Although women everywhere worry about their bodies changing with pregnancy, it’s essential for you to gain some weight while you are pregnant. Gaining too much or too little may cause health problems for both you and your baby, so you have to find the right balance. Work with your doctor to find the right weight gain for you.
Only about 5-to-9 lbs. of your weight gain will be fat that you’ll need to produce milk to feed your baby. Other weight gain comes from the baby (7-to-8 lbs.), increased blood supply (4 lbs.), placenta (2-to-3 lbs.), amniotic fluid (2-to-3 lbs.), breast tissue (2-to-3 lbs.) and increase in uterus (2-to-5 lbs.). Your total weight gain should be around 25-to-35 lbs. This weight gain allows your baby to develop properly.
Your weight gain should not be consistent throughout your pregnancy. During the first trimester, you should gain only 3-to-5 lbs. In the second and third trimesters, you should gain 1-to-2 lbs. per week.
Your pre-baby weight will affect how much weight gain your doctor recommends. Doctors encourage women who have a healthy pre-baby weight to gain 25-to-35 lbs. throughout the pregnancy, but women who are underweight should gain more–28-to-40 lbs.–and overweight women should gain less–15-to-25 lbs. Women who are carrying multiples will need to gain more weight. If you’re carrying twins, for example, you should gain 35-to-45 lbs. throughout the pregnancy.
To avoid gaining too much weight, you should stick with eating a healthy diet and continue to follow an exercise program. Having healthy snacks on hand can prevent you from turning to junk foods when you suddenly find yourself hungry. If you find that you are gaining weight too quickly, modify your eating by choosing lower calorie foods, which allow you to eat more and feel full without gaining weight. You should not try to lose weight during pregnancy unless under the supervision of your doctor.
The phrase “eating for two” comes up a great deal during pregnancy. In actuality, however, you shouldn’t really be eating enough calories for two people. In general, your body only needs an extra 200 to 300 calories per day.
If you notice a sudden increase in weight, especially toward the end of your pregnancy, make sure that your doctor knows about it. This could signify that you have a problem, such as preeclampsia.
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