By Ayushi Pandey
Pregnancy is an emotional ride as much as a biological one. It is a transitional period for a woman, turning into a mother and experiencing the ultimate joy of life. Nonetheless, one cannot feel true happiness without a few struggles, and pregnant women are well aware of them, with numerous life-altering changes popping up occasionally. Let us talk about one of the biggest physical changes a woman undergoes during pregnancy – weight gain.
Weight gain is an unavoidable by-product of pregnancy. After all, a whole human being is growing inside you. Even the most body-secure women will get conscious with 20-30 pounds gained during pregnancy. The initial trimesters are a bit more bearable, with you glowing and flaunting your baby bump. The later stages are mostly an exasperated version of you. Regardless, both are equally beautiful. According to the Institute of Medicine’s report on weight gain during pregnancy, these are the commonly experienced gains for different body types:
- Normal Weight Gains 25-35 pounds
- Overweight Gains 15-25 pounds
- Underweight Gains 28-40 pounds
- Obese Gains 11-20 pounds
However, these guidelines should not be followed relentlessly as multiple internal factors guide your pregnancy weight. These numbers are suggested as an average reference and highly observed instances in pregnant women. Moreover, pregnancy experiences vary for every woman, thus, ruling out the idea of right and wrong in weight gain.
Facts About Pregnancy Pounds
- Weight gain during pregnancy does not have a constant rate
Usually, the charts provided by OBs to track pregnancy show a steady increase in weight. But this is not the case. A pregnant woman’s weight shoots up and down regardless of the trimester. Some women gain more weight in the second trimester, and some lose considerably without changing their diet and exercise. Weight gain during the second and third semesters has much to do with water weight. And weight gain during the third semester is mostly due to the weight of the amniotic fluid and the increase in blood volume due to high plasma cells. This inconsistent weight gain and loss do not indicate anything about the baby’s health.
- The pregnancy weight gain does not look like a normal weight gain
Unfortunately, pregnancy weight gain accumulates on your back, thighs, and hips (unfair, we know!). Accruing weight on the upper thighs is extremely common, but, luckily, the thigh fat is the easiest to shed after childbirth. On the other hand, belly fat tends to linger. On a brighter note, pregnancy naturally urges women to pay attention to their health and indulge in healthifying activities during and post-pregnancy.
- The fat gain does not affect the size of the baby
The fat you gain does not correlate with having a bigger and healthier baby. The baby’s size depends upon water and protein gain in the uterus, placenta, and amniotic fluid. This point also negates the myth that eating more ensures a healthier baby, at least not in the first trimester. As per studies, your diet during pregnancy has to be increased by 300 healthy calories compared to your diet before pregnancy.
- Oedema varies for women and impacts your third-trimester weight gain
Oedema is the swelling of the arms, legs, feet, and hands. This condition indicates weight gain from water and is completely normal. This kind of weight gain is not the same for every pregnant woman. The positive note – the swollen, water-balloon-like wrists, ankles, and arms are one of the rapid post-delivery weight loss inducers.
- Excess pregnancy weight does not lead to an unhealthy pregnancy
It is one of the most prevalent and meaningless myths that too much weight gain causes unhealthy pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s weight gain does not signify her healthiness. All these notions stem from weight consciousness and have no scientific backing.