All You Need To Know About Gaining Weight During Pregnancy

by Khadija MAWHOUB

For most women, pregnancy is the most beautiful news in their lives and for many, the anticipation for the baby is also undiminished by the weight gain during pregnancy. Finally, it is clear that every woman inevitably increases in pregnancy. But how many kilograms are normal for weight gain during pregnancy and how much is too much?

Weight Gain is Normal During Pregnancy

Every woman is inevitably aware that weight gain is normal during pregnancy. But every future mommy reacts differently to this. Some are depressed that they are gaining weight because they are afraid that others will think they are fat and unattractive. However, other women are extremely welcome to gain weight during pregnancy. Finally, they no longer have to pay attention to their figure, can eat what they want and simply blame it on pregnancy. After all, they are now eating for two. 

However, both attitudes pose a certain risk: Both too much and too little weight are dangerous for both mother and child during pregnancy. A balanced and regular diet consisting of whole grain and dairy products as well as meat, fruits, and vegetables is therefore particularly important.

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How Much Weight Gain Is Normal?

Especially women who are pregnant for the first time can quickly become unsettled if they start losing weight instead of gaining weight. But don’t be afraid! The weight gain in pregnancy is by no means continuous. It is completely normal for pregnant women to lose weight in the first trimester. The baby is far too small at this stage to cause weight gain and nausea causes most women to lose weight. 

Only in the second trimester should pregnant women gain an average of 200 to 400 grams per week, from the third trimester the guideline increases to 400 to 600 grams per week. All in all, pregnant women should not gain much more and not less than ten to 15 kilograms until birth. Basically, however, it is difficult to determine the weight gain during pregnancy based on gram values, since every woman naturally starts the pregnancy with a different weight.

 Since both overweight and underweight are not healthy for mother and child during pregnancy, women who weigh little should generally gain more weight than women who weigh more. Women who are underweight should put on about ten to 20 kilograms, normal people tend to gain ten to 15 kilograms and overweight people no more than ten and no less than five kilograms.

Overweight Gain During Pregnancy

Everyone knows the saying from pregnant women that they have to eat enough for two. It is true that your baby needs a lot of nutrients during pregnancy, but you should still be careful not to overdo it with food. The fact that pregnant women eat for two does not mean that they now need twice the amount of food. After all, the unborn child is usually no more than three to four kilograms at birth. The unborn child’s calorie requirement is correspondingly low: a pregnant woman only needs about 200 to 500k cal per day from the fourth month. This roughly corresponds to a bowl of muesli.

Risks Of Being Overweight During Pregnancy

It is very important that you do not overdo the weight gain during pregnancy, because especially pregnant women are more susceptible to diseases caused by overweight such as diabetes and high blood pressure. 

In addition, excessive weight gain during pregnancy is also associated with complications for your baby. Babies of overweight women are usually taller at birth and less fit through the birth canal, which can lead to complications in childbirth. The increased weight remains with many babies even beyond infancy. Babies of overweight pregnant women are more susceptible to overweight and diabetes later in life.

You can also read: 10 Things To Avoid Pregnancy Sickness

Underweight During Pregnancy

Even if your weight gain during pregnancy must not be too high, you should make sure that you do not decline and eat too little. The consequences of being underweight in pregnancy are often underestimated in the western world, where malnutrition is scarce, but are just as dramatic as in an overweight woman. 

Risks Of Being Underweight During Pregnancy

Too little weight gain during pregnancy or too low an initial weight can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, developmental disorders, lack of nutrients and, of course, a too low birth weight. The latter, surprisingly, also increases the risk of being overweight later in the child’s life. 

However, women who absolutely want to get pregnant should always make sure that they reach a normal starting weight. From a BMI of under 18, fertility is often so impaired that most women no longer have a regular cycle.

Why Do You Gain Weight During Pregnancy?

After all the information about weight gain during pregnancy, you are probably wondering why you have to gain 10 or 15 kilograms. After all, your baby only weighs about three to four kilograms afterward. So why is it so bad if you don’t gain more than four kilograms? The answer is very simple: your entire body changes during pregnancy! 

The weight gain during pregnancy is not only due to the weight of your baby. Rather, your entire body adapts to pregnancy. In addition to the three to four kilograms for your baby, the uterus also grows and weighs up about one kilogram more afterward. 

In addition, there are about two kilograms of fat reserves that your body builds up for breastfeeding and almost three kilograms for the additional water that accumulates in your body. With a good half a kilogram, the placenta, and your enlarged breasts are also important. 

Overall, the additional weight at the end of pregnancy is a good 12 to 13 kilograms. However, since these individual values are different for every woman, the weight gain is, of course, subject to fluctuations. 

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