Pregnancy Weight Gain?

Pregnancy weight gain
You need to be careful about how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. Gaining too much or too little can be harmful to you and your baby. How many pounds you need to add depends on how much you weigh when you become pregnant. Women who gain the proper amount of weight are less likely to have a low birth weight baby (less than 5 1/2 pounds). But try not to gain more than what's recommended. Too many pounds can lead to backaches and varicose veins and, possibly, health complications such as high blood pressure.

Weight gain varies from woman to woman
For women who were a bit underweight to begin with, they may actually gain a bit more weight in the beginning. For those who were a bit overweight and have started to eat a more healthful diet, they may actually see a decrease in weight, although attempting to lose weight while pregnant is not a good idea. You should only worry if you find that you have suddenly gained four to five pounds in a single week, with or without accompanying swelling. It is also important to remember that the more times you have been pregnant, the sooner your body is going to respond to being pregnant.

If your weight is normal…
If you began pregnancy at a normal weight, you should gain 25 to 35 pounds over the nine months. Adding about 300 extra calories a day to your diet will help you reach this goal. (One extra healthy snack, such as four fig bars and a glass of skim milk, will provide these calories.) Most women gain four to six pounds in the first trimester, and then average a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.

If you were underweight…
If you were underweight at the start of your pregnancy, you should probably gain a little more. That's because underweight women are more likely to have small babies. A 25 to 35-pound gain is usually recommended, so you should try to gain slightly over a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.

If you were overweight…
If you began pregnancy overweight, you should gain only 15 to 25 pounds. This means you should put on one pound every two weeks in the second and third trimesters. While you don't want to gain too much weight, you should never try to lose weight during pregnancy because that could harm your baby. Women who are obese, though, should aim to gain no more than 15 pounds throughout their pregnancy.

If you're expecting twins
You should probably gain a total of 35 to 45 pounds. That translates into about 1 1/2 pounds a week in the last two trimesters. Early weight gain during pregnancy is especially important for twins as it helps ensure that they will not have low birth weights.

Putting on weight slowly and steadily is best
But don't worry if you gain less than four pounds in the first trimester, and make up for it later, or vice versa. Also, many women have one or two "growth spurts" during which they gain several pounds in a short time period, then level off. Again, this is not worrisome unless it becomes a pattern. The important thing is to keep an eye on your overall gain. You can use the weight-gain tracking chart to follow your progress. Remember, weight loss during pregnancy can be dangerous.

Pregnancy weight gain calculators
Pregnancy weight calculators will ask you for your pre-pregnancy weight and height information, week of pregnancy you are currently in and current weight. With the information you provide, the weight gain calculators will inform you about recommended weight gain per week of pregnancy and will offer tips to either gain or lose weight. Most pregnancy weight gain calculators also offer a chart that breaks down where your gained pounds are being spread.

Below is a chart that shows you where the increased weight will be distributed during your pregnancy:

Weight (in pounds)
Baby 7 ½
Fat 7
Maternal fluids in tissue 4
Maternal blood
Breasts 2
Amniotic fluid 2
Placenta 1 ½
Uterus 2
Total 30

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As you progress through your pregnancy, putting on your pregnancy weight can be tough and shopping for maternity clothes even tougher. But from difficult situations can come inspired wisdom...or at least humorous tales. Share your story with other women in their second trimester at Pregnancy Stories.

If you weigh 20% or more over the recommended weight for your age & body height, then log into, to get detailed information on high fiber diets, cholesterol lowering herbs, herbal dietary supplements, detox diet plans and more.

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