So you’re pregnant! It’s such an exciting time but also one filled with lots of questions.
And one you may have is how much weight you’re likely to put on during those nine months.
It’s completely natural and healthy to put on some weight while you’re growing a baby. After all, your body has to change and grow to be able to keep your little one healthy.
But how much weight gain is normal?
Of course every mum-to-be is different. Some may put on less weight and some more but the healthy amount of weight you put on will vary depending on the weight you were before pregnancy.
Weight gain in pregnancy can vary. Most pregnant women gain between 1 stone 8Ib (that’s about 10kg) and 1 stone 12Ib (that’s around 12.5kg) throughout their pregnancy.
Most of this weight is as a result your baby growing, but your body is also getting ready for your new arrival and storing fat, ready for making breast milk.
Looking at the figures a little bit more, there’s also your baby, placenta and amniotic fluid to think about too. These will weigh on average:
Baby – 7.3Ib(that’s around 3.3kg)
Placenta – 1.5Ib (around 0.7kg)
Amniotic fluid – 1.8Ib (around 0.8kg)
Add to that your growing breasts, muscle layer around the womb and those fat stores and you can see exactly where the weight comes from.
How can I maintain my weight during pregnancy?
The key is to ensure you’re eating healthily throughout your pregnancy to make sure you and your baby stay healthy.
As much as we might like it to be true, the myth about eating for two is exactly that. A myth. In fact, you should aim to only eat an extra 200 calories in the third trimester.
We don’t want to sound like your mum but that means eating lots of fresh fruit and veg and protein. You can find out more here.
What exercise can I do to help me stay fit and in-shape during pregnancy?
Pregnancy isn’t a time to start thinking about hitting the gym for high intensity exercise – especially if like us, you already have a love hate relationship with the treadmill. However, some exercise can be great for helping you keep in tip top condition and it’s also great for energy levels.
Here’s some quick and easy ways to help
1. Walk instead of taking the bus, or get off a stop early.
2. Head to the park in your lunch break
3. Climb the stairs instead of getting the lift
4. When you’re shopping, carrying the bags will exercise your arms – just make sure they aren’t too heavy
5. If you have other children, walk them to school, nursery or toddler group if it’s not too far.
6. If you’re doing the housework, switch on some music and put lots of energy into it.
7. Take the dog for an extra walk. If you have one!
8. Swimming and specifically aquanatal classes are good.
What can I do if I’m pregnant and underweight or overweight?
During your booking appointment (link) your midwife will weigh you and let you know if she has any concerns about your weight.
If you are overweight she may advise you see a doctor or dietician to ensure you get the help you need to stay healthy during your pregnancy.
Being overweight can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or a bigger baby.
Never ever go on a crash diet and always seek medical advice if you’re planning to slim down.
Underweight? Your midwife will similarly advise on how to healthily put on weight as well as monitor you throughout the pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need.
Watch this NHS video on weight gain in pregnancy.