Most people believe that weight gain during pregnancy is due to fat accumulation, but this is not the case. In this article, you will learn all there is to know about weight gain during pregnancy, how you should proceed, how to avoid excessive weight gain and what to do after giving birth.
What Contributes to Pregnancy Weight Gain?
Gaining weight while being pregnant is absolutely normal. On top of the baby’s weight (approximately 3 kilos), you must add uterus dilatation (about 1 kilo), the placenta and amniotic liquid (about 1.5 kilos), breast augmentation (up to 500 gr), increased blood in circulation (over 1 kilo), and liquid retention, which can go above 3 kilos.
We have heard your alleviated gasp all the way from here. Yes, don’t worry! not all of your weight gain is fat! Also, bear in mind that weight gain is an indicator of your baby’s health!
Step by Step Pregnancy Weight Gain
Here’s the average step by step weight gain process over the months of pregnancy:
The first 3 months will add up to approximately 1-2 kilos, so things start off slowly.
As you reach the second trimester, however, many women experience a sudden increase of up to 500 gr per week. This is when you will probably start worrying, and searching for articles such as this.
By the 9th month, you could have gained approximately 12-13 kilos. This will of course vary on a case-by-case basis, and it might be totally fine for some women or bad for others.
How Much Weight is Too Much?
Your ideal pregnancy weight gain is proportional to your BMI (Body Mass Index). According to your BMI (you can calculate it by clicking on the link right before), here’s an estimate of how much weight gain is “ok” according to your BMI before pregnancy:
- Underweight: a weight gain of 13 to 18 kilos is considered best for your baby
- Normal weight: a weight gain of 11 to 13 kilos in considered best for your baby
- Overweight: a weight gain of 7 to 11 kilos in considered best for your baby
- Obese: a weight gain of 5 to 9 kilos in considered best for your baby
The data above was provided by the IOM (Institute of Medicine) and should be always considered as an estimate. For example, a professional athlete will have very specific considerations. Our suggestion is always to consult your personal doctor and seek for professional advice.
How to Maintain Healthy Levels of Weight During Pregnancy?
Our two main suggestions will come as a huge surprise, no doubt: good eating habits, and physical exercise!
Exercising during pregnancy will not only be good for you, but for your baby. Mothers who exercise during pregnancy recover quicker right after, and babies demonstrate a lesser risk of developing diabetes.
When it comes to diet, we recommend a varied alimentation based on protein, legumes, fruits and vegetables with a healthy dose of natural fats and carbohydrates. You may want to consult your doctor for vitamin supplements.
What’s the Ideal Weight Loss After Giving Birth?
Are you ready for some great news? The first one is that you’ll easily lose more than 6 kilos just by giving birth, which includes the baby’s weight, the amniotic liquid, the placenta and uterus dilatation.
On the first weeks after giving birth, this quantity can quickly raise to 9 kilos due to liquid retention and extra blood in circulation. You will then reach a plateau and your body weight will stabilize. This is when trouble starts, because there will be no easy way to lose those few extra kilos you may have accumulated.
Our best advice is: take it easy. If you lose 1 kilo per month, that’s already amazing. You’ve just given birth, after all! 1 kilo per month is a realistic target, easily attainable by just controlling your eating habits slightly and doing a bit of exercise. We will get into that shortly.
Best Advice to Lose Weight After Pregnancy
Losing weight always follows this simple math logic: you must consume more calories than you take. Let’s look at the main ways of doing this:
Healthy Post Pregnancy Diet
Once more, don’t go too hard on yourself, especially on the first 4-5 months after giving birth. Your body needs energy and the nutrients it needs to recover. You’ve just gone through a very demanding experience, both physically and mentally.
This being said, there’s many ingenious ways of losing weight while having a healthy and balanced diet. For example:
- Eat whole grains
- Privilege animal protein
- Eat as much fruits as you want
- Cook legumes and vegetables (such as lentils or chickpeas)
Your biggest enemy will surely be munching between meals. Try to avoid this by substituting snacks with fruits, teas and yogurt. Try not to eat desserts or soft drinks. And if you really can’t let go of these, you can simply combine the diet with a bit of:
Let there be no panic! Physical exercise will make you feel amazing about yourself, energized, happy, with great humor, and on top of that it’s healthy and it will allow you to get back in shape easily!
Physical exercise will also allow you to combat stress, and you’ll have a lot of that no doubt. Before going full out and lifting weights like a beast of burden, make sure you ask for professional advice and consult your personal doctor. If he or she find you in good shape, start with easy exercises and increase the length and difficulty slowly.
The key is to always listen to your body.
Good eating habits and physical exercise can help certain women to get back in shape after pregnancy. Others, will not find it so easy due to metabolism, genetics, time constraints or other factors.
In such cases, new mothers can ask for medical help such as medicine or a surgery. This last option is a last resource and is only advisable for women who have an above average BMI after pregnancy. Surgery is costly, and it is not paid by insurance in many instances. This has contributed to patients travelling overseas in search of good medical standards and affordable prices, such as a mommy makeover Turkey cost.
Giving birth (especially if it’s your first child), is one of the most amazing times of your life! Relax and enjoy your first months as a mother!
You will have plenty of time to go back to an active lifestyle. That’s the best advice we can give you: enjoy this wonderful and unforgettable moment. We hope to have provided you with some useful information, and best of lucks to you and your baby!