One of the concerns while expecting your baby is to stay healthy. You face the dilemma of feeding a being within you and keeping balance for the benefit of you and your little one. We tell you what weight gain during pregnancy is like.
Food is a key element in life; health depends on it since you can prevent many diseases with a balanced diet. While you expect your child, you must have products from all food groups and avoid those with high caloric content and salt.
A study from the University of Granada, Spain, reveals that the Body Mass Index (BMI) before pregnancy is a powerful indicator of the child’s weight at birth. Hence, it is important to promote BMI care to avoid perinatal complication conditions such as macrosomia (when babies are larger than normal) or low birth weight.
Dr. Liliana Cortés, a specialist in nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, explains that weight gain during pregnancy depends on several factors, such as obesity before pregnancy or some pathology. In these cases, the diet must be taken care of even more so that the weight gain is correct for the baby’s development, but without reaching extremes.
“We must remember that if we allow ourselves to gain excess weight, this will result in babies with a heavier weight than appropriate. We are conditioning that our baby may develop a disease in the near future”.
Target weight gain
Nutritionist Ana María Vilas comments that it is a myth that women should gain 9 kilos during pregnancy; this depends on the particular situation of each one, especially her weight. If she is obese before pregnancy, she should gain less.
The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council details how much a woman should gain during a singleton pregnancy, that is, with a single child:
- Low weight (BMI at 18.5): 13 to 18 kilos
- Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9): 11 to 16 kilos
- Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9): 7 to 11 kilos
- Obesity (BMI 30 or more): 5 to 9 kilos
“It’s a weight range you can put on; it doesn’t necessarily have to be the highest or the lowest; you can stay in the middle”.
Nutritionist Ana María Vilas
When you expect more than one baby, the weight gain must be more significant; it is distributed as follows:
- Normal weight: From 17 to 25 kg
- Overweight: 14 to 23 kg
- Obesity: 11 to 19 kg
“Although it may seem like many kilos, you must consider how much your baby weighs, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and many other factors that contribute to this increase”, explains nutritionist Ana María Vilas.
“What the mother should keep is more or less two or three kilos of fat because the body prepares for lactation to have more reserves. As soon as the baby is born, most kilos are gone in the first two weeks; those stayed behind leave during lactation”.
Kilos per trimester
You must gain weight little by little throughout your pregnancy, not all in one month, to avoid increasing the risk of suffering from preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
Mayo Clinic comments that most women do not need to gain much weight in the first trimester, so they usually gain between 0.5 to 1.8 kilos.
The most significant weight gain occurs in the second and third trimesters, especially if you start at a healthy weight or below average. You will gain about half a kilo a week until delivery. That represents about 300 extra calories a day.
For women who are overweight or have a body mass index of 30 or more, it is recommended to increase 200 grams per week in the second and third trimesters.
“Have a healthy diet and keep your prenatal appointments to keep your weight gain during pregnancy on target”.
Do not forget that a balanced diet is vital so that both you and your baby have good health.
Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver