Gaining weight during pregnancy is a common concern for many women. However, it is natural that your shape and weight change as your body will be carrying a new life and in need of extra nutrients, especially within the final trimester.

pregnant lady

How much weight can I expect to gain during pregnancy?

Firstly, it is important to understand how much weight gain is healthy and normal during pregnancy. However, it does depend on individual circumstances as to what is classed as ok.

The amount of weight you should gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI (though this is less relied upon these days than a decade or two ago). Most women should expect to gain between 25-35 pounds (11-16 kg) during pregnancy, but your midwife will respond to any concerns you may have related to this.

Avoiding excessive weight gain

It is crucial to bear in mind that weight gain is normal and expected but that it should be gradual and steady, rather than sudden or extreme.

This means that you should aim to gain roughly the same amount of weight each week throughout your pregnancy, rather than gaining a lot in one week and then little in another.

Balanced diet for pregnancy

One way to help ensure this steady weight gain is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This means focusing on nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids. There are many recipes on my website that will help you to stay on track.

However, it is equally important to avoid overeating or indulging in unhealthy foods just because you are pregnant.

So many people will tell you that everything is ok because you are eating for two – while some extra calories in the final trimester are necessary, this is not the message you should consider throughout the entire pregnancy. An indulgent calorie intake can lead to excessive weight gain.

To help avoid overeating, try to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than three large meals. This can help keep your metabolism steady and prevent hunger pangs that might lead to overeating and thus excessive weight gain.

Physical and mental health when you are expecting

It is also recommended that you take part in regular exercise during the whole of your pregnancy. This can help you maintain a healthy weight and can also have other benefits, such as reducing stress and improving sleep quality.

However, be sure to consult with a medical professional before undertaking a new regime to ensure that you are doing the right thing for both you and your baby.

Another way to help avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy is to focus on self-care and reducing stress levels, which can be sky-high when trying to balance excessive hormones and your day-to-day life, including work and home.

Stress and anxiety can lead to overeating or other unhealthy habits, so it is important to find ways to manage stress in a healthy way. This might include activities like yoga, meditation, talking to a counsellor and scheduling me-time every single day.

While weight gain is absolutely normal, piling on the pounds can lead to trickier labour and a longer recovery time after birth. Furthermore, you will have increased work to do if you are keen to return to pre-pregnancy weight within the first few months. Try to eat and drink sensibly as well as maintain your fitness levels to ensure you are in the best possible health for you and your baby.

If you are pregnant at the moment or planning a pregnancy then here are a few other articles I think you may like:

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