When you’re a mum to be, healthy pregnancy weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy to ensure your baby is developing correctly that you shouldn’t worry about. Though if you have any concerns about the weight you are gaining during pregnancy, you should speak with your doctor.
Eating well, sensible exercise and time out when you need it are all great steps to having a healthy pregnancy. Here are some thoughts about healthy weight gain during pregnancy from one of The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Team’s Midwives, Ali Pickles:
What to know about pregnancy weight gain
Since The Healthy Mummy Support Group started I have seen a common theme with some pregnant mums being concerned about the weight they are gaining in pregnancy. This can be totally understandable if this is not your first pregnancy and you have lost weight in between carrying your children or if this is your first pregnancy and you don’t know what to expect, but my advice is – stop worrying!
This is a time to embrace your pregnancy. Making healthy food choices is a great idea, don’t go and binge on unhealthy foods but rather look for options that will give you and your baby the nutrients you need.
Pregnancy weight gain is normal and it is healthy. We shouldn’t be counting the kilos during this special time in life. Everyone puts on a different amount during pregnancy. It is all dependant on what your body needs. Some women lose weight in pregnancy due to health issues requiring support to maintain calories. Others put on heaps of weight without even putting a ‘bad’ food in their mouth.
Excessive weight gain can cause problems within the pregnancy due to the increase risk for gestational diabetes and associated problems. Gaining too much weight in pregnancy can cause health problems with the baby and has been linked to childhood obesity. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy weight changes then please see your doctor to assess what is right for you.
Pregnancy weight breakdown
Where does the weight go?
- The average baby weighs around 7 pound 5 ounces or roughly 3300g (3.3 kilos)- at term. So this weight needs to be added into your total weight changes.
- During pregnancy your hormones increase the size of your breasts so there’s another kilo or so.
- As the uterus grows and thickens to sustain the weight of the baby add another kilo.
- The placenta provides all the nutrients to the baby and this can weigh on average 700 grams.
- The amniotic fluid around your baby usually weighs approximately 1 kilo.
- Your body produces more blood to pump around the baby this can be up to 2 kilos.
- The pregnancy also causes you to carry more body fluid (quite a lot for some than others) this can weigh approximately 2 kilos.
- Lastly you need body fat and it is normal to put on up to 4 kilos of this alone.
If you know what your BMI was pre-pregnancy then according to the National Health and Medical Research Council, you can get an idea of the types of weight gains to be expected during pregnancy:
- Less than 18.5 BMI (underweight), you may gain between 12½kg and 18kg
- 18.5 to 24.9 BMI (normal weight), you may gain between 11½kg and 16kg
- 25 to 29.9 BMI (overweight), you may gain between 7kg and 11½kg
- 30 BMI or more (obese), you may gain between 5kg and 9kg
Women who are carrying multiples such as twins or triplets, need to gain more weight during their pregnancies as they’re trying to provide enough nutrients for multiple babies.
If you are concerned speak to your doctor or obstetrician to find out exactly how much you should put on, depending on your circumstances.
During the first trimester women generally don’t increase their weight and a lot of women actually lose weight due to illnesses associated with pregnancy such as Hyperemesis Gravidarum “Morning Sickness”.
Women who are in a healthy weight range need to increase their weight by a few kilos in the first few months of pregnancy. After the first trimester it is good to maintain a steady increase of weight roughly 1-1.5 kilos a month.
Remember there are a number of factors that may contribute to the weight you gain when pregnant and everyone is different, even if they’re following a healthy eating plan and exercising regularly.
Fluid retention (oedema) in pregnancy is a factor that can increase the weight you gain. It is common, in fact 65% of women will suffer from it. It’s relatively unavoidable so don’t worry about it too much if you’re eating well and exercising regularly.
Ensure you drink plenty of water and liquids so your kidneys function well to help you to pass the fluid. Make sure you rest at night and elevate those feet. Enjoy your pregnancy and worry about the weight loss when you are holding that healthy baby.
So don’t spend this wonderful time in your life worrying about your healthy pregnancy weight gain, eat well, communicate any issues to your doctor, exercise and relax as needed and you’ll enjoy a healthy pregnancy – and if you need an easy and healthy pregnancy smoothie use The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie formulated for pregnancy.
About the Pregnancy Smoothie
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is a convenient and easy supplementary food, designed to complement your existing pregnancy vitamins or supplements, to help you meet the extra protein, vitamin and mineral requirements during your pregnancy.
Please read below for all the information on the smoothie – you can also see the FAQ on the smoothie here.
The pregnancy smoothie is also free of all chemicals, fillers and artificial ingredients, has no fructose in, no added sugar and uses high quality dairy protein sourced from grass fed cows in New Zealand.
Purchase your Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie here.
How can the Pregnancy Smoothie help?
- HEALTHY INCREASED CALORIES – Additional nutrients and calories are needed in pregnancy to support the mum and the baby – and the smoothie is a convenient and tasty way to increase your calories in pregnancy whilst nourishing your body.
- MORNING SICKNESS – If you are suffering from morning sickness and find eating food difficult – the smoothie is a great way to nourish your body with a easy to drink smoothie- it also contains ginger.
- TIREDNESS – If you are feeling exhausted, the smoothie is a nutrient dense snack high in protein, B vitamins and low constipation iron to help keep energy levels up.
- CONVENIENT- if you are struggling to find the time or energy to eat nutrient dense and healthy foods then the smoothie will be a great help. You could also have it as a quick breakfast by adding fruit, oats and vegetables to your smoothie to further increase calories.
- PROTEIN & CALCIUM – It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy with each smoothie giving you 30% of your protein needs
Key nutrients needed for pregnancy
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie provides a Good Source of Vitamins & Minerals – providing extra nutrition, including protein, vitamins & minerals for expectant mums
- Folate – contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy. Consumption of at least 400mcg† per day, at least one month before & three months following conception may reduce the risk of fetal neural tube defects
- Vitamin B12 – necessary for normal cell division, neurological structure & function, & contributes to normal blood formation, which are important processes during pregnancy
- Calcium – necessary for normal teeth, bone structure, important for baby’s development
- Iodine, Phosphorous, Vitamin D & Vitamin B12 – contribute to normal growth & development, including that of the baby
- Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folate & Iron– contributes to the reduction of tiredness & fatigue, symptoms often experienced by expectant mums
- Protein – necessary for tissue building & repair, normal growth & development of bone & contributes to the growth of muscle mass
- Probiotics – contribute to gastrointestinal health & the maintenance of beneficial gastrointestinal microflora, which can benefit pregnant women
- Fibre – aids in regular bowel motions, which can become irregular during pregnancy.
You can download the Pregnancy Smoothie Label here.