Here is what I learned about baby weight gain:
(Please keep in mind that your doctor is the best advisor on your weight gain. These numbers are general guidelines, you may be an exception to the rule..!)
- If you are at a healthy weight and BMI then your target weight gain is 25-35 pounds.
- If you are under weight with a low BMI then your target weight gain is 28-40 pounds.
- If you are overweight with a high BMI then your target weight gain is 15-25 pounds.
- If you are Obese with a too high BMI then your target weight gain is 15 pounds (unless directed otherwise by your doctor).
Here is the break down for how the weight is distributed based on a 25-35 pound target. Please keep in mind that some of these numbers will fluctuate but some of them are very necessary, especially if you want to breast feed.
- Maternal Store (fat, protein, and other nutrients) = 7 pounds
- Increased Fluid = 4 pounds
- Increased Blood = 4 pounds
- Breast Growth = 2 pounds
- Uterus = 2 pounds
- Baby (based on an average weight) = 7.5 pounds
- Amniotic Fluid = 2 pounds
- Placenta = 1.5 pounds
Okay, so I am going to have to gain some weight...how many calories a day is that...?
The American Dietetic Association has put some great information out there about nutrition and your pregnancy. This is what they suggest for calorie intake during pregnancy:
- On a whole pregnant women need 2,200-2,900 calories a day.
- During the 1st trimester you do not need to increase calories.
- During the 2nd trimester you need to increase your calorie intake by 347 calories a day.
- During the 3rd trimester you need to increase your calorie intake to an extra 452 a day.
How do I navigate the weight gain?
My doctor helped me with some questions to ask myself when I am worrying about my weight gain. I ask myself these questions when I am feeling down about my body image: Do I want to have a healthy baby? Is it important to me to breast feed? Is it important to me to stay healthy and have plenty of energy? How would I feel if I did harm to myself and my baby because of vanity?
I also comfort myself by knowing that I am active and walking every day now and I will not stop exercising when the baby is born. I do my best to make good food choices, if I am not putting super fat into my body so I am not gaining super fat but a healthy baby. I also keep in mind that on delivery day I will loose around 11-12 pounds (Baby, Placenta, Amniotic Fluid,) that is almost half of what I will have gained!
American Dietetic Association
American Pregnancy Association
Graves, Ginny; Pregnancy Fitness: Mind, Body, Spirit (pgs 14 & 124)