Many moms-to-be ask our OB/GYN doctors lots of questions about pregnancy, and one of the most popular requests is for more information about the healthy amount of weight to gain during their pregnancy.
For that question, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It can be hard to know how much is too little weight gain during pregnancy—and, how much is too much.
Like many other things, every woman’s pregnancy is different. That’s why, your weight gain may be more or less than a friend’s, but that doesn’t mean that it is wrong. The best thing you can do is have a continuous conversation with your provider to make sure you are on a healthy track for pregnancy weight gain.
What you can expect
According to WebMD, the average pregnancy weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds.
Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds and overweight women may only need to gain 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.
Too much pregnancy weight gain
Early on in your pregnancy, your provider can help you determine what a good weight range is for you to stay in and track. It’s important that you stay in a healthy range.
If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, you are at risk for:
- Gestational diabetes
- Complications during labor and delivery
- Additional stress on your joints
Monitoring your weight gain and open communication with your provider can help you stick to the recommended weight gain for you, and can reduce your chances at experiencing any complications related to excessive weight gain.
Too little pregnancy weight gain
Not gaining enough weight can put you at just as much risk as gaining too much weight can. If you do not gain enough weight during your pregnancy, you are at an increased risk for delivering your baby too soon or delivering a baby that’s too small. These are just two of the many complications that can come from not gaining enough weight during your pregnancy.
The key to a healthy pregnancy is keeping a steady pace in your weight gain.
How to avoid gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and, like all other types of diabetes, affects your glucose (how your blood cells use sugar).
If you develop gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, it can directly impact your health, as well as your baby’s health. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid it.
- One of the best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy is to be healthy when you are trying to conceive. It's always important to be mindful of your health before, during, and after having a baby.
- Exercise. There is a shared fear of exercising while pregnant. Many soon-to-be moms worry that exercising can bring about complications to their pregnancy. It is recommended to continue exercising while pregnant, but under the supervision of your provider. The further along you are, the lower impact you want your exercise to be.
- Eat mindfully. The foods you should be eating during your pregnancy should be nutritious, balanced, and good for you and baby. It’s not about how much you’re eating, it’s about what you are eating.
- Do not skip your OB appointments. These appointments are meant for your provider to track where you are, answer your questions, and monitor you and baby’s health throughout your entire pregnancy. Missing, or not scheduling, OB appointments will only make it harder for your provider to help you out.
Losing the weight after the baby
After your baby is born, some of your weight gain will naturally go away because you won’t be retaining as many fluids. However, fat gain during pregnancy will not go away on its own and will require diet and exercise to lose it.
How to lose pregnancy weight:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nutritionally-packed foods.
- Choose lean proteins over fatty proteins.
- Be mindful when it comes to foods with added salt and sugars.
- Limit/avoid sweets and high saturated fat foods.
- Control portion sizes.
- Exercise and be sure to ask your doctor about which activities you should avoid as your body recovers.
As with any weight loss journey, the weight will not disappear over night. Stick with your nutrition and continue to exercise. Developing and sticking with these habits can make that baby weight disappear and will be help you continue to have good overall health.
Choosing Logansport Memorial Hospital for your OB/GYN needs
At Logansport Memorial Hospital, our team of experienced physicians will provide you with the highest level of OB care from beginning to end. Let us be the helping hand in your pregnancy journey. Learn more about our OB/GYN services.