Concerns on how much weight you should gain always comes with pregnancy. Your pregnancy weight gain must be at its standard level since the baby needs enough nutrients to develop. You really don’t have to double your meal because you are pregnant, neither do you have to cut down on your food intake because you are obese.
To avoid pregnancy weight-gain, it is not ideal to go on a weight-loss diet. Why? Your baby faces a potential hazard by restricting your food intake. Pregnancy weight-loss is achieved by eating healthy foods and exercising.
Being overweight when pregnant may lead to some defects like premature birth, cesarean delivery, blood clots and even stillbirth. Despite all these dangers, the best approach to excessive weight gain is through safe pregnancy weight-loss. This safe pregnancy weight loss practices are not observed most times except when it is recommended by your doctor.
If safe pregnancy weight-loss is recommended by your doctor, here are some steps to follow carefully
Look into your weight concerns early
Weight gain comes usually in the second and third trimesters (trimester is simply a period of three months; especially one of the three-month periods into which human pregnancy is divided). The best time to address your weight concerns is early in your pregnancy because your baby gains weight in the last two months of pregnancy. Most of the weight gain is caused by the baby and other elements like the placenta.
Early planning also helps to cut off unnecessary calories.
Drop down your calories
The most effective way to lose weight is by reducing your calorie intake. There is weight gain when the calories you consume is more than you burn. Most dieticians say it takes more than 3,500- calorie deficit to lose 1 pound.
It would take therefore a week at 500 calories per day to cut out a pound. In slashing your calories be sure to keep a log on how much you take. Looking at nutritional values for food from malls or stores is not a bad idea. Also, be sure to know the minimum calorie intake as a pregnant woman.
How much weight do you need to gain when pregnant?
Pregnancy weight gain has a direct impact on the health of the woman and the developing baby. A weight gain schedule can be used and you should intermittently check your BMI.
The amount of weight to gain during pregnancy depends majorly on your BMI:
BMI is the short form for Body Mass Index and is a ratio gotten by dividing your weight in kg (kilograms) by your height in m (meters).
If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9: It's recommended and normal that you gain between 15 and 25 pounds by the end of your pregnancy or approximately 2 to 3 pounds per month in your second and third trimesters.
If your BMI is 30 or higher: You're advised to gain only 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy.
If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9: It is normal that you gain between 25 and 35 pounds.
Weight gain during pregnancy is crucial and the general rule is that for a low BMI, the weight gain would be more than that of a person with a higher BMI.
Most of the weight you gain during pregnancy is as a result of the baby developing inside you and it is totally normal and healthy to gain these extra weights.
Breastfeeding and weight loss
Why you shouldn’t be worried or nervous about weight loss during pregnancy, is that your post-pregnancy period churns down your body fat. Breastfeeding is considered a safe pregnancy weight-loss because as many new moms will confirm, it helps weight loss naturally. Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day depending on how much milk you produce. Breastfeeding also stimulates the release of hormones that shrinks the uterus. However, the body is tasked with a little to do after breastfeeding so you drop fewer calories.
When does weight loss or weight gain become dangerous?
Actually, there is no amount of weight gain or weight loss that should be observed by a pregnant woman. The size of a woman determines the weight that is needed to be gained in the course of pregnancy. The weight gain in pregnant women is necessary for support and nutrition of the baby. Most of the weight gain during pregnancy is excess fat and it is needed to support the baby’s needs.
Weight loss and undernutrition can harm the development of the baby during pregnancy and often results in stillbirths or overt congenital abnormalities.
Where really does the pregnancy weight come from?
Weight gain is distributed in an average pregnancy as follows:
Stored fat and protein has 2 Pounds(1Kg) to 7.9 Pounds(3.6kg)
The baby has about 2 Pounds(1Kg) to 7.5 Pounds (3.4kg)
The placenta has about 1.1 Pounds (0.5Kgs)
Amniotic fluid has (8.8 Pounds) 4kgs to 13 Pounds (5.9kg).
The enlarged uterus has 1.1 Pounds (0.5Kg) to 2.4 Pounds(1.1kg).
Enlarged breasts have 1.1 Pounds(0.5) to 3.1 Pounds(1.4kg).
Increased blood volume has about 2 Pounds (0.5Kgs) to 4 Pounds (1.8kg).
How much weight loss or weight gain is dangerous or risky?
There is really no weight that is dangerous or risky once you know your BMI. The table below shows the pounds you should gain in respect of your body mass index.
If before pregnancy, you were…
You should gain…
Underweight BMI less than 18.5
Normal Weight BMI 18.5-24.9
Overweight BMI 25.0-29.9
Obese BMI greater than or equal to 30.0
11- 20 pounds
Effects of not gaining the required or recommended amount of weight during pregnancy
Having more than the required amount of weight in pregnancy is proportional to delivering a baby that is too large, and these babies usually have too many complications like obesity in childhood and delivery difficulty. Likewise, having less than the required amount of weight in pregnancy is proportional with delivering an undersized baby and these babies usually have too many challenges like developmental delays and breastfeeding difficulty.
How do you know if you are gaining or losing too much weight?
How you know manually is by checking yourself on a weighing machine either at home or in your hospital. Also, be sure to get a regular appointment with your doctor. The earlier you get to meet your doctor the better. He/she will tell you whether gaining or losing weight is perfect for whatever trimester you are.
Finally, pregnancy weight loss and pregnancy weight gain are as a result of your BMI. Also, safe pregnancy weight loss and safe pregnancy weight gain depends on your diet and the advice from your doctor.