- Pre-pregnancy body weight and BMI can determine pregnancy weight
- Weight gained during pregnancy can affect your health after delivery
- Women need between 2,200 calories and 2,900 calories a day when expecting
What you eat and how much of it is more important than ever while you are pregnant. And, the amount of weight you gain during your pregnancy is as essential to your health as it is to the health of your baby. During pregnancy you should work closely with your doctor to make sure you keep your weight on target. Gaining weight to a certain extent is fine but gaining too much weight can cause complications during your pregnancy and make it difficult for you to lose the extra pounds after your delivery and not gaining suitable weight can jeopardize your baby's growth and development. So, eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your baby get the nutrients they need and grow at a healthy rate.
Pregnancy weight gain: How much weight is healthy to gain?
During pregnancy, gaining an ideal weight is different for every pregnant person. There is no such magic number of how many pounds you should gain. It is said, too little weight or too much weight is not healthy for you or your baby. The weight you gain during your pregnancy affects your health after your pregnancy which in turn can affect your baby's health right into their adult years.
The recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy are based on your pre-pregnancy weight and Body mass index (BMI). Putting on the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy is associated with optimizing health outcomes for you and your baby, you are more likely to be well-nourished, your baby will be more likely to grow to an appropriate size, and you'll have an easier time carrying your baby to term and returning to your pre-pregnancy weight.
A woman should gain 10 to 14 kg during pregnancy, an average of 12 kg, in order to elevate the likelihood of giving birth to a healthy baby, with less risk of fetal and maternal complications. Generally, women who were at a healthy weight before becoming pregnant need between 2,200 calories and 2,900 calories a day when expecting. A steady increase in calories as the baby grows is the best bet.
Also, it is a common myth that during pregnancy, you need to eat for two, and thus increase your calorie intake by two times. The calorie intake in the first trimester, is adjusted as per your weight gain goal, and shall only be increased by 300-400 calories per day in the second trimester, and in the third trimester, you need 450-500 extra calories per day.
Perhaps, it is always advisable to check with the doctor or a dietitian to help you plan healthy meals and the right amounts of calories for you.
Gaining weight is necessary for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. It's also vital for your own health. To conclude, how much weight you need to gain and when you gain it depends on you - every pregnant person is different.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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