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What should you know about weight gain in pregnancy?

Healthy weight gain in pregnancy is dependent on several factors

Many factors play a role in determining the appropriate weight gain in pregnancy. Some of these factors include:

  • Pre-pregnancy weight
  • Body Mass Index. This can be calculated by dividing your weight (in Kg) with the square of your height (in metres). BMI = weight(kg)/Height2 (m)
  • Your state of health.
  • Your baby’s state of health.

However, please remember that you should carry your doctor along in whatever steps you plan on taking.

Where does the weight I gain in pregnancy go?

All the weight you gain does not just go to the baby. The whole distribution is as follows:

  • Baby: 3 to 3.6 kg
  • Breasts: 0.5 to 1.4 kg
  • Uterus: 0.9 kg
  • Placenta: 0.7 kg
  • Increased blood: 1.4to 1.8 kg
  • Increased body fluid: 0.9 to 1.4kg
  • Fat stores: 2.7 to 3.6 kg

What are the approved guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy?

Appropriate weight gain for single pregnancies is different from a mother with multiple pregnancies.

For mothers with a single-mother pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy weight                                          Recommended weight gain

Underweight (BMI<15)                                                  13 to 18 kg

Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)                              11 to 16 kg

Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)                                        7 to 11kg

Obesity (BMI>30)                                                             5 to 9 kg

Source: Institute of Medicine and National Research Council

Weight gain for a mother with more than one baby is higher than a mother with one baby.

For mothers carrying twins or more

Pre-pregnancy weight                                      Recommended weight gain

Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)                              17 to 25 kg

Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)                                        14 to 23 kg

Obesity (BMI>30)                                                             11 to 19 kg

Source: Institute of Medicine and National Research Council

Being underweight before/during pregnancy increases the chance of your baby also being underweight. Being overweight before/during pregnancy increases the chance of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and a bigger-than-average baby (macrosomia). You might also need a Caesarian section to deliver the baby.

Finally,

As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor would closely monitoring the baby’s growth, your weight and may recommend measures as appropriate. If needed, please also consult a dietitian for the best combination of meals that would suit you and the baby.

Also, after the pregnancy, see a dietician to help you with the right strategies to lose your baby weight.

References

Colleen De Bellefonds; 26/06/2020; https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/weight-gain/

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