Healthy weight - gain when pregnant

2 Jul 2019

Weight gain during pregnancy is a common concern for expecting mums. How much is normal? How can you make sure to not put on too much? Will you be able to lose the weight after giving birth?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, and like most things when it comes to pregnancy, it’s going to be different for everyone. It will depend on your body type, metabolism, whether you are carrying one baby or more, among many other factors.

“Eating for two” doesn’t mean eating for two fully grown adults. In the first trimester, in fact, you should still be at your normal intake of calories. You may even find it difficult to put on weight in the beginning if you struggle with morning sickness. As your pregnancy journey continues, it’s important to gain the weight as gradually as possible in the following trimesters. 

If you are concerned about calories, you should aim to increase your intake by about 340 calories (1400kj) per day in the second trimester and around 450 calories (1900kj) in the third trimester. These numbers are based on if your baseline calorie intake was around 2000 calories (8400kj) before pregnancy.
Keep in mind that these numbers are based on a single-baby pregnancy. These numbers will vary if you are expecting multiples.

A weight gain of between 10 - 15 kg is ‘normal’ but consider these factors that add to the new number on that scale:

• Baby - ± 3.5 kg
• Womb - ± 1 kg 
• Placenta - ± 0.5 kg 
• Breasts - ± 1 kg 
• Amniotic fluid - ± 1 kg 
• Fluid retained in body - ± 1.5 kg 
• Increased volume of blood - ± 1.5 kg 
• Fat deposits for breastfeeding - ± 0.5 - 1 kg 

As you can see, not all weight gain in pregnancy is fat. So don’t focus too much about the weight, instead, focus on healthy eating. Make sure that whatever you eat is safe during pregnancy and full of nutrients. This is not the time to think about dieting. Dieting will, in most cases, cause toxins that are stored in your body to be released, and this could be harmful to your unborn baby.

Doing exercise that is suitable for pregnancy will also help in keeping you at a healthy weight during pregnancy. Not only that, but it also has huge benefits for when it’s time to give birth and getting back to your pre-baby body.

Trust your instincts and your body, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for advice about what amount of weight gain is right for you.