Every pregnant woman thinks about the beautiful child she is going to deliver and life beyond childbirth. One such thing that keeps nagging a would-be mom is the issue of weight. Women gain a considerable amount of weight throughout pregnancy and it gets really difficult to shed those extra kilos after delivering the child. Another question regarding weight is when a woman would gain the most weight during gestation.
According to Institute of Medicine (IOM), women gain more weight towards the end of pregnancy (1). The weight gain process should, however, be gradual; just like climbing a hill slowly and steadily. There is no ideal weight that all women should gain while they are pregnant. This process also depends upon the kind of weight a woman had pre-pregnancy. If a woman was underweight before pregnancy then she might have to put on more weight as compared to women who were overweight or had normal weight. Another factor that should be considered is whether a woman is carrying a single baby or more than one. Women carrying twins or multiple babies are advised to gain more weight.
The easiest and most common way to gauge optimal weight gain is to know your BMI at the beginning of the pregnancy. Women with lower BMI should put on more weight while the ones who have higher BMI are advised to gain less weight.
Many women don’t gain a lot of weight during the first trimester. Although the baby is growing, it is still tiny and you don’t need to gain a lot of weight during this time. Some women experience nausea during the first trimester. Hence their food intake is quite less contributing to lesser pounds on the weighing scale.
This nausea, however, decreases during the second trimester for most women. Such women tend to gain more weight during this time as they have an increase in appetite. Another reason to gain weight during the second trimester is due to the extra fluid in the body. This fluid called amniotic fluid is required for baby’s movements thereby providing a safety cushion for your baby.
The weight gain is dependent on many factors such as baby weight, amniotic fluid, more blood and fluid, larger uterus, larger breasts, and placenta. Most women will tell you that they gained the highest between 25 weeks and 34 weeks of pregnancy.
It is advisable to eat healthily and exercise during pregnancy. Do not completely give in to your cravings as this might unnecessarily add extra pounds and give rise to some complications such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy can also mean an overweight baby. On the other hand, your child might be too small due to inadequate weight gain.
Nowadays, there is a trend of putting your before and after pregnancy photos on social networking sites. Moreover, pregnancy and childbirth are shown as a cakewalk in most of the movies and they seldom show the difficulties a mother goes throughout the nine months. New moms or pregnant women can really get affected after seeing such transformations. Please remember that such ‘transformations’ are not done overnight. Each woman’s body is different from the other and you need to take things your way and do things that suit you.
A pregnant woman gets a lot of advice from almost everyone around her especially regarding the weight she ‘needs’ to put on during the period of pregnancy. It is always advisable to talk to your healthcare provider at the onset of pregnancy and decide on a structured diet which is specially crafted for you and your baby.
This is a magical time that you are going to experience. There would be a lot of people around you to support you and take care of you. The doctors would be keeping an eye on your weight throughout the pregnancy, but you also need to put some efforts from your side by eating right and exercising.