Weight in pregnancy, how many pounds to take

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Contents

  • 1 Weight gain in pregnancy 
  • 2 How many kilos to gain in pregnancy 
  • 3 Weight in pregnancy in the first trimester 
  • 4 Weight in pregnancy in the second trimester 
  • 5 Weight in pregnancy in the third trimester 
  • 6 Excess weight in pregnancy: the causes 
  • 7 Excess weight in pregnancy: the risks for the mother
  • 8 Excess weight in pregnancy: the risks for the baby
  • 9 How to check your weight in pregnancy
  • 10 Losing weight in pregnancy 
  • 11 How to shed the extra pounds after pregnancy 

Libra: cross and delight of all expectant mothers. Yes, because pregnancy weight is of fundamental importance. The reasons are not aesthetic, but absolutely health. Gaining too much weight or, on the contrary, being excessively underweight, are conditions that do not guarantee well-being, but can sometimes lead to serious problems. So how many kilos to gain in pregnancy? Why do some women tend to store too much fat? What are the risks? How to keep the situation under control? Here are all the answers for our mothers. 



Weight gain in pregnancy 

When expecting a baby, weight gain is a practically unavoidable phenomenon. Obviously the extra pounds vary from woman to woman and it is not just the fat of the future mother: placenta, fluids, fetus all contribute to the overall increase. 

The question is: how much extra weight is allowed in pregnancy? This is the question that any "panciona" asks and it is one of the first things you ask the gynecologist, almost while you still have the pregnancy test in hand. Weight measurement starts from the first weeks of pregnancy and the permissible gain will depend on the starting weight. Unless you are particularly underweight, it is a good idea to keep your pregnancy weight under control and practice whatever is necessary to avoid major buildups. 



How many kilos to gain in pregnancy 

As we have mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all rule. Conventionally it can be said that a gain of 10-12 pounds is the most common average. But it is not valid for everyone because a lot depends on the situation in early pregnancy. According to the Obesity Society, the American scientific society of obesity specialists, one must start from the body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing one's weight by the height squared:

  • underweight (BMI less than 18.5): total increase between 12,5-18 kg.
  • Normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9): total increase between 11,5 and 16 kg.
  • Overweight (BMI 25-29.9): total increase 7-11,5 kg.
  • Obesity (BMI greater than 30): total increase 5-9 kg.

In the case of a twin pregnancy, there is a little more tolerance to try to get the two children all the nutrients necessary for their optimal development. 

Weight in pregnancy in the first trimester 

The first trimester of pregnancy is usually the one in which you gain the least weight. It is not uncommon that, due to the classic pregnancy disorders, you do not put on even a gram and even lose weight. Nausea and vomiting, but also increased sensitivity to odors may lead to less eating. You are not feeling very well, but the scales thank you. 

Those who do not have any discomfort usually do not gain much weight in the first period. The increase is estimated to be between one and a half to two kilos, or about 500 grams per month.


Weight in pregnancy in the second trimester 

The second trimester of pregnancy is the most "critical" one in terms of weight. Usually, the early gestation disorders disappear, then the appetite returns, you feel better and the baby bump begins to grow. The phantom "cravings" may also appear. Let it be clear: there is no scientific basis to show that they are real. More than anything else they are des and pampering required by the future mother. 


In this quarter, the total weight gain is about 4,5-5,5 kilos, which corresponds to about 350-450 grams per week. Warning: just a few more snags to make this figure rise, exactly as it happens to you. 

Weight in pregnancy in the third trimester 

The third trimester of pregnancy is a milestone that every expectant mother looks forward to with great trepidation because the time to hold her baby in her arms is approaching. Weight gain slows down a bit, although hunger is not lacking. Generally you take 2,5-3,5 kilos more, equal to 200-300 grams per week. 

However, this period is characterized by some annoying disorders affecting the gastrointestinal system. Examples are heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux, constipation. In these cases, the diet must change, trying to find solutions to the small problems we have mentioned at the table. For example, having small and frequent meals and excluding certain foods or drinks (spices, coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes). 

Excess weight in pregnancy: the causes 

Despite all the recommendations of your gynecologist, sometimes it can happen that the weight in pregnancy increases exaggeratedly, which involves many risks (we will see them in the next two paragraphs). We list and then analyze the most common causes: 


  • Sedentary lifestyle. 
  • Incorrect eating habits.
  • Metabolic problems.
  • Cultural factors.

Unless there are real reasons (usually health problems), physical activity during pregnancy is not only not advised, but is strongly recommended for a variety of reasons. In addition to weight control, breathing, muscles and the general well-being of the pregnant woman benefit from it. It is therefore to be promoted always and in any case. You don't need who knows what sport: you just need to walk every day at a moderately fast pace.


Giving in to unhealthy eating habits isn't hard at all. Sweets, refined flours, salted or preserved foods, "junk food", carbonated drinks are just some of the "temptations" to which it is easy to succumb. As we have already had the opportunity to underline, the diet in pregnancy is very important and we should really keep away everything that, while being good for the palate, is not good for us. 

Weight gain can be a sign of something wrong. In particular, if there is a large and rapid build-up it could be one of the symptoms of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that can be very serious for mom and baby. If you notice exaggerated and sudden spikes do not hesitate to tell your doctor.

By "cultural factors" we mean the old belief that "during pregnancy you have to eat for two". It is just a rumor that, on the contrary, can have significant health consequences. So absolutely an idea to unhinge. Even if they are expecting twins.

Excess weight in pregnancy: the risks for the mother

  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Hypertension. 
  • Lacerations of the perineum during childbirth.
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence.
  • Difficulty moving.
  • Joint pains (knees, ankles).
  • Caesarean section. 

Excess weight in pregnancy: the risks for the baby

  • Miscarriage.
  • Preterm birth.
  • Congenital anomalies.
  • Macrosomia (very large children, over 4 kilos in weight, an eventuality that often requires a caesarean section).
  • Shoulder dystocia (abnormal shoulder position that complicates childbirth).
  • Neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
  • Higher probability of "cot death".
  • Genetic malformations.

How to check weight in pregnancy

It almost goes without saying that nutrition plays a vital role in controlling the extra pounds. This essentially means not overdoing the portions, but also carefully choosing the foods and drinks that you bring to the table. For example, whole grains that have a lower glycemic index, meats and white fish that are leaner, vegetables in abundance that quickly give a sense of satiety are preferred. To avoid sugars (also in drinks) and salt (promotes water retention).

Never neglect physical activity. It doesn't matter that it is very intense, but it has to be regular. If it was already done before pregnancy, so much the better: you start already trained. 

Losing weight in pregnancy 

If you are already overweight or if you realize that the extra pounds are starting to be many, it is advisable to contact a nutritionist. Working in synergy with the gynecologist, he will dictate the right rules for a healthy diet. Diets should never be improvised, let alone in pregnancy. They will be prescribed only if really necessary and in any case always and only under medical supervision.    

How to shed the extra pounds after pregnancy 

On this topic we recommend reading "Weight in pregnancy, how to dispose of it after childbirth".

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