Get excited about eating for two for the next nine months. Although your second consumer is small, he needs for you to gain weight. No dieting for you for these 40 weeks. Watch how much weight you gain so as not to become unhealthy or overweight. Consult with your doctor about your weight and what you should be eating.
The amount of weight you need to gain is directly proportional to how much you weigh before you became pregnant. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Weight Gain During Pregnancy” brochure, most women must gain between 20 and 40 lbs. over the course of their pregnancy. Women who are overweight prior to conception only need to gain 15 to 25 lbs., while those who are underweight must gain 30 to 40 lbs.
An average baby weighs 6 to 9 lbs. when it is born. The rest of a woman’s pregnancy weight comes from other sources. Growing breast tissue makes up about 2 lbs. The placenta, uterus and fluid around the baby contribute another 6 lbs. or so. Fat and nutrients held in storage in the woman’s body adds about another 7 lbs. to an average woman’s body. Finally, additional blood and fluids add another 7 lbs.
Your weight gain will come slowly during the first trimester. You may only gain 3 to 5 lbs. during the first three months. That’s why you don’t normally “show” during the first trimester. After that, for the next six months, you should gain 1 or 2 lbs. per week.
Although you may not be happy about absorbing these extra pounds, they are crucial for a baby’s development. He needs the placenta, uterus and fluid for life. He needs your nutrition storage from which to tap when he needs nutrients. He needs your breasts to grow for milk when he is born. If you want the weight to shed quickly after the baby is born, exercise and eat healthily throughout the pregnancy. Don’t allow yourself to put on extra fat, and the weight will disappear a few weeks or months after birth.
If you are expecting twins, triplets or other multiples, you can expect to gain more weight than those expecting only one child. The March of Dimes notes that women carrying twins need to gain 40 to 50 lbs. on average over the course of their pregnancy. Your doctor can tell you exactly how much you should expect to gain, based on how many children you expect and how much you weighed before.