Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman’s body. Weight gain is one of the major and noticeable changes in pregnancy. It is important to understand that during pregnancy a woman is providing for the growth of a new human being within herself. Because of this pregnancy weight gain is inevitable and in fact extremely crucial.
The right amount of pregnancy weight gain can allow the woman to provide the required amount of nutrition to the unborn child. In fact women who limit their eating under the fear of putting on weight during pregnancy tend to have a greater incidence of giving birth to sickly babies. While during pregnancy a woman has to eat for two it does not necessarily imply consuming twice as much. Ordinarily a pregnant woman does not need in excess of 200 to 300 calories per day. It is the nutrition value of the food that is more important.
Normally pregnancy weight gain can be observed in the initial period of the pregnancy. A woman usually puts on around four pounds in the period of the first trimester. Some part of this includes water weight and so it includes materials that contribute towards growth of the baby. In some women the weight gain during the first trimester is quite high with some gaining as many as ten pounds. This could be because of low activity levels and the water weight gain. In case a woman is overweight she should ideally gain around three pounds in the first trimester. If the woman is underweight then she should gain around five pounds in this period.
Pregnancy weight gain is more evenly spread out in the last two trimesters with a gain of around one pound every week and slightly higher weight gain in the end. At the end of the pregnancy it is normal to see no further weight gain and in some cases even a slight weight loss is seen. Changes in the diet should be brought about if the weight gain is of several pounds in a single week. On the whole a woman with average pre-pregnancy weight should ideally gain around 25 to 35 pounds in the pregnancy period. Women who are underweight should gain around 28 to 40 pounds in the pregnancy period while overweight women need to gain around 15 to 25 pounds in the pregnancy period.
The weight gain is contributed towards the development of the child. Around 8 pounds of the pregnancy weight gain can be attributed to the baby and 2 to 3 pounds contributes towards the placenta. 2 to 3 pounds contributes towards the amniotic fluid while the breast tissue needs 2 to 3 pounds. The blood supply needs 4 pounds while increase in the uterus needs around 2 to 5 pounds. The fat stores for breastfeeding and delivery needs around 5 to 9 pounds. It is important to realize that losing weight during pregnancy is not a safe option. Excessive pregnancy weight gain can be managed by making changes in the diet. Moderate exercise is also crucial in ensuring that the weight gain is not too much.