Is there a norm for weight gain?
No, every woman is unique and so is every pregnancy. Some kilograms are inevitable, however. They are linked to:
- to the weight of the baby (3 kg on average) ;
- water retention and an increase in the weight of the uterus and the breasts (2.5 kg) ;
- the amniotic fluid (1.5 kg) ;
- an increase in blood volume (1.5 kg) ;
- the placenta (0.5 kg).
If your BMI is greater than or equal to 30. You should not exceed 6 to 7 kg.
This adds up to a total of 9 kg, to which doctors advise adding 2 - 4 kg of fat reserves that are required to feed the baby in the uterus and later for breastfeeding. Depending on your body weight before the pregnancy, the doctor may adapt this weight gain, advising you to reduce (if you are overweight) or to increase (if you are too thin) your intake.
What should my maximum weight gain be?
The doctor will use your BMI or body mass index (weight in kg divided by height in meters squared), as well as other factors such as diet, state of health, lifestyle, etc. as references.
For example: if you weighed 55 kg before the pregnancy and are 1.62 m tall, your BMI is 55 : (1.62 x 1.62) = 21
- A normal BMI is between 20 and 25. The recommended weight gain is between 11.5 and 15 kg.
- If your IMC is below 20, you may gain up to 16 or 17 kg.
- If your BMI is greater than or equal to 25. The doctor recommends gaining between 7 and 10 kg.
- If your BMI is greater than or equal to 30. You should not exceed 6 to 7 kg.
What are the risks of excess weight?
There are some real risks for the mother: pregnancy-related diabetes, pregnancy-related hypertension, phlebitis, etc. The baby may be too large, which will make the birth more difficult.
Losing a little weight during the first trimester: is this normal?
Yes, this is normal and quite common. It is due to nausea and vomiting. But don't panic: at this stage, the baby requires very little energy.
Can your diet during pregnancy?
This is definitely not advisable! You will be at risk of developing deficiencies and depriving your baby of the essential nutrients it requires to grow. Controlling your weight during pregnancy is essential for not gaining too much weight, but you should not slim down under any circumstances. Your doctor will be monitoring your weight gain, but it should not become an obsession: there is no point in weighing yourself twice a day!
How do I manage not to gain too much?
Remember to eat a varied and balanced diet, to supply your body with proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in the correct and sufficient quantities. Your calorie needs will be slightly higher during pregnancy, but you should nevertheless avoid snacking during the day and giving in to all your cravings! Where necessary, eat one or two snacks a day, one in the morning and/or one in the afternoon, preferably taking in "good" calories: 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk or 1 low-sugar dairy product or 1 portion of cheese + 1 portion of bread or cereals or 2 biscuits and a piece of fruit. And above all, don't forget the exercise. Pregnancy is not an illness, thus you should put on your trainers and go for a stroll in the forest, for example!
As an indication, the recommended weight gain for bringing a pregnancy to term without risk to the baby would be between 6 and 17 kg, depending on the maternal reserves before the pregnancy.
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