How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

Average weight gain during pregnancy v2

What we know?

There is an increase in energy requirements during pregnancy for foetal development and tissue growth, but it doesn’t mean eating for 2! A lot of information suggests between 11-16kg, which is quite a sliding scale, especially for someone 5 foot! Note; that this is an average figure for a single pregnancy, but if you are concerned about falling outside this range please visit your health professional for advice.

Looking at the scales at my final weigh in during my last obstetrician appointment was, well, frightening – to think I now will need to lose yet again 12kg (that’s 25% more) – holy crap!

My obstetrician did mention with my BMI, current health and fitness level I would gain between 11-14kg. He did reinforce that the additional weight gain would not be linier – A sigh of relief, as I put on 5.3kg in the first 12 weeks; surrendered to my cravings!

Pre-pregnancy BMI (body mass index – or also known as body misinterpretation index)!           

Body mass index (BMI)* is a method used by doctors and other practitioners to estimate your total body fat. Body mass index (BMI = weight [kg] / height [m]2). Those that have a higher BMI (26+) prior to pregnancy are likely gain less weight than a women with a BMI of (20).

Health & Fitness

Eat a healthy, balanced diet and depending on how active you are, consume an addition of approximately 300 calories more a day.This energy requirement is increased further when daily energy expenditure is increased through exercise. Pregnant women use carbohydrates at a greater rate both at rest and during exercise than do non-pregnant women.^

Be mindful though of not eating for 2, as you may have gained more weight than you wanted to. Believe me it is hard to lose the weight postnatal when you are sleep deprived and if you have undergone a C-Section as there is more than likely a longer recovery involved.

I do recommend maintaining a fitness routine during pregnancy as long as there are no problems with your pregnancy. This doesn’t mean introduce high intense training. See below for my Aerobic Exercise Guidelines.

Aerobic exercise guidelines during pregnancy

• Keep heart rate under 140 beats per min. Aerobic benefits can still be maintained or achieved using 60-75% target heart rate zones

• 15-20 minutes duration of cardiorespiratory component = this depends on your cardio fitness prior to pregnancy – (increased heart rates for extended periods may result in overheating, decreased maternal blood glucose, decreased blood flow to uterus)

• Avoid complex choreography and sudden changes in direction

• Pelvic joint dysfunction – avoid large steps, stepping type exercises

• Focus and emphasise on your postural awareness. See correct postural awareness exercise set up in my App.

^For more information visit New guidelines for exercise in pregnancy and postpartum have been published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

For a good source of positive messages about eating and body image visit http://www.www.ifnotdieting.com.au

*BMI accuracy is questionable normally, particularly for certain body types. It relies on scale weight to measure body composition and does not distinguish fat weight from lean weight. People who have a large muscle mass record high results (classified as overweight or obese) on their BMI.