It is important to accept that weight gain during pregnancy is perfectly normal and important to the healthy development of your baby.
Composition of Extra Weight
By the time you are ready to give birth, roughly one third of your extra weight will come from your baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby. The rest of the two thirds of weight will come from extra fat stores which are necessary to provide energy so that you can breast feed your baby; the growth of your uterus; extra breast tissue and an increase in blood volume and fluid to help support your growing baby.
Normal Weight Gain
The amount of weight you need to gain to stay healthy depends on your weight to begin with and your body mass index. Your body mass index is calculated by looking at your weight compared to your height. In general, physicians recommend that you gain between 22 and 28 pounds.
If you are classified as being underweight before pregnancy, your doctor will advise that you gain slightly more weight during pregnancy. This is because being underweight and not gaining enough weight to support your baby can lead to premature birth or a baby with a low weight. If you are underweight, you should try to gain between 28 and 40 pounds depending on your initial weight.
If you are overweight before pregnancy, you are more at risk of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or having an excessively large baby. Your physician is likely to advise that you limit your weight gain to between 11 and 20 pounds.
You need to consume roughly 2000 calories a day. Do not try to diet if you are overweight or conversely try to eat lots of unhealthy food if you are underweight. A sensible varied diet containing fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates from foods like bread and pasta and protein from meat and fish is advised. Speak to your health care provider about nutritional concerns.
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