Gaining weight steadily is very important during your pregnancy. Gaining a lot of weight can increase your chances of miscarriage, caesarean, hypertension and not to forget a lot more weight after your delivery.On the contrast, Gaining a few pounds can cause complications for your baby like he may be weak after pregnancy. It can also increase chances of premature birth.
Therefore, gaining weight gradually over 9 months coupled with proper exercises and active life can ease delivery and can keep pregnancy complications at bay.
A study by Department of foundational science and research in North Carolina found that 150 minutes of low intensity exercise per week is linked with easing of labor, less swelling of ankles and less leg cramps and a healthier delivery for both mommy and baby.
Another study by Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Puducherry, India found that out of all the pregnant women they studied less than average had knowledge about advantages of exercising during pregnancy even though the few who knew were favorable for it.
“During my first pregnancy I ate so much and gained about 20 kgs. It took me 2 years to get back into shape but luckily there were no complications. When I found out I was pregnant again I made much more sensible choices and also did some exercises for all 9 months. In 6 months after I delivered my baby boy I lost more than half of the weight I gained.”, says Aparna Gulati from Punjab.
Don’t take the saying ‘eating for two’ literally.
- Start with calculating your BMI
BMI is calculated by weight/(height)2 . Weight is in kg and height in cm. If it lies between 18.5-24.9 then you should gain between 11-16 kgs give or take 1-2 kgs from the upper limit. If it’s lower gain about 20 kgs and if it’s higher you should probably gain around 8-12 kgs.
However if you are carrying twins you can gain anything between 16-24 kgs. If you are underweight it might be tough for you to gain more but strive to gain at least 20 kgs.If you are BMI is higher than normal you should gain between 12-20 kgs.
- How much weight gain during each trimester ?
In your first trimester you won’t probably be needing any extra calories. You might gain around 2 kgs during the first 3 months. The reason for gaining weight in such low number is because your baby is very tiny right now and body is busy in making up space for the baby. When body starts to form placenta, amniotic fluid etc. for the nutrition of the baby you start experiencing morning sickness and might even lose a little weight. But that’s okay you will feel more hungry and probably would make up for those calories. Now just because everyone is so excited that you are pregnant they might want to stuff you with lots of food. DO NOT eat unless you feel hungry. Overeating would just exasperate morning sickness and can also lead to various other complications.
However, during second and third trimester eat 300-500 calories more. You will gain around 0.5 kg each week during this time. Your baby starts growing in the second trimester and that’s why it’s important that you eat more than you usually do. Make sure that you meet all your dietary requirements. In third trimester your body would grow a lot more than you would have imagined and each day! This is the time when you would have to go through real struggles of stretch marks, back pain, leg cramps etc. Food might be the only thing which could make you feel better. Don’t worry if you just gobble up whole ice-cream packet all by yourself.
- Where does so much weight exactly goes ?
- Baby- 2-4 kgs
- Placenta- ~1 kg
- Amniotic fluid- ~1 kg
- Blood- ~2 kgs
- Uterus- ~1 kg
- Breasts- ~1 kg
- Fat stores- ~4 kg
- Retention fluid- Varies
You would probably lose the weight gain due to first five things during delivery itself. It’s the last three which matters after pregnancy.
Buy a weighing machine you would probably need it both during and after pregnancy.
If nothing else just take a brisk walk daily in the morning. Cardio exercises are immensely helpful while you are pregnant and when you haven’t been that much active before.
Do not worry all the weight will come off very soon. Most of it from breastfeeding itself. Rest of it you can take off by exercising daily. Here are some good videos for at-home exercises.
Ab workout here. Lower body workout here. They are low intensity exercises.You can also try high intensity but not before 2 months of your delivery. 12-min lower body blast here. 12-min toned abs and arm workout here.
Gaining weight is a natural part of your pregnancy and there is absolutely no way that you can prevent it from happening. So just enjoy the other parts of pregnancy of till then like your newly found glowing skin, shiny hair and extra care from your husband. Rest of the path will become very smooth by itself.