WEIGHT GAIN IN PREGNANCY

If you are following a healthy outline for nutrition, are in good health, and avoid processed foods, junk foods, fast foods, and sweets, you will gain exactly as much as you need.  How you feel, is much more important than numbers on the scale.  Do you feel healthy?  Do you look healthy? Do you have energy?  Are your urinalysis results in normal range?  Is your baby growing at an appropriate rate?  If so, your weight, high or low, is probably not an issue.

There are many misconceptions about weight gain in pregnancy.  Some moms may think that if they restrict their weight gain that they the will grow a small baby, and thereby have an easier labor.  Restricting food in pregnancy can result in either Gestational Diabetes, which will actually grow a bigger baby or Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, which could result in an emergency cesarean and preterm baby who needs intensive care. These are not easy births.

Regardless, size of baby is NOT an indicator for the ease of delivery.  Ease of delivery can sometimes be had with an 11 pound baby easier than with a 6 pound baby.  Ease of labor is all about baby’s position and your general health. So, if you have any thought to make a small baby for easy delivery,  forget it!  It will not work.  If you are that concerned about delivery, talk to me about it.

Moms who restrict their food intake because they have body issues are putting their babies at the exact same risks as those who want a small baby (gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, small/weak babies, preterm labor). If you are concerned about weight gain for yourself, do not restrict your food intake!  Instead- Walk at least 1 mile every day, eat real food and stay well hydrated- drinking only pregnancy tea, water, and a hydration drink.  

On the other hand, there is the misconception that pregnancy is a license to eat for two.  I love these ladies! You don’t really need to eat for two, but if in your normal life you have felt restricted in your diet and are now looking forward to having a really good reason to put on some extra weight, keep in mind that taking it off when the baby comes is not as easy as it sounds.  Especially without the extra help that Hollywood moms have at hand; personal dietitians, personal trainers, personal chefs, nannies, and… plastic surgery.  

I’m not saying that it can’t be done, it can. I am just here to tell you that it is not as easy as the little voice in your head is making it out to be.  You can eat lots in pregnancy and not put on too much extra weight (some women can actually end their pregnancy with a weight loss and a healthy baby by eating more) … if you eat the right foods. 

If you are excited about the opportunity to eat more than normal, that’s great!  But if you are a person who struggles with food cravings and spurts of binging- keep in mind it may be the result of nutritional deficiency. Sometimes, by simply adding more calories from the right kinds of food, you can eliminate cravings and binge desires. 

Please, speak to me if you have any concerns about weight gain, diet, baby size, or have body issues.  There are some simple keys that can support you through this process and I am here to help!  

That said, here are the basic suggestions for weight gain during pregnancy;

If your are at a normal weight prior to pregnancy:
Gain 25-29 pounds

If you are overweight before pregnancy:
Gain 15 pounds

If you are underweight before pregnancy:
Gain 30 – 40 pounds

Distribution of weight gain

Blood              3   pounds
Breasts            2   pounds
Womb             2   pounds
Baby               7.5 pounds
Placenta           1.5 pounds
Amniotic fluid    2  pounds
Maternal stores  7  pounds
Retained water  4  pounds

Total             29   pounds

Note:  The state of Arizona has 2 conditions about weight gain that require a physician consult: 

  1. Failure to gain 12 pounds by the 30th week of pregnancy. (concern for baby growth)
  2. Gaining more than 8 pounds in any 2 week period.  (concern for preeclampsia)