Congratulations! You’re pregnant!
There are new adventures just around the corner for you and lots of changes for your body . . .
Weight gain happens to be one of them!
If you’re a first time mom, you may be concerned about gaining weight, not gaining enough weight, and understanding the differences between healthy weight gain and overindulgence.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure you and your baby get the nutrients you need, while maintaining a healthy body.
Weight Gain Recommendations
There is no “normal weight” for pregnancy, but there are healthy guidelines to follow. This will vary by person and really depends on your current weight and height.
Here are the suggested amounts of weight gain based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) from the CDC:
- If you are underweight (you have a BMI of under 18.5), you should gain between 28-40 lbs.
- If you are a normal weight (BMI between 18.5-24.9), you should stay within 25-35 lbs of weight gain.
- If you are overweight (Your BMI is 25.0-29.9), you should gain 15-25 lbs during pregnancy.
- And, if you are obese (with a BMI of 30.0 or more), you should gain just 11-20 lbs.
These numbers will be different for women who are pregnant with twins or multiples.
NOTE: Only about one-third of women gain the appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy. Very few women gain too little weight, but almost half gain too much.
If you do find yourself in the ‘gaining too much’ category, try not to be too hard on yourself. Lots of women lose all of their baby weight in the year after their baby is born and go on to lead perfectly healthy lives.
How do I avoid becoming overweight during pregnancy?
To avoid excess weight during pregnancy, you first need to ignore the old saying to “eat for two!”
You DON’T need to double your portion sizes to provide adequate nourishment for your growing baby! Follow the same hunger cues you typically would before becoming pregnant and eat until you’re satisfied.
Your body will let you know when it needs more nutrients!
Make sure to eat balanced meals with healthy fats and proteins and include a good prenatal vitamin.
It can be so tempting to overindulge while pregnant (and it’s definitely appropriate to enjoy yourself every now and again), just try to keep a good balance.
You should also try to exercise and keep your body moving. If you need some help getting started, try these 4 free pregnancy workout ideas for a quick burn.
Your doctor will also help monitor your weight throughout your pregnancy. Pay attention to the suggestions and warnings that are specific to you and your body.
How soon will I start to gain weight?
Some women will start gaining weight as soon as 5-6 weeks pregnant. This is especially true if you’re on your second or third pregnancy.
However, some women lose weight during the first trimester due to the side effects of morning sickness and food aversion.
But, the third trimester is generally when women gain the most weight. This is due in part by your baby’s growth (babies gain the most weight during this trimester, too), plus:
- The weight of your growing placenta
- Increases in amniotic fluid
- Excess blood supply
- Your enlarged uterus
- Additional fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding
- More breast tissue
A healthy weight gain is usually 1-5 pounds in the first trimester and then an additional 1 pound every week until delivery.
How do I lose baby weight?
Once you’ve delivered your baby, you’ll need to wait several weeks before starting up your exercise routine.
Pay close attention to your body’s needs during this time to address any important postpartum body changes.
In the meantime, there are plenty of other things you can do to start your weight loss journey. Start with these helpful tips on how to lose weight while breastfeeding to maintain your supply.
Need more help? You can find even more tips for the first time mom here!