Gaining weight is an obvious consequence of pregnancy to most people. As a fetus grows, its mother will too. Weight gain in pregnancy has become a point of obsession for many pregnant mothers and doctors alike are you gaining too little weight, or too much to soon? Worry and tests will follow. But what is truly a healthy weight gain while you are expecting a baby, and when should you be concerned? Let's examine what weight gain during pregnancy means, how much of the weight is the baby's, and when you should be concerned.
Have you ever heard anyone say that pregnant women "eat for two"? Well, while some ladies do seem to react to pregnancy by eating such quantities of food that could easily sustain two separate people, eating for two is not actually necessary while you are expecting a baby. A healthy and balanced diet that contains foods from all major food groups is important, for sure, but you don't need to eat much more than you did before you conceived. Pregnant women tend to need 100 to 300 calories more than women who are not pregnant. That does not amount to much more than an extra slice of toast with jam during your breakfast. Ask any OB what they consider a healthy weight gain for pregnant women, and they will first want to know what weight the woman started out with.
Women with a healthy body mass index are said to gain anything from 25 to 35 pounds during their pregnancies. OBs would normally say that those who were underweight when they conceived need to gain more, while obese women do not need to gain as much. Keep in mind that most babies are born at anywhere from 6 pounds to 10 pounds, and you'll notice that not all of that weight gain is the baby's weight which you are carrying around with you. Amniotic fluid and the baby's placenta also weigh a bit, but even with those factors included, most women do gain some fat of their own while they are expecting a baby.
If you breastfeed, you are likely to lose that extra fat soon after giving birth. The best advice I have heard regarding pregnancy weight gain is to watch your plate, and not the scales. Did you know that some midwives and OBs don't weigh pregnant women during their regular prenatal visits any more? At the end of the day, everyone is different. The best favor you can do yourself and your growing baby is making sure you eat healthily. Your body will do the rest!