1. Eat for your growing baby

During pregnancy, you must keep in mind that the food you are eating is not only for your health but for your baby too. So you require about 300 additional calories every day as your baby is growing faster day by day.

If you are underweight or carrying twins, you will need even more. However, if you are overweight, your consultant may advise you to consume fewer extra calories.

2. Have a healthy diet

It is important that you must not only eat more, but you must also eat healthily and safely. Make sure that your calories come from nutritious food which will help in your baby’s growth and development.

3. Focus on a balanced meal plan

You should take a real diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and multi-grain bread. That way you are more likely to get the nutrients, you need.

However, your body demands more of the vital nutrients such as folic acid calcium, iron than your normal requirements before your pregnancy. To make sure both you and your growing baby are getting enough, your consultant will prescribe prenatal vitamins.

4. Increase your calcium intake

Your body needs more calcium in pregnancy. Most women do not often get the 1,000 mg of calcium that they need daily. In your case, the need is more, as your baby’s calcium demands are high. You should increase your calcium consumption or there will be calcium loss from your own bones.

Low-fat dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt, calcium-fortified products, including orange juice, soymilk, and cereals, tofu, dried beans, dark green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli and almonds are good sources of calcium.

5. Take real iron and folic acid 

Pregnant women need 27 to 30 mg of iron every day. Iron is essential to make hemoglobin, a constituent of the red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all the cells of your body. Thus, it is essential that pregnant women get sufficient iron.     

The body most easily absorbs iron from meat sources, though plant sources can also supply this mineral. Some good sources of iron include red meat, dark poultry, eggs, salmon, dried beans, peas and enriched grains, tofu, dried fruits, leafy green vegetables and blackstrap molasses, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, and folic acid.

A Folic acid supplement 1 month before and during the first trimester of pregnancy decreases the risk of neural tube defects. If the neural tube, the precursor of the baby’s brain and spinal cord, does not form properly, the result is a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.

6. Stay Hydrated

Get enough fluids as many factors during pregnancy can cause dehydration and weakness. Plenty of fluids, especially water to drink is important during pregnancy. An adequate amount of water is essential to prevent common problems such as constipation and dehydration. You should drink at least 2 litter of water daily to maintain your healthy hydration.

6. Do some exercises

At least 25-30 minutes of light exercise every day, is also necessary for a pregnant woman. It has been proved very beneficial. Daily exercises improve your sleep,  help prevent excess weight gain, increase your energy level, and decrease the common pregnancy-related problems like back pain, constipation, and swelling, leg cramps and can prepare your body for labor.

Most pregnant women concerned about putting on weight during pregnancy. When you pregnant the first thing comes in your mind that you will gain weight. You fear that if you will lose your weight after the birth or not. what if you never go back to your pre-pregnancy body size. Remember, the extra weight you gained is actually for your baby and later for breastfeeding.healthy weight gain

Excessive weight gain can be due to many reasons including swelling or edema, gestational hypertension, and twin pregnancy. You can calculate your body mass index with your weight in kilogram kg divided by height in Meter Square (BMI= Kg/Meter square)

BMI = body weight in kilogram (Kg) / height in meter squares

healthy Weight gain

For healthy and normal fetal growth and development, it is crucial that the pregnant mother’s weight should be progressive. Continuous weight gain will help in building up maternal fat stores and helps in fruitful lactation after birth.

It can be harmful to mother and baby both if you gain too little and too high weight during pregnancy. Your weight should be in the normal range for your height before you get pregnant. 

Severely underweight pregnant women can give birth to a low birth weight baby and more likely to have an early delivery.

On the other side if you gain more than expected weight gain or previous obesity, can lead to many complications such as gestational diabetes, probability of large baby, emergency cesarean birth, birth injuries, and UTI.

Maintaining your weight pre-pregnancy and while you are pregnant

1. Eat good quality food

Gaining weight is very important but pregnancy is not a reason for unrestricted or unlimited dietary satisfaction. The pregnant women should give priority to the quality food intake as well as observe their needs and for their baby.

It may be difficult for you to lose weight after pregnancy if you put on excessive weight during pregnancy. You must be aware of how much you are eating and gaining so that you achieve a healthy weight through a balanced diet.

2. Cut down sugar

Avoid junk food and sugary drinks. Moreover, stay away from smoking or any kind of drugs and alcohol. It can cause adverse effects on baby health. 

3. Exercises always good

Do regular exercises at least for 20 minutes and perform pregnancy exercise as per your doctor’s advice. Go for a regular nice walk for 30 minutes.

4. Consume enough fluids

Drink at least 2 liters of water daily and the most stay happy. 

5. Make a diet chart

Evaluate your diet and by ensuring you are eating a healthy balanced diet and cut down high-sugar, extra salt and high-fat food, which can because of overweight.

6. High protein food

Take an extra protein diet and eat five more servings of fruits and vegetables.

7. Take pregnancy vitamins

Remember prenatal multivitamins are important too. So don’t forget to take them but ask your health care provider about it first. Include important minerals in your diet especially calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and copper, which is available in multivitamin supplements as well.

It is wise to avoid alcohol, smoking, and excessive consumption of caffeine and uncooked and processed food.

If you have any doubt regarding weight gain or prenatal multivitamins then it is good to discuss with your doctor or health care provider.

More Interesting Stuff you like to Know :

What nutrition is important during early pregnancy?

Women General Nutrition Health: Calcium, Folic Acid, and Iron.

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I am experienced health professional (B.Sc. Nursing, P.GD Nursing). I am passionate to provide valuable information about  Maternal and child Health. My goal is to provide the right  and trustworthy information about pregnancy and baby care.

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