pregnancy for weight management
Healthy pregnancy weight gain tips
Weight gain in pregnancy is not only inevitable but desirable – you should expect a steady increase as your baby develops.
Assuming you’re eating a healthy pregnancy diet (and remember eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much!) most healthy pregnant women will gain between 8-14 kgs (17.5- 30lbs) over the course of their pregnancy.
Wow, I hear you gasp – that’s a BIG baby! But of course your pregnancy weight gain can be attributed to much more than the baby itself – bigger boobs, your placenta, additional blood and all sorts of other changes to your body all contribute to extra weight in pregnancy.
This is broken down to:
- The average baby weight at birth is around 3.3 kg (7.3lb)
- Expect your placenta to weigh 0.7kg (1.5lb)
- The amniotic fluid weights around 0.8kg (1.8lb)
- Your breasts will get bigger – that extra cleavage will add around 0.4kg (0.9lbs) to your weight
- And your body will store around 4kg (8.8lb) in preparation for feeding your baby
- The muscle layer of your uterus increases and will add around 0.9kg (2lb) to your weight
- Pregnant women have around 50% more blood circulating in their body –and this adds another 1.2kg (2.6lb)
- And extra fluid adds 1.2kg (2.6lb) to your pregnancy weight
When can you expect to gain weight during pregnancy?
Generally you would expect to put on approximately 1-3 kg or 10% of the total gain during the first trimester, around 6-8kgs during the second trimester and then a slow and steady gain of approximately 3.5-4kgs during the third trimester.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend dieting or actively trying to lose weight, regular exercise will help you to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight gain – piling on too many pregnancy pounds isn’t ideal for you or your baby.
A fit pregnancy has so many benefits both physically and psychologically, helping to reduce many common complaints such as tiredness, varicose veins and backache; lifting your mood and make it easier to sleep, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Increasing your fitness levels can make all the difference when it comes to labour , helping with your recovery period afterwards as well - most mums who carry on exercising during their pregnancy regain their pre-baby figure much more quickly. Managing a healthy pregnancy weight gain is just another good reason to stay fit!
Keeping your body toned doesn’t just add to your strength and stamina - it makes you feel good about yourself. You’re already likely to be managing some real emotional swings as your hormones fluctuate – exercise will help you adapt to your new shape and to love the way your body looks.
And if you need any additional reassurance that exercise to manage a healthy weight gain during pregnancy is a GOOD thing – our friends at NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence ) have issued a report on pregnancy weight management before, during and after pregnancy emphasising the importance of ‘weight management during pregnancy’, and the need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by a combination of physical activity and good diet. It confirms the need to build activity into daily life, walking or cycling instead of taking public transport, taking the stairs instead of using the lift and minimising sedentary activities such as watching TV. The report re-affirms: ‘that moderate-intensity physical activity will not harm her or the unborn child. At least 30 minutes per day of moderate intensity activity is recommended.’
Enjoy your fit pregnancy Mammas!
Would further guidelines about safe exercise during pregnancy be helpful? Download our free safe Exercise in Pregnancy Guide below!