How Much Weight Gain Is Normal In Pregnancy?
| How Much Weight Should I Gain In Pregnancy?
Most women gain about 28 pounds (13kg) during pregnancy, although individuals vary greatly and anything between 18 and 35 pounds (8 kg and 16kg) is considered normal. Weight gain starts after week 12 but the bulk of the weight should appear between weeks 20 and 30. The extra weight is created by the fetus, the placenta, the womb, the amniotic fluid, heavier breasts, fluid retention, a larger volume of blood and extra fat, especially on the hips and thighs. Weight gain is also linked to normal weight: in general, heavier women gain more weight than lighter women. If you are worried about gaining too much weight and you are not yet pregnant, try to get your weight within normal limits before conceiving (read about preparing for pregnancy). If you are pregnant, don't use your condition as an excuse to binge on candy, cakes and junk foods that are high in calories, but low in nutritional value. You do need to eat a little more, but not much - about 300 kcal extra a day is enough. That's about a single cheese sandwich or a 285ml glass of low fat milk and a jacket potato with baked beans.
When To Call The Doctor
Sudden weight changes in pregnancy or a prolonged period of no weight gain may be cause for concern, and could indicate problems such as preeclampsia or intrauterine growth restriction. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor or midwife immediately.
Watching What You Eat
Pregnant women do need to pay attention to what they eat - for the sake of their own health as well as that of their unborn child. The guidelines are not very different from those of a normal healthy diet:
• Do not eat liver or liver products during pregnancy. They contain high quantities of vitamin A, which has been linked with miscarriages and birth defects. See, What are the signs of a miscarriage?
WOMENS HEALTH ADVICE: ABOUT QUESTIONS ON FEMALE HEALTH