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How much weight should I gain in pregnancy

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How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?

How much weight should I gain in pregnancy

If you liked to keep an eye on your weight before you were pregnant, you might be concerned about how much youll put on over the next 9 months. Whats normal and how much is too much? Find out here…

How much weight can I expect to put on now Im pregnant?

Its completely normal to put weight on when youre pregnant. Every woman and every pregnancy is different and thats why there are no official medical guidelines that say how much weight you should or shouldnt put on. As a guide, many women put on between 22lb and 26lb during their pregnancies ndash; the majority after 20 weeks ndash; but it does depend on your own body, your height and pre-pregnancy body weight.

Theres the weight of the baby itself, the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and the placenta thats providing its nutrients. These three will make up around a third of the pregnancy weight that youll put on. At birth in the UK, the average weight of a newborn baby is 3.3kg (7lb 5oz) ndash; the majority weigh between 2.5kg (5lb 8oz) and 4.5kg (9lb 14oz). Your placenta is likely to weigh around 0.7kg (1.5lb) and the amniotic fluid about 0.8kg (1.8lb).

Your body also goes through big changes to support and grow your baby that add extra numbers to the scales. Gone up a cup size or two? The boost to your breasts has probably added around 0.4kg (0.9lb). The volume of blood being pumped around your body increases, adding 1.2kg (2.6lb) and extra fluid is also retained, adding the same amount of weight again. The muscle layer in the uterus expands, adding 0.9kg (2lb) and you store fat to burn for energy for breastfeeding, weighing in at around 4kg (8.8lb). This all adds up to 7.7kg (16.9lbs) ndash; the remaining two thirds of weight youre likely to gain.

Your midwife will weigh you at your booking in appointment. If your BMI (your weight in relation to your height) shows youre overweight it may increase your risk of having complications during your pregnancy and labour, including your chance of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, which means your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body and the chance that your baby will be large, presenting delivery problems and increasing your chance of a Caesarean section.

Just as in pre-pregnancy, its important to eat a balanced, healthy diet ndash; 2,000 calories a day is the recommended amount for women, even pregnant women ndash; and to continue to exercise. Dont believe the old wives tale that you should be eating for two ndash; you dont need any more calories until the last trimester when its advised that you consume an extra 200 calories.

If you previously went to the gym, dont stop going, simply adjust your routine to safely accommodate your bump and get professional advice on how to exercise safely. Weve also got a useful guide to the exercises its wise to stop and the ones you should take up while pregnant. If exercising at home is your thing, take a look at our pregnancy fitness DVDs or try yoga or cycling.

Your midwife will be able to give you nutritional advice to make sure youre getting enough nutrients to feed both yourself and your baby. If your BMI is low, your baby could be born prematurely and may need extra care if they are small (low birth weight), so its sensible to follow their advice.

For more advice on exercising in pregnancy, visit our pregnancy fitness area.

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