I was pretty excited when Kaitlyn asked me to write a blog about weight gain and pregnancy. The topic of how much weight a woman should be gaining over the 40 weeks of her pregnancy, or the amount of calorie increase you should eat per trimester are both fairly common, but not much else is ever really said about it. So what a perfect occasion to discuss all about it!
So first let’s quickly touch on general pregnancy weight gain information.
- Underweight women should gain 28-40 lbs
- Average weight women should gain 25-35 lbs
- Overweight women should gain 15-25 lbs
Okay great, but what does that really mean?
Well, let’s look at where these pounds are coming from. After all, your baby should only weight about 8 pounds so why these recommendations?
|Amniotic fluid||2-3 lbs|
|Breast tissue||2-3 lbs|
|Increased blood supply||4 lbs|
|Extra fat stores||5-9 lbs|
|Uterus increase||2-5 lbs|
|For a total of||25-35 lbs|
Seeing where the weight is going and why it is important and normal through pregnancy may help some people feel better about it. But it is possible that the thought of weight gain may still be giving you major anxiety. You know deep down that this is a normal part of growing this little life inside of you but you can’t stop thinking about how you are going to lose the weight. I get it, I really do, but your job right now is to make sure this little baby of yours is growing strong and healthy, which means it is not the time to go on a diet.
And counting calories is also not going to do any good. So even though it is recommended to increase your calorie intake by about 300 calories in the second trimester and a cumulative of 500 in the third, I say don’t over think it. What matters most throughout pregnancy is quality over quantity. Making sure your diet is full of fresh and nutritious foods will make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients he needs for his growth and development. That means including lots of vegetables and fruits, fish and other lean proteins, grains and healthy fats.
Which also means, if you’re hungry, eat! It’s a lot of work growing a baby!
With that being said, nausea may be an issue. If you are suffering from morning sickness, it may be difficult for you to be thinking about food. So in this case, I saw eat what you can, when you can! Even if that means you are having popsicles for breakfast. Just make sure you speak with your health provider if your nausea is extreme and you can’t eat anything for long periods.
But even with all this information, you may still be anxious about the weight gain. So here’s a few tips to help ease your mind.
- If you are planning on getting pregnant, work on creating a positive body image of yourself. Tell yourself you are amazing and beautiful. Going into pregnancy with this will most certainly help with the changes your body will go through. And if you are pregnant, remind yourself your body is doing the most amazing thing and is growing a life. Be kind to yourself!
- Be active! I know you’re busy, or maybe you don’t like the gym. Or yoga hurts (when you are not bendy at all like me). But find something you can enjoy and stick with it. Even if it’s just a walk up and down your street. Being active will help you with the recovery process after while also making you feel better through pregnancy.
- Dress accordingly! Jeans getting tight? Ditch em!! You are not going to feel good about the weight gain if you can’t feel comfortable in your clothes. So bust out those maternity pants even if you are just 12 weeks pregnant, or live in your yoga pants. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, you wear that! There is a ton of adorable maternity clothes out there nowadays, and you don’t even need to buy new. You can find lots of second hand attires in great condition for a fraction of the price.
And about those cravings, don’t guilt yourself. It’s okay to give in once in a while! If your daily diet is full of nutritious food, that occasional cookie or ice cream bowl won’t hurt you.
Besides, you are doing hard work so I say go ahead! You deserve that cookie!
Claudine has a background in Holistic Nutrition. She founded Nourish Flourish Cherish to focus primarily on fertility, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. To find out more about her work you can check out her website at nourishflourishcherish.ca You can also get nutritional tips on her weekly blog by just following her on Instagram @nourishflourishcherish.