This Is How Much Weight You SHOULD Gain When You're Pregnant
When you are pregnant, your GP or midwife will make you step on the scales when you come in for your check-up to monitor how much weight you are putting on throughout the course of your pregnancy.
Gaining too much weight when pregnant can lead to some pretty serious complications, such as a higher risk of preeclampsia, loss of pregnancy, gestational diabetes and hypertension. As well as this, children whose mother was very overweight when she was expecting them also have a higher risk of childhood obesity later.
The thing is, according to a new study, the majority of pregnant women aren’t entirely sure how much weight gain during pregnancy is considered “healthy.” In fact, a whopping 69 percent reported that they didn't know how much weight they should be gaining and how much was too much, and the researchers noted that the percentage of those who felt unsure was higher for women with less access to healthcare and pregnancy information.
Author of the study, conducted at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Helen Paterson, told Stuff, a New Zealand-based news website, that many of the women who participated in the study who were overweight or obese thought that their BMI was normal.
"If you don't know what the guidance is then you are at higher risk," Paterson told Stuff, "And if you don't know what your BMI is then you are at higher risk."
According to Paterson, 31 percent of the pregnant women in the study didn't know what their BMI was at the start of their pregnancy or if their pre-pregnancy weight was normal, overweight, or obese.
All these numbers can be confusing, especially when we also know that many are questioning how reliable BMI really is as a measurement of healthy weight as well. So, how can we know how much weight gain is considered "normal" then?
Well, the quick and simple answer is this: Gynecologists recommended that women of normal weight should gain just about 25-35 pounds during their pregnancy (that is with a BMI of 18.5-24.9) which translates to roughly three to five pounds a month. If you are underweight at the start of your pregnancy, you should be aiming to gain slightly more, and if you are overweight, a little less.
It is so important to keep in mind, though, that what is considered healthy for one pregnant woman might be entirely different for another, which is why you will be weighed at your GP or midwife's office, and (hopefully) offered plenty of advice on what is healthy for you.
When it comes to women's bodies and pregnancy, there really isn't any hard or fast rules, and while the study and the numbers given can serve as good guidelines, always talk to your own healthcare provider about how best to nourish your body and your baby.