How to know if you’re gaining too much weight during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time to celebrate-and get pampered. It’s also the time when you are hit with the infamous pregnancy cravings and get to eat what you want to. However, it can only be a matter of time before you step on the scale and realize you have gained a lot more weight than you would have imagined.
In fact, excess weight gain during pregnancy is a common issue women experience. A CDC report once found that more than 40% of women end up putting more than ideal weight during their pregnancy.
Wait, aren’t you supposed to gain weight during your pregnancy?
Ideally, you are nourishing two (or three, if you are carrying twins) at the same time and that means, you are going to have to take care of your nutritional intake and maybe eat more than you usually do. Add to that, all the untimely cravings which can be anything from sugar to carbs-which, if not consumed in moderation can add to the kilos. While gaining some weight here and there is okay, but the real problem arises when you cross the recommended weight gain for your age.
Here’s why it is risky
Not only can excess weight gain during pregnancy make it harder for you to shed the kilos post giving birth, but it also affects your baby’s nourishment and development. Babies born to overweight mothers can increase the risk of hypertension, gestational diabetes, prolonged labour, carry risk of C-sec and chances of the baby born pre-term.
There are also researches which suggest that unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy may also impact the child’s health in the long term.
How much weight gain is considered ideal?
The ideal weight gain for a pregnant woman varies, depending on her age, BMI (Body Mass Index) or pre-existing health factors. Anywhere between 11-16 kilos over the course of nine months is counted as healthy weight gain.
Weight gain also depends on pre-pregnancy weight- whether a woman is underweight, obese or overweight.
Weight gain also differs from woman to woman. While some put on weight quickly in the first trimester and “show”, some only gain weight in the later months of the pregnancy. Nonetheless, maintaining a stable weight during all nine months is important.
Do you gain more weight carrying a boy or a girl?
Interestingly, there’s also a theory which suggests that gestational weight gain, particularly in the first few months of the pregnancy is linked to a higher likelihood of giving birth to a girl. While there still is no scientific claim to this, the data was found after surveying more than 68 million births over a period of time.
Tips to maintain a healthy and active pregnancy
It’s super important to maintain stable weight and health during your pregnancy. If you think you have gone off-limit, or just worried about your health, here are some of the tips moms-to-be can keep in mind:
- Do not simply believe in the concept of ‘eating for two’ during pregnancy. Eat what is required, and not go overboard.
-Avoid any kind of diets or fad foods. Concentrate on getting wholesome nourishment and staying healthy.
-Keep in constant touch with your doctor or nutritionist, who will guide you through what’s good and bad for you.
-While we do know that you cannot avoid cravings, practice moderation.
-Be more efficient with your calories. Avoid empty calories and instead chose the ones which fill you up. Have regular meals and meal-timings. Practice the same rule with your fats.
-Hydration is important and it cannot be stressed enough.
- Exercise is crucial during pregnancy. Move about and stay physically active all throughout. However, do so cautiously.
-Do not miss out on your prenatal vitamins and supplements.