The most obvious thing to expect from a pregnant woman is eating more than normal and it kind of makes sense. When the body is going through a developmental phase, it needs more food to work. But it doesn’t promote unhealthy eating which may cause unnecessary weight gain. Doctors urge all women to know about their limits of a healthy weight during pregnancy so that they never gain unhealthy weight.
Many women question the ideal or healthy weight during pregnancy but there is no such parameter. Just like everybody is different, weight gain and weight loss patterns are also different an even pregnancy also differs in every woman.
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So, the healthy pregnancy weight for a woman is calculated by analyzing multiple factors such as weight before pregnancy, BMI, activity level, etc. A local healthcare provider can help to determine a healthy weight during pregnancy and how to maintain it throughout this period.
If a woman is overweight before starting the pregnancy, there are high chances of her experiencing a troubled period. Obesity is a high-risk factor for gestational diabetes, hypertension, and various other complications of pregnancy i.e. C-section. It suggests that weight management is not just confined to pregnancy period but before and after the pregnancy too.
On the other side, if a woman happens to be underweight, pregnancy is hard for her. Typically, doctors advise underweight women to work on themselves and try to gain a few pounds. In malnourished or underweight women, the chances of delivering a small size or low weight baby are higher than other women.
During the pregnancy, some women are likely to gain more weight than the rest which may also put the baby’s health in danger. If small birth size and low birth weight are complications, large birth size and delivering an overweight baby are also two high-risk factors. Not only for the mother the risks of being overweight during pregnancy are also dangerous for the mother. Such women may develop gestational diabetes, long-duration labor, and the requirement for an emergency C-section as their bodies are unable to deliver the baby vaginally.
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Additionally, obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of weight retention after delivery with or without blood clot formation throughout the postpartum time.
A normal, healthy weight for a newborn is between 7 to 8 pounds so add up to your normal body weight to determine the ‘ideal pregnancy weight’. But that’s not all, other body parts also tend to become heavier in pregnancy.
For example, the breast is likely to gain 1-3 pounds, the uterus may become up to 2 pounds, the placenta makes nearly 1.5 pounds, fat storage may take 6-8 pounds, blood may increase to 3-4 pounds, etc. Based on the complete weight gain possibility, every woman can estimate her idea body weight in this period. Those who are unclear about how much weight she can gain, it is better to talk to your OB & GYN and see what they suggest.
Usually, the health care provider monitors every woman’s weight during pregnancy. But if a woman feels that she is underweight or overweight, talking to a dietician may also help.