Pregnancy is behind many changes in a woman’s life. In addition to the added responsibilities, it also has an impact on her body. Despite the joy of expecting a child, weight gain is a major concern during this period. Besides, there are many preconceived ideas around this topic. We would like to reassure you by telling you everything you need to know about weight gain during pregnancy.
Misconceptions about weight gain during pregnancy
There are many false truths about weight gain during this period. As a result, it is difficult to sort out what is true and what is false. In order to avoid food indulgence, we will try to separate the true from the false.
Are we eating for two?
Even if pregnancy triggers the appetite-boosting hormones, you don’t actually eat for two during this period. Although your daily food rations may increase, you won’t have to eat for two. What you do need is a healthy diet. Food intake is essential for your well-being and that of your baby. Your appetite will be regulated according to the amount of energy you need.
This means that pregnancy is not an opportunity to eat just anything. It is in fact the period when you need to have a well-balanced diet the most. Fruits and vegetables are to be preferred. You can even overindulge in dairy products and wholegrain cereals. You should limit the consumption of foods that are too fatty or too sweet. If you feel really hungry, you can always eat some dried fruit.
An average weight gain of two pounds per month during pregnancy
This statement is simply not true. Weight gain is very low during the first trimester. Some women even lose weight because of the first symptoms. It is only towards the second trimester that everything accelerates. Expectant mothers experience hunger and cravings. Snacking during this period may considerably increase your weight. It is best to divide your meals into four or five portions.
By the sixth month, a pregnant woman has gained at least 13 pounds, but that doesn’t mean that she has increased two pounds per month. On the other hand, even if you have gained between 13 and 17 pounds in the sixth month of your pregnancy, it is not really a big deal.
Weight gain during the third trimester is 2.2 to 3.3 pounds per month. Which is ideal. However, you should be vigilant during the last few weeks. You are stopped and you can remain inactive. However, this can intensify your food cravings. So, the weight gain during the last few weeks can be considerable.
Fighting cravings or starting a diet
Dieting is not recommended during pregnancy. It can lead to deficiencies and frustration. If you notice an excessive weight gain, you should talk to your doctor. He is in the best position to guide you and advise you on the foods you need to eat in order to regulate your weight without experiencing deficiencies or frustration. Even if you are not eating for two, your diet is crucial to your child’s healthy development.
A pregnant woman is prone to cravings that are sometimes out of the ordinary. Sometimes these are foods that are considered unhealthy. Of course, you need to eat a healthy and balanced diet, but don’t ignore your cravings entirely. Give yourself small moments of pleasure without overeating. Your cravings are not whims, they are simply inexplicable needs. If you resist them, you can be tempted to resort to other, even more harmful things.
Normal weight gain during pregnancy
A pregnant woman will always gain weight. If this is not the case, you should go to your doctor. However, even during this time, you are not allowed to put on more weight than normal.
The recommended weight gain
According to the National Institute for Prevention and Health Education, a woman with a normal weight should gain an average of 26 lbs. during pregnancy. Weight gain will have an increase of 6 to 9 lbs. in the case of twin pregnancies.
This may seem excessive for a newborn who weighs about 6 to 9 lbs., but these pounds are spread over several parts of your body. If your baby weighs 7.5 lbs., the remaining pounds will be distributed as follows:
- 4.4 lbs. are muscles and fatty tissue used to strengthen your body and to increase your energy.
- 2.2 lbs. go to your breasts in anticipation of breastfeeding.
- 1.9 lbs. are the amniotic fluid in which your child remains until the day of his or her birth.
- 3.3 lbs. are blood and body fluids for your baby’s development and oxygenation
- 2.4 lbs. are dedicated to the uterus, which expands up to 20 times its normal size depending on the size of the baby.
- 1,5 lbs. is the weight of the placenta, which acts as an intermediary to pass nutrients to the baby and to allow it to get rid of any waste.
There is no such thing as a standard weight gain
Weight gain varies greatly from one woman to another. It can even be controlled depending on the health institutions that monitor your progress. Moreover, controlling weight gain increases the chances of having a trouble-free pregnancy and delivery. You will also be able to regain your previous weight more easily while still building up reserves for breastfeeding.
However, if you have gained less than 26 lbs. during your pregnancy, this does not necessarily mean that you have a health problem. It may be due to your physiognomy. On the other hand, a weight gain of more than 26 lbs. does not necessarily constitute a danger for your baby. In fact, it is common for most women to let themselves go during this period and indulge themselves. They have all the right excuses. But for an accurate recommendation, the best thing to do is to ask your doctor for advice.
How can you keep your weight under control?
If you can’t avoid eating, if you can’t start a diet, how can you control your weight throughout your pregnancy? The answer is very simple: don’t overeat. If you don’t have a particular craving, you must follow a balanced diet. And when you do have cravings, limit your intake, especially if it involves fatty or sweet foods.
Physical activity, too, can prevent you from gaining weight. It’s not the sport itself that is effective, but by staying active, you will avoid thinking about food. Inactivity increases food consumption. Instead, you can do sports such as swimming, yoga or walking. Besides, walking daily is very beneficial for delivery.
Now you know that weight gain during pregnancy is something very normal and natural. However, it is not uncommon for couples to break up after one or two children. And not surprisingly! The woman didn’t take care of her body and becomes too heavy.
However, if you are planning to have a child through co-parenting, you won’t have to experience a breakup if your partner decides to leave you because of your size. That’s right! In co-parenting, you can have a child without being involved in a romantic relationship. For those who are still looking for a good female or male co-parent, the site is Coparentalys, a reliable matchmaking site specialized in co-parenting.