Pregnancy Weight Gain: How Much is Too Much

One of the most obvious aspects of bringing a bundle of joy into the world is pregnancy weight gain. After all, the happy mother is eating for two, right? The fact of the matter is, pregnancy weight gain is normal and healthy. But at what point does this weight begin to affect the mother’s health and lead to problems down the road?

The Importance of Pregnancy Weight Gain

Weight gain does play an important role in a healthy pregnancy. Not only is it important to the baby’s health, but it is important also to that of the mother. When in pregnancy mode, the body places priority on the growing baby, which can drain the nutrients that the mother’s body needs to function. In addition, plentiful nutrients are essential for the development of a healthy baby. This is why nutrition is so important to both mother and child.

It is recommended that women add between 200 and 300 calories to their daily diet and gain weight according to their pre-pregnancy size. Recommended pregnancy weight gain depends on the woman’s general body size before they become pregnant. For women going into pregnancy at a normal weight, 25 to 36 pounds is a recommended amount of weight to gain. Women who enter pregnancy underweight should gain 28 to 48 pounds. Women who become pregnant while overweight should only gain 15 to 25 pounds.

What are the Hazards of Too Much Pregnancy Weight Gain?

There are several hazards of gaining too much weight during pregnancy. Too much weight gain increases the likelihood of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and risk of the need for a Cesarean. Less concerning problems include backaches, fatigue, and leg pain.

How to Monitor Pregnancy Weight Gain

With a certain amount needed for a healthy baby, and a certain amount that women should not exceed, it seems difficult to find just that right amount of weight gain. Even though women should increase their caloric intake, it is important that this increase is made up of nutrient-rich calories, not “empty calories.”

Instead of chips, women during pregnancy should consider crackers and peanut butter. Instead of a candy bar, pregnant indulgences should include apples, bananas, and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt.

In addition to eating right, a pregnant woman can also take part in daily exercise, such as 30 minutes of walking per day. Any exercise routines should be approved by a doctor before the exercise routine is put into place.