Pregnancy/Maternity

Pregnancy weight gain

Most pregnant women have concerns about their pregnancy weight gain. Am I gaining too much? Am I gaining enough? Will I be able to lose it all?

Many wonder about the ideal weight during pregnancy. Here are a few pointers that will help you understand.

Weight gain distribution during pregnancy

First, know that your weight gain is distributed in many places. It’s not only fat! On average, women will gain around 35 pounds during pregnancy. It is normal to get heavier faster on your second pregnancy. Weight gain is less important in the first three months of pregnancy and it increases to about 3 to 4 pounds a month for the last six months of pregnancy.

Let’s see where this weight goes:

  • One pound can be attributed to your breasts 
  • The placenta generally weighs 1.5 pounds 
  • The uterus weighs two pounds 
  • Your blood volume will increase up to 4 pounds (!) when pregnant 
  • The amniotic fluid will weigh 2 pounds 
  • You will retain around 2.7 pounds of fluids. Some women retain significantly more than others. Even though it will go away after giving birth, it still adds to your pregnancy weight gain.  
  • It is normal to gain about 6 pounds of maternal fat during pregnancy. This fat is important for you and your baby. 
  • Don’t forget your baby that will weigh an average of 7.5 pounds. 

You now know where all this pregnancy weight goes. Your weight gain is also proportional to your bone structure. In general, if you are tiny, you will gain less weight than if you have a bigger structure, even with the same diet.

What about diets?

It is important not to diet during pregnancy. A diet during pregnancy could harm you and your baby. The main objective when you are pregnant is not to eat for two but rather to curb your appetite with healthy foods. Your original weight, the quality of your foods, your lifestyle, your line of work, your stress level and your morning sickness all impact on your weight gain. Keep in mind that the real weight gains results from excess eating and an unbalanced diet. Fattening foods stay the same regardless… 

After birth

Usually, after giving birth, most women have already lost half the weight they had gained during pregnancy. The rest gradually comes off, week after week, month after month. If you breastfeed, you will recover your original weight faster because producing milk requires a lot of energy, therefore, a lot of calories. Many activities exist to help you get back in shape: Cardio-stroller, baby yoga, etc. These activities are fabulous to combine weight loss and quality time with your little bundle of joy.

It is normal to worry about your weight gain during pregnancy but you should not be overly afraid either. This weight gain is normal and you will regain your figure after birth. If you have weight issues, you can consult your midwife, your doctor or a nutritionist.

Karine Bergeron

Doula

Karine Bergeron is a doula who studied nursing and is currently completing additional training in prenatal care. As mother to little Laurence, volunteer for L’entraide maternelle, breastfeeding godmother and prenatal class teacher, it’s with joy that she dispenses her wisdom for Motherforlife.com. Bergeron is passionate about prenatal care and ready to share all her knowledge to help you enjoy life’s greatest gift: becoming parents. To find out more or ask questions, go to mereetmonde.com and look for her in the “Équipe” section.

This week

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