How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
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I’m sure I already know what’s on everyone’s mind as try read the title. You’re likely thinking that you don’t want to have to worry about how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. Women seem to be held to this extremely high standard when it comes to their bodies at all points of their lives. Pregnancy seems to be the one time in your life that you are expected, if not encouraged to gain weight.
Eating a lot and eating whatever you want is finally acceptable when you’re growing a baby. So no one wants to think about their weight for at least nine months.That can wait until after the baby comes, and then you can think about it again.

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Weight Gain is Different for Every Woman
You can’t expect to gain the same amount of weight as every other woman, or even at the same time. You are a uniquely individual person whose body works differently than others. You gain weight differently, lose it differently, and even gain muscle uniquely.
If you’ve ever noticed, every pregnant woman even looks completely different than each offer. I think all of the old wives’ tales about pregnancy are hilarious. No one truly knows what the gender of your baby is going to be, how big he or she will be, or even when you will deliver based on your size and shape. That’s ridiculous!
I spent the entirety of my last pregnancy, from the very beginning, looking like I was ready to pop any day. As long as you know that you are taking care of yourself, who cares what people think about your size or weight gain, whether it’s a lot or a little.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
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Calculating Your Optimal Weight Gain
A good start in knowing where you stand weight-wise is to get your BMI score. You can visit this link to get your BMI and know whether you are underweight, average, or overweight. Once you know your score, it will be easier to know exactly how much weight it is recommended that you gain.
“A woman who was average weight before getting pregnant should gain 25 to 35 pounds after becoming pregnant. Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds. And overweight women may need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.” (WebMD)
So honestly, as long as you are only carrying one baby, I would shoot for around 25 to 30 pounds total, which really isn’t that much. A few pounds of that should ideally be gained in the first 3 months, and then only 1 pound a week after that for the rest of your pregnancy. Many women see pregnancy as a time to let go and splurge, but you really shouldn’t be adding in any extra calories until your second trimester, and pregnancy is a more important time than ever to eat a healthy well-balanced diet.
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What if I Gain Too Much in the Beginning? 
It’s pretty common for women to gain a great deal right up front. You just found out you’re pregnant, so you drop your diet and start enjoying the freedom to eat again, right?! Even if you spend the first three months struggling to eat from morning sickness, you are sure to catch up when you can eat again.
So, what happens if you gain all of your recommended weight right up front? Should you try to lose a little the next few months to get back on track? Absolutely not. You and your little one need a steady source of incoming calories in order to stay healthy. It is said that a pregnant woman at rest is doing more work than a non-pregnant woman hiking up a mountain. Don’t deprive yourself or the body growing inside you of those necessary calories.
What you do is simply try to improve your portions and your food choices and get back on track from there. You only really need an extra 300 calories a day when pregnant. That is as simple as eating a handful of nuts or a banana.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
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The Consequences of Too Much or Too Little
It may sound strange, but severe consequences may come from gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy. Now, I’m not talking about gaining an extra 10 or 20 pounds on top of what you were supposed to gain. I’m talking an extra 50 pounds more. For the other direction though, losing weight or gaining 10 or 20 pounds less could be a really big deal.
Gaining Too Much
Looking at the symptoms a pregnant woman faces already, due to how hard her body is working growing a baby, the last thing you want to do is make pregnancy that much more difficult. Extra weight actually puts pressure on your entire body, making it harder for it to function normally on the inside, and making it harder for you to function on the outside. “This can trigger leg cramps, hemorrhoids, backaches, physical exhaustion, and make you more prone to gestational diabetes.” (Parents)

Unfortunately, I think the other side of the coin is even worse. As you progress through your pregnancy, your body is drawing on the nutrients that you take in to feed the baby and all of the different processes that are helping your body to provide for her. If you aren’t getting quite the nutrients you need, you will be the one severely depleted, not the baby, which is why it is recommended to make every bite count during this time. Can you imagine if you aren’t getting enough nutrients for either of you?

Not Gaining Enough

If you don’t gain enough weight during pregnancy, or try to diet or lose weight, both you and the baby will be deprived of nutrition. It’s likely that your baby will be born underweight and malnourished, making premature delivery a definite possibility.

Underdeveloped babies are more likely to develop hypertension, obesity and heart diseases later in life, and the chances of potentially damaging health conditions like birth asphyxia are considered common. Not to mention the risks to you after not having the nutrition you needed for almost a year. You could get extremely sick, and may not even be able to handle labor itself.

It’s not worth the risks. Pregnancy is a time to ramp up the efforts to take very good care of yourself, especially as it’s not just your life on the line anymore.

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Taking Care of Yourself During Pregnancy
So what do you need to do to take care of yourself?
Water
I would start with water. As you know, water is essential for your body to function correctly. And this is the best time to get what you need. You should be aiming to drink around 10 (8oz) glasses of water. A bottle of water from the store is 16oz or 2 servings.
During my pregnancies, I have always labeled my favorite drinking bottles with the number of oz all the way up for every 8oz, that way I knew exactly how much I was drinking each day. I even tried to divide it up all day so that I was drinking half in the morning and half in the afternoon.
The Right Foods
Drinking the right amount of water will also reduce your cravings and help you stay on track to gain the right amount of weight. But when you do eat, aim for 3 small meals a day, with a snack between every meal, and one before bed. Think fresh fruit, fresh veggies, dark leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish, and dairy products.
You need to make sure to get a large amount of protein in your diet, but it doesn’t all have to come from meat sources. Dairy, beans, nuts, and plants also have a great deal of protein to enrich your diet, and they come with all kinds of bonuses. Try not to think about pregnancy as eating more, and eating whatever you want, but eating better.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
Photo by Valeria Zoncoll on Unsplash
How to Lose the Weight Afterward
This is the easy part. Although, you should still be getting an extra 300-500 calories if you are breastfeeding, remember that getting the extra you need might be just an additional fruit smoothie as a snack, or a small serving of cheese and crackers.
For those of you not breastfeeding, your portion sizes need to return to where they were pre-pregnancy, and you’ve got to start remembering to stop eating when you are full. However, being shorted on sleep, constantly carrying and caring for a new baby and all that comes with one, and having a hard time finding time for showering much less eating, should make it easy to lose the extra weight.
After all, you should lose around 15 pounds right off the bat within a day or two of having your baby, which only leaves another 15 pounds or so. Continue getting the water and healthy foods you were eating, eat small portions throughout the day, and try to get out and take the baby for a walk every day. You’ll enjoy the sunshine and it will be nice to get out of the house.
And be easy on yourself. On average it takes about 6 months to a year before your body will get back to normal and you’ll see the same familiar numbers on the scale that you saw before.
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash
As long as you are focused on taking care of yourself and your baby, and not using pregnancy as a convenient time to toss your healthy eating to the wind and gorge on pizza and ice cream for 9 months, you should be fine. Your body knows what to do and will gain the weight that it needs to in order to support you and the baby.
Your body does hold on to the extra weight after you give birth to give your baby a soft bed to snuggle into, and provide you extra fat stored for breastfeeding, so it might be a little bit before you start fitting into your old jeans again. But with a little discipline, the weight will come back off sooner than you’d expect.
If you want some great tips to start using tonight to be less stressed and starting feeling better immediately, check out my article on How to Be Happier and Start Living Better Today! And if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at victoria@livehealthyathome.com.
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 How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? This article is packed full of tips for eating healthy and taking care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy while trying to gain the right amount of weight. See how much weight you should gain and the problems that come with gaining too much or too little.
 


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