If you are 18 or over, a healthy weight gain range can be calculated based on your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). By staying within this range throughout your pregnancy you and your baby are more likely to be healthy. You will also be less likely to experience pregnancy and birth complications.
Pregnancy can lead to significant changes to women's bodies and daily routines. One such change is weight gain to ensure that there are enough nutrients for the development of the fetus as well as to store enough nutrients in preparation for breastfeeding. While weight gain during pregnancy is normal and necessary, studies have shown that certain ranges of weight gain given a specific body mass index (BMI) result in more positive outcomes for both fetus and mother.
Generally, it is recommended that pregnant women gain only 1-4 pounds during the first 3 months of pregnancy, and 1 pound per week during the remainder of the pregnancy. It is possible to achieve 1 pound per week by consuming an additional ~300 calories per day, which is roughly equivalent to eating an extra sandwich plus a glass of milk or a baked potato plus 2 ounces of meat plus an apple.
Weekly pregnancy weight gain calculator
Online weekly pregnancy weight gain calculator, which helps to calculate how much weight, should gain weekly during pregnancy period.
Throughout your life, if you are running away from weight gain, then these months will be your cheat days, as you are pregnant. You can gain weight, without worrying about what others going to say. No one will ask you to have a healthy baby without gaining weight. But, every good thing has limitations, and so does your pregnancy weight gain. It is very important to monitor your weight gain weekly. A weekly pregnancy weight gain calculator
Within the total pregnancy span, your body undergoes several physical changes. Weight gain is one of the most obvious changes during pregnancy, and it is quite normal too. But, excessive weight gain can lead to harming the baby. That’s why; weight gain should lie within the ranges of specific BMI.
The total pregnancy is grouped into three phases: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters. During the 1st trimester, a pregnant woman with a single baby gains up to 4 pounds only, but, if you suffer from morning sickness, then the body is less likely to gain any weight. After that, in the second and third trimesters; the body gains 1 pound weight per week. The weight gain during pregnancy should be gradual, rather than abrupt. The baby needs sufficient nutrients to grow gradually, which can be achieved through regular BMI checkups.
About 25 to 35 pounds of weight gain during your pregnancy is often considered ideal. But depending on height, BMI, and normal weight before pregnancy weight gain varies. Starting with monitoring your weight gain, you have to understand your BMI first.
A weekly pregnancy weight gain calculator can help you to detect the proper weight gain per week. This way you will know if, your baby is growing healthy or not. The extra weight gain is not just the baby’s weight but, also subsidiary changes within your body. The extra 30 pounds, which you put on during pregnancy is evenly distributed throughout your body. The baby is about 7.5 pounds, maternal fat 7 pounds, fluids and maternal blood volume 8 pounds, placenta and amniotic fluid about 3.5 pounds, breast, and uterine enlargement 4 pounds. A properly balanced body weight is needed to deliver a healthy baby.
Importance of weekly pregnancy weight gain
While you are carrying a baby in your womb, you can’t understand all the needs of your baby. Then, what can you do? You can monitor the gradual increase of the baby throughout the whole pregnancy. The weekly weight gain pregnancy calculator can calculate the probable weight gain in the given week. This works with all the given information; like the pregnancy week, height, weight before pregnancy and current weight. This way you will know whether; you are growing properly, excessively, or insufficiently. This is the basic feature of the calculator. Some of the wide uses are given below:
- In the first trimester, the growth of the baby is very slow. And it is very difficult to know from the ultrasounds and scans. The body weight is calculated to understand the growth of the baby. During pregnancy, the basal metabolic index or BMI increases. The doctors can study the changes in weight gain to give you advice.
- With this calculator, you will get to know when you are gaining excessive weight. You can easily consult your doctor and save yourself from further complications; like premature labour or birth.
- Eating more than needed during your pregnancy period can lead you to gestational diabetes, which happens when you have too much glucose in your blood. During pregnancy, the body cannot produce enough insulin, thus making it hard to digest the glucose. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. Normally it cannot be detected, but with a proper check on your BMI, you can preliminary diagnosis Gestation Diabetes. So that, you can seek advice from your gynecologist timely.
- One of the most important features of this weekly weight gain pregnancy calculator is the detection of Macrosomia. In Macrosomia, you carry a big baby, which can create problems during your delivery. In most of the cases, a woman with a big baby prefers to do c-section. Sometimes, Macrosomia can lead to further diabetes. So, it is very important to monitor your weight gain through this calculator.
- If you are underweight, then the calculator will tell you how much weight you need to put on.
Apart from these, the calculator serves a lot of additional functions. The adequate amount of body fat during pregnancy can be easily shed off, compared to the excessive weight. This calculator also serves the weight-loss purpose after having your baby.
Calculation variables of weekly pregnancy weight gain calculator
During pregnancy, a woman passes through a lot of changes within her body. Along with the extra pounds and stretch marks; the constant fear of harming the baby is always on their body. All of these results in eating abnormally. Some of the complications due to unnatural weight gain are discussed below:
- It is normal to gain weight 1 pound per week in your second and third trimester. But, if you are gaining more than that, then it could be a symptom of preeclampsia. In some of the cases, the body can accumulate sodium, which leads to weight gain. In this case, it is normal to gain weight.
