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Weight Gain During Pregnancy: How Much Is Healthy?

Many are happy that they can now eat whatever their heart desires. But is that true? What about weight gain during pregnancy? When you’re expecting, you’ll get all sorts of advice on gaining weight during pregnancy: “You need to gain a pound a month,” “Don’t pay attention and enjoy the official diet break,” “It varies,” ” It depends on the size”… The result: Panic breaks out in the mother-to-be!

What’s the absolute truth behind the various weight myths and well-meant advice? How much weight gain is “normal” during pregnancy? How much can or should the expectant mother put on? Here’s everything you need to know about weight gain during pregnancy!

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: What Is The Ideal Diet?

To keep weight gain under control during pregnancy, you should do one thing above all: eat better!

Even if you are carrying a child in your stomach: Do not eat for two during pregnancy! One cheese sandwich a day is enough to cover the extra calorie requirement. In this way, weight gain during pregnancy remains within the normal range. It would be best if you ate better instead of more. Vegetables, fruits, dairy and whole grains are the top foods you should eat several times a day. Avoid fatty or sweet products.

You can also do something about digestive problems during pregnancy with a proper and balanced diet. These can occur more frequently at the beginning of pregnancy and towards the end.

For A Healthy Diet During Pregnancy: Stick To These Foods

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • whole grain products
  • Lean dairy products
  • nuts
  • lean meat

Weight Gain: What Is The Weight Curve During Pregnancy?

The weight curve during pregnancy does not follow a regular course. In the first four months, some women lose weight rather than gain weight because they are struggling with morning sickness. This is the average weight gain per trimester:

Weight Gain In The 1st Trimester

Weight gain in the first trimester of pregnancy is meagre: around 1.5 to 2 kilograms.

Weight Gain In The 2nd Trimester

In the second trimester, the baby has a natural growth spurt and the mom-to-be notices this with her weight. An average weight gain during this part of pregnancy is between 6 and 8 kilograms.

Many pregnant women are now suffering from food cravings. Don’t fight it desperately, but beware of uncontrolled munching. It’s better to break up meals into multiple units (four or five small meals) rather than craving sweets in between the three regular meals. Good alternatives to sweets or chips are, for example, fruit, apple chips or a few nuts.

In the sixth month, you should have gained about six kilograms. If you have gained less weight, that is often not a reason to worry. There are no universal rules for gaining weight during pregnancy. The doctor will weigh you at every check-up appointment and call if you need to eat more.

Weight Gain In The 3rd Trimester

In the last trimester, the mother gains around 500 grams per week. In total, it’s about 4 to 6 kilograms in the last three months.

What Is The Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy varies greatly and depends on the initial weight of the mother-to-be (BMI = Body Mass Index) before pregnancy.

The Starting Weight Of The Mother Is Important

Attention: The following guidelines apply, but don’t stress if you gain more or less weight! This is the average weight gain, but every woman is different, so minor variations aren’t necessarily a concern.

  • BMI below 18.5: 12 to 18 kg weight gain during pregnancy
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9: 11 to 15 kg weight gain during pregnancy
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9: 6 to 11 kg weight gain during pregnancy
  • BMI over 30: 5 to 9 kg weight gain during pregnancy

How Is Weight Gain Distributed During Pregnancy?

Where do the extra kilos that the expectant mother weighs at the end of pregnancy come from anyway? Since a baby weighs an average of only about 3,500 g at birth, this little creature cannot be solely responsible for weight gain during pregnancy. This indeed depends on various elements!

The Extra Kilos Are Distributed Differently Between Mother And Baby:

  • For the baby: 3.4 kg
  • Uterus: 900g
  • Amniotic fluid + placenta: 1.5 kg
  • Breasts: 500g
  • additional blood volume: 1.5 kg
  • Fat reserves: 2 – 3 kg
  • Water retention: 2 kg

Every Woman Is Different!

The above should be used as a guide only: weight gain during pregnancy is different for every woman. On average, a pregnant woman gains about half a kilogram per week.

If you are gaining significantly more weight towards the end, you should talk to your doctor about it. This can be a sign of a gestosis a pregnancy poisoning. If you don’t gain any weight for a long time, this can be a sign of growth disorders in the child.

Get Cravings Under Control

If the weight gain during pregnancy is too high, that’s not good either. Feel free to treat yourself to chocolate, ice cream, and chips once in a while, but don’t always indulge your cravings – especially if you’ve already gained a lot of weight.

It is better to eat small meals regularly. This curbs the cravings. Also, remember that you want to get rid of every pound you put on afterwards. This is a constructive argument in the fight against cravings!

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