Pregnancy Weight Gain: "Think For Two, Don't Eat For Two"
Wondering about how much weight gain is normal during pregnancy? Kathy Whyte, Midwife, and Pregnancy Nutritionist gives her advice.
The average weight gain in pregnancy is about 11kgs (about 24 pounds), however, there is no global consensus on how much weight women should gain during pregnancy, but guidelines agree that women should ideally start pregnancy with a weight in the normal BMI range (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m²). The focus of nutrition in pregnancy is to eat a nutrient rich diet as opposed to a calorie-rich diet. Energy requirements increase from early pregnancy to the 3rd trimester when an additional 450 additional calories are required each day to meet the increasing demand. Typically, 450 calories is two pieces of wholemeal bread and a banana.
Dieting should not be considered in pregnancy, except under medical supervision to address conditions such as gestational diabetes.
Weight gain in pregnancy can be broken down as follows:
- Foetus (around 3.2 kg)
- Increase in blood volume (around 1.4 kg)
- Increase in fluid (around 0.9 kg)
- Increase in fat stores (around 2.5 kg)
- Amniotic fluid (around 0.9 kg)
- Placenta (around 0.7 kg)
- Uterine (around 0.9 kg)
- Breast enlargement (around 0.5 kg)
The Benefits of Exercise
Evidence has shown that activities such as aqua-aerobics and walking are successful in preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Also, women who exercise moderately, at least once a week are less likely to have low back pain and depression. More frequent exercise has demonstrated improved fitness levels and a faster recovery post-delivery.
Click Here for Pregnancy Nutrition Advice for First, Second & Third Trimester.
For more information on nutrition during pregnancy, visit kathywhytehealth.ie
Written by Kathy Whyte, for eumom.ie