Generally, a pregnant woman can gain weight around 11 to 16 kg during her single pregnancy depending on her pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI).
The variable amount of weight gain in a normal pregnancy is constant. You may lose some weight in the early weeks of pregnancy due to nausea or vomiting. As the pregnancy progresses, so does the weight gain. It remains constant in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Normal distribution of Weight Gain during Pregnancy
Weight gain during pregnancy is distributed as follows-
- Foetus- 3.3 kg
- Placenta- 0.6 kg
- Amniotic fluid- 0.8 kg
- uterus- 0.9 kg
- Breasts- 0.4 kg
- Blood volume- 1.5 kg
- Water- 2.5 kg
- Accumulation of fat- 2.5 kg
The optimum weight for an average pregnancy is 12.5 kg of which 9 kg increases in the last 20 weeks.
Fetal weight gain is slow in the first half of pregnancy and increases more rapidly in the second half of pregnancy. The weight of the placenta increases more rapidly in the first half of pregnancy. Amniotic fluid increases rapidly from the 10th week onwards and reaches a peak of 2000 ml at 35 weeks after which it decreases slightly. The weight of the uterus, breasts, and blood volume increase continuously during pregnancy.
The appropriate weight gain for each woman is based on pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). A woman with a normal BMI weighs 11 to 16 kg and an obese woman with a high BMI should gain no more than 7 kg. Whereas, an underweight woman with a low BMI can gain up to 18 kg.
Eating healthy and nutritious food is very important for good weight gain during pregnancy.
What to expect if you’re overweight or underweight during pregnancy?
If you are overweight during pregnancy, try not to skip meals to maintain your body weight. You can do antenatal exercises so that your body remains healthy.
You need to take enough food for the proper growth and development of the baby. You can focus on losing weight after childbirth.
If you are underweight during pregnancy, you should eat a well-balanced diet so that you and your baby can gain adequate weight. If you don’t gain enough weight during pregnancy, your baby is likely to be small, premature, or underweight at birth.
Importance of weight checking during pregnancy
Weight checks are done to find out whether you are overweight or underweight. In addition, a weight check is important during pregnancy to detect abnormalities.
A rapid increase in weight of more than 0.5 kg a week to more than 2 kg a month in the later months of pregnancy may be an early symptom of preeclampsia and may require supervised care.
Stable and falling weight may indicate intrauterine growth retardation or intrauterine death of the fetus.
That is why it is very important to get your weight checked during pregnancy so that you and your baby don’t face any problems.
Maternal nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy are directly related to newborn weight. Eat and drink well so that your baby has a good weight at birth.
In the above post, we have discussed the normal weight gain during pregnancy. A pregnant woman can gain around 11 to 16 kg of weight. Eat well balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy and get your weight checked from time to time to detect any abnormality at the earliest.