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Pregnancy Weight Gain
by Rebecca Garland

If you’re pregnant, you’ve gained weight. Well, some women battle severe morning sickness for the first half of their pregnancies and lose weight, but they catch up eventually. Gaining weight is not a terrible thing when you’re pregnant. It’s an essential part of creating a healthy baby while staying healthy yourself.

The Weight Breakdown
If you don’t already know, only a small portion of the weight you gain is allotted to fat. If you gain the recommended twenty-five to thirty-five pounds, and a few women actually do, you’re gaining weight in all the right places. Here’s how the average pregnancy breaks down the pounds:

  • Baby = 7-8 pounds
  • Placenta = 1-2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid = 2 pounds
  • Uterus = 2 pounds
  • Maternal breast tissue = 2 pounds
  • Maternal blood = 4 pounds
  • Fluids in maternal tissue = 4 pounds
  • Maternal fat and nutrient stores = 7 pounds

The good thing about this particular arrangement of pounds is that 22 of the 30 or so pounds will fall right off once the baby comes out. The last five or ten might be a bit more troublesome to deal with, but will come off with diet and exercise. Nursing might help to lose the weight faster, or you might be stuck with those pesky extra pounds until you wean. Only your body and hormones know.

Gaining Weight
Unless you are the perfect patient, it’s likely you’ve slipped somewhere in the weight gaining calculations. You’re supposed to gain 3-4 pounds in the first trimester, but some women seem to gain that in the first week. The second and third trimester call for 1-2 pounds a week, but your weight might jump up ten pounds between doctor’s visits – just hope it was a month between visits.

While it would be wonderful to follow the textbook when gaining and losing the baby weight, very few women fall into “average.” The rest of us do what we can to eat healthily, exercise a bit, and drink plenty of water. The weight will do what it wants to do.

When the Numbers Are Off
If your weight numbers are off, there could be a very legitimate reason other than too many midnight ice cream runs.

Sudden gains in weight could be a result of swelling, water retention, or a broken scale. It could also be a symptom of dangerous preeclampsia when combined with other symptoms of high blood pressure, so be sure to alert your doctor to any changes.

Low weight gain or even loosing weight can occur if you aren’t eating enough or have severe nausea affecting how much you can eat during a day. Once the nausea passes, you should be able to stomach much more and your weight should rise. If you’re not eating enough, eat more.

If you are on track to gain less than twenty-five pounds during your pregnancy (and you weren’t overweight to begin with) you should speak with your doctor about your health and the health of your baby. Mothers who gain too little weight are at risk of premature delivery and low birth weight babies which are often a sign of malnourishment in the womb.

Be sure to share your bundle of joy using your personalized baby website.

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