Eating healthily during pregnancy is crucial in Ensuring that the baby’s needs are met and also the wellbeing of the expecting mother. Research has shown that nutrition during pregnancy Influences the baby’s development and may also have an effect on the baby’s health in later life. Pregnancy increases the requirements of most Nutrients. This however does not mean eating for two, it is more about the quality not quantity of the food eaten.
It is inevitable for the mother to gain weight during pregnancy as this extra weight is Necessary to provide nourishments for the new life she’s carrying also as storage for breastfeeding after delivery. So where does this extra weight goes:
Baby: 7 to 8 pounds (about 3 to 3.6 kilograms) Larger breasts: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) Larger uterus: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
Placenta: 1 1/2 pounds (about 0.7 kilograms) Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram) Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms) Increased fluid volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms) Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds (about 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms)
Women in healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9) should gain approximately 11-16 kg. While women who are underweight before pregnancy should aim for weight gain of 13-18 kg. It is to be Noted that being overweight or obese prior to pregnancy increases the likelihood of getting gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), and high blood pressure. Overweight women can safely gain less weight during pregnancy without putting the baby’s development at risk. The guideline outlines that 7-9kg weight gain is recommended for those with a BMI of 25-29.9 and 5-7 kg for those with a BMI of more than 30 prior pregnancy.
These guidelines do not apply however if you are carrying twins or other multiples. The difference in weight gain would be quite significant but not doubled. Weight gain as many as 17-25 kg would be expected if the mother had a normal BMI prior to pregnancy. Overweight women should expect around 14-23 kg and 11-19 if the mother was obese pre-pregnancy.
In the first trimester (first 3 months of pregnancy) most women do not require a great increase of of weight. Around 1-2 kg of weight gain is expected. This is good news for moms struggling with morning sickness and poor appetite.
In the second and third trimester moms should expect weight gain of 0.5 – 1 kg per week. It is important to aim for a steady weight gain within the recommended guidelines to reduce the risk of developing haemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks, backache, fatigue and shortness of breath.
However, no 2 pregnancy are the same therefore it is best to talk to your health care providers to Determine what best suits your specific condition.