Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy – Is it Possible?

Healthy weight gain during pregnancyOne of the big things on every pregnant mama’s mind is her weight. If you already have difficulty looking at the scale, it can be hard to watch those numbers go up (and up, and up). So, how much weight should a pregnant woman gain, and is a healthy weight gain possible?

After scouring the internet for articles on this topic, I became really, really discouraged. Every article I read categorized me in the “obese” category. Do you know how hard that is for me to stomach? Especially after being anorexic and bulimic for so long. But, after 5 kids, my body has been through a *lot* and losing weight the right way has been a constant struggle.

That being said, I did find some information that is worth sharing with all of you, and I’ll give you some of the things that have helped me keep a healthy weight gain this pregnancy.

There are lots of resources online that will tell you exactly how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy based on your weight before pregnancy and your BMI. Most articles say the following: (Statistics came from this article.)

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends a weight gain of 25 to 37 pounds during pregnancy for women who were a normal weight before pregnancy.
  • Women who are underweight should gain between 28-40 pounds unless your health care provider says differently.
  • Women who are overweight should gain between 15-25 pounds unless your health care provider says differently.

Now, some articles will go on to say that women who fall into the obese category should gain between 11 – 20 pounds. BabyCenter actually has a pregnancy weight tracker where you can find out if you’re on the right track with your weight gain.

But before you do ANYTHING, you need to check with your doctor about the amount of weight he or she wants you to gain. It can be different if you are carrying multiples, or due to other circumstances. Please, don’t take anything you read on the internet as coming straight from the Bible. Talk to your doctor and get their opinion.

So what happens if you gain too much weight? Well, you can be putting yourself and your baby at risk. If you are already large, you could be forcing the doctors to give you a c-section. Your baby could become really big and you could have complications delivering. You’re also putting yourself at risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. (Part of me wonders if that’s why I had pre-eclampsia with Parker. There was no other logical explanation for it.)

Ok, so what if you don’t gain enough weight? Your baby could be born pre-term or have a low birth weight.

Again, talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain throughout your pregnancy.

During my pregnancy, I have gained a total of 6 pounds in 29 weeks. I’ll be honest, stress has played a BIG role in the lack of weight gain. But, there are other things I have done that I’m sure have helped:

  • Drink plenty of water. I try to get in at least 64 ounces, if not more, every day. Don’t drink it all at once, though. Space it out throughout the day, otherwise, you’ll spend all night running to the bathroom.
  • Eat smaller meals. I started this early in my pregnancy, because my morning sickness was so bad. By nibbling throughout the day, I kept from getting really hungry and eating large meals.
  • Avoid soda and sugary snacks. THIS is a hard one for me. I’m a pepsiholic. And don’t even get me started on chocolate milk shakes. But, by cutting these out, (or at least making them a rare treat), I’m keeping my sugar intake down, and avoiding those extra pounds that I don’t need.
  • Don’t eat after 8pm. Another hard one, since hubby doesn’t like to eat dinner alone, but he doesn’t get home until 9 or 10 most nights. If I do eat with him, I make sure I’ve had something earlier, and I’ll just take a few bites.

Again, always be sure to talk to doctor before making any changes to your diet. Just know that a healthy weight gain during pregnancy IS possible. With support from you husband, your family, and/or your friends, YOU CAN DO IT!