Weight gain during pregnancy helps your baby grow. Gaining weight at a steady rate within recommended boundaries can also lower your chances of having hemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks, backache, fatigue, indigestion, and shortness of breath during pregnancy.
The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment to your developing baby and is also stored for breastfeeding your baby after delivery.
Here is an approximate breakdown of your weight gain:
The amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before pregnancy. You should gain:
How much you should gain depends on your weight before you were pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy.
The goal is to keep weight gain as steady as possible because your baby requires a daily supply of nutrients throughout your pregnancy that comes from what you eat. It is okay for your weight gain to fluctuate a little from week to week. However the following are some red flags to be aware of:
For women giving birth to twins: normal-weight women should gain 37 to 54 pounds; overweight women should gain 31 to 50 pounds; and obese women should gain 25 to 42 pounds. Your appropriate weight gain should be monitored by your healthcare provider.
Due to morning sickness, many women have trouble gaining weight in the first trimester and worry about what effects this has on their baby's development. Some women loose a little weight in the beginning of their pregnancy. Fortunately, at this time the baby does not need as many calories and nutrients as later in pregnancy.
It is important to gain weight at a steady pace throughout pregnancy. If a woman does not gain weight throughout pregnancy, complications such as a low-birth weight infant or premature delivery could occur. Babies who are born to mothers who do not gain more than 20 pounds are often considered small for gestational age (SGA) meaning they may have been malnourished during pregnancy, and tend to suffer growth restriction in the uterus. This condition puts the baby at risk for a variety of problems later in life, including eating disorders.