Weight gain during pregnancy is something normal and important for a healthy mother and baby. Eating for two is a wrong belief as you don’t need to double your calories intake, all you need is to take on enough calories for your baby providing him with enough nutrients.
During pregnancy, you need to consume between 200 and 300 extra calories to ensure a healthy pregnancy which is not too much food. As an example, 300 calories are the equivalent of four apples, three bananas or two more slices of bread a day. The exact amount of weight gain during pregnancy varies from a woman to another and depends on how much you weighed before pregnancy. But according to doctors, women with normal weight before getting pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds.
Underweight women should put on 28 to 40 pounds. While overweight women only need to gain between 15 to 25 pounds. Obese women should gain fewer than 15 pounds. In case you are having twins, the expected gain is between 35 and 45 pounds depending on how much the mother weighed before getting pregnant.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy carries higher risks of serious complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia caused by high blood pressure, back and leg aches and varicose veins. And they may even have trouble starting and continuing breastfeeding. On the other hand, an underweight pregnancy or low weight gain in pregnancy can cause problems such as premature birth or low-birth weight of the baby. Babies who weigh less than 5.5 pounds show serious health problems and stand low chances of survival. But there are some slim women who gain too little weight during pregnancy and give birth to healthy babies.
During the first trimester, women on average need to gain about 2 to 4 pounds and this is the smallest amount of weight gain during pregnancy as the baby is still tiny. Then from the beginning of the second trimester until delivery the weight gain should be no more than 1 pound a week. Remember that pregnancy is not the time to go on diet because it can harm the health of your growing baby.
To maintain a considerable weight gain and a healthy baby you should follow a balanced diet plan that contains proper amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, calcium and iron. Eating healthy foods and doing light exercises will help you giving birth to a healthy baby and maintaining your health during and after pregnancy.