One of my biggest concerns when I fell pregnant with my first child, bar obviously a positive pregnancy outcome and a healthy happy baby, was how much weight will I gain. In my practice I hear the question:” What is healthy weight gain?” all the time.
Based on your height and pre-pregnancy weight you would want to aim for about 30% weight gain.
I must however, say that in some cases that number should be but a guide line.
If you are severely under weight and malnourished pre-pregnancy, this might be a good time to address your nutritional deficit with a nutrient dense diet that will get you to a healthy pregnancy weight for your height and bone structure.
On the contrary if you are overweight pre-pregnancy, it may be the best to eat a diet with a moderate content of carbohydrates, which does not mean that you can now overindulge on animal protein, and try while having a healthy pregnancy weight gain, not to go over what would be harmful to your health.
The one food group that you can eat abundantly at any stage of your life in general or at any weight, is of course, fresh fruit and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and low sugar fruit such as berries and grapefruit, the latter by the way is great if you are suffering from morning sickness.
You can also check out the chart below to find your target weight gain, that takes into account you BMI. These guidelines for pregnancy weight gain were issued by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2009 and are the most current available.
How can I keep my pregnancy weight gain within
a healthy range?
If you're starting pregnancy at a healthy weight, expect to gain 0.450 to 2.500 kg in the first trimester and about 0.500 kg per week for the rest of your pregnancy.
Keep in mind that eating for two doesn't mean eating twice as much
You don't even need any extra calories in your first trimester.
In your second trimester, experts recommend getting about 340 extra calories a day and not more than 450 extra calories daily in the third trimester.
If you need help managing your weight, contact
The Health Coach Academy to set up a Nutrition and Health Consultation or join the Eat Right Expectations Workshop, that addresses the topic of Pregnancy Nutrition.
What if I gain more than the recommended amount of weight during my pregnancy?
Gaining more than recommended during pregnancy puts you at a higher risk for high blood pressure disorders, including
gestational hypertension (high blood pressure that starts during pregnancy) and preeclampsia (sometimes called toxemia).
These conditions may result in a preterm delivery and undesirable pregnancy outcomes.
Keep in mind that, unless you start out overweight, gaining too much pregnancy weight also increases your risk of:
An overweight baby, which may lead to a difficult delivery
Starting out your following pregnancy overweight, increasing your chances gestational complications.
What if I gain less than the recommended amount of weight during my pregnancy?
Gaining too little weight during pregnancy, especially if you start out underweight, can mean a higher risk of delivering a low-birth-weight baby (less than 2,3 kg). This can cause a variety of problems for the baby, including feeding difficulty and low blood sugar. A low-birth-weight baby may also need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.
However, for women who begin pregnancy more than 23kg overweight, gaining little or no weight can lower the risk of pregnancy complications, such as hypertension, preeclampsia, and large infants.
If you're overweight, you may wish to book a
Nutrition and Health Consultation with The Health Coach Academy
Ideally, do so before you become pregnant, to discuss ways to minimize your gestational risks, especially if you have a medical condition related to obesity, such as hypertension or diabetes,in which case you may want to or see your medical practitioner first
Do most pregnant women gain the recommended amount of weight?
According to Kathleen Rasmussen, lead author of the committee that issued the 2009 National Academies report, about half of pregnant women gain the recommended amount of weight. But most women who start out overweight or obese gain, unfortunately, more than the guidelines recommend.
How do I deal with anxiety about how my body is changing during pregnancy?
If you have previously struggled to manage your weight, or even if you've never dieted in your life, you may have a hard time accepting that it's okay to gain weight now. It's normal to feel anxious as the numbers on the scale go up. Try to keep in mind that some weight gain is important for a healthy pregnancy and that that extra weight will eventually come off after you've had the baby and provide that you lead a healthy and nutritionally sound lifestyle.
How do I lose weight after I give birth?
You'll likely lose about half of your pregnancy weight gain in the first six weeks after delivery. Every mum and baby are different, but there are some averages. The baby accounts for about 3.3 kg, and the amniotic fluid, placenta, and extra body fluids and blood in your body add up to another 1,5-2 kg.
For the rest, remember that it took nine months to put on the weight, and it can take just as long or longer for it to come off. A healthy, whole food, nutrient dense diet combined with regular physical exercise is the best way to lose the “baby weight” – and keep them off.
Keeping a restrictive diet, post-delivery, aimed at sudden weight loss is not advisable and may be harmful to you and your new-born baby, if you are breastfeeding. Caring for a new-born requires lots of energy – and that means giving your body as much nutrition as possible, while being mindful of the calorie load. If you're patient, and enjoy a healthy diet and lifestyle you may be surprised by how much weight you will lose naturally, especially if you're breastfeeding.
If you are struggling to loose weight Post-Partum,
contact The Health Coach Academy to set up a
Nutrition and Health Consultation or to join our
6 Month Health Coaching Program, that will not only help with your diet but will moreover instill lifelong positive and healthy habits and will equip you to make educated nutritional choices.
Results may individually vary. Information and statements made in articles of The Health Coach Academy Blog are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The Health Coach Academy does not provide medical advice, prescribe medication and treatment plans, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by The Health Coach Academy are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Should you have a medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.