- Insufficient growth can lead the baby to born prematurely, which can hamper wellbeing in the future. In some of the premature deliveries, babies are born with abnormalities.
- Excessive weight gain can cause labor complications, resulting in opting cesarean section.
- The below-average body weight during pregnancy can hamper the wellbeing of the mother and the baby too.
- The extra body weight during pregnancy can be easily shed off, but if you have put on more than average, then it might give you troubles later.
Even though the values are not exact, but you will get an average idea of how to handle your weight gain healthily.
So, these are a few factors to guide you monitor your healthy weight gain along with delivering a healthy baby. Don’t get frightened, and eat moderately to gain the right amount of weight. This way you will be able to shed those extra baby fats as well as having a healthy baby.
The Institute of Medicine provides a weight gain guideline based on Prepregnancy BMI, which is shown in the table below. But note that these are only recommendations and that weight gain between women varies. As such, a health care provider should be consulted to more accurately determine each person's specific needs.
Recommendations for total weight gain during pregnancy by prepregnancy BMI
|Prepregnancy BMI (kg/m2)||Category||Total Weight Gain Range||Total Weight Gain Range for Pregnancy with Twins|
|<18.5||Underweight||28 - 40 lbs|
|18.5 - 24.9||Normal Weight||25 - 35 lbs||37 - 54 lbs|
|25.0 - 29.9||Overweight||15 - 25 lbs||31 - 50 lbs|
|>30.0||Obese||11 - 20 lbs||25 - 42 lbs|
Weight gain during pregnancy is not just attributed to the weight of the fetus. Most of the weight gain goes to the development of tissues that allow fetal development, growth, and prepare the body for breastfeeding. The table below is a list.
Pregnancy weight gain distribution
|Enlarged breasts||1 - 3 pounds|
|Enlarged uterus||2 pounds|
|Amniotic fluid||2 pounds|
|Increased blood volume||3 - 4 pounds|
|Increased fluid volume||2 - 3 pounds|
|Fat stores||6 - 8 pounds|
Potential complications of suboptimal weight gain
There are adverse effects for either insufficient or excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Insufficient weight gain can compromise the health of the fetus and cause preterm, or premature birth; excessive weight gain can cause labor complications, giving birth to significantly larger than average fetuses, postpartum weight retention, as well as increase the risk of requiring a cesarean section (C-section).
What to eat during pregnancy?
What a person eats, or doesn't eat, during pregnancy can significantly affect the health of their baby. Although what a person should or shouldn't eat during their pregnancy is often heavily debated, and can be different between cultures, there is no particular formula that guarantees a healthy baby, and though a parent should be careful and cognizant of what they choose to put in their bodies, it is not absolutely necessary to follow some heavily strict, nutritional guideline during pregnancy. General advice for eating healthy applies, such as eating a balance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Certain nutrients can, however, be particularly helpful for the growth and development of a healthy baby. Some of these will be discussed below.
Folate and folic acid:
Folate and folic acid can help prevent birth defects. Folate, in particular, protects against neural tube defects as well as potential abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of premature birth. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin, and can be consumed in the form of supplements, or fortified foods. Aside from using supplements, folic acid can be consumed through eating certain leafy green vegetables (spinach), citrus fruits (oranges), dried beans, and peas.
Calcium helps support strong bones and teeth, and is also necessary for the proper day-to-day functioning of the body's circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems. Calcium can be found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. It can also be found in non-dairy foods such as spinach, salmon, broccoli, and kale.
Like calcium, vitamin D can help promote bone strength while also building the baby's bones and teeth. It can be found in fortified milk, orange juice, fish, and eggs, among other foods.
Protein, while being important for your own health, is also highly important for the growth of the baby throughout pregnancy. Good sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and soy products, among others.
Iron is another nutrient that is highly important for the development of your baby. A pregnant person should consume double the amount of iron than they otherwise would, because iron is essential for the body to produce more blood to supply oxygen to the baby. In the case where the mother is not consuming sufficient iron, the mother could suffer from iron deficiency anemia, resulting in fatigue, and increasing the risk of having a premature birth. Iron can be found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified foods, beans, and vegetables, among other foods. Iron from animal products is most easily absorbed through pairing iron from plant sources with foods or drinks that contain high amounts of vitamin C can increase the absorption of iron.
Most of the nutrients listed above can be obtained through some form of supplements, and taking prenatal vitamins is fairly common. Depending on your diet, you may consider speaking to a healthcare professional to determine if you should take a prenatal vitamin or any other special supplements.
Foods to avoid:
It is as important to avoid certain foods and activities during pregnancy as it is to consume foods with specific nutrients. Some of these include foods that are high in mercury, like many kinds of seafood. Generally, the bigger and the older a fish is, the more mercury it likely contains. The FDA recommends that pregnant women avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. The kinds of seafood that are generally considered safe include shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish, anchovies, trout, cod, tilapia, and light canned tuna, among others.
Pregnant women should also avoid consuming foods that are raw, undercooked, or of course, contaminated. These include foods such as sushi, sashimi, and raw shellfish like oysters, scallops, and clams. Similarly, undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs should also be avoided, since pregnant women are at higher risk of food poisoning due to bacteria in undercooked foods.
Unpasteurized foods, which include many dairy products, should also be avoided since they can lead to food-borne illnesses.
Pregnant women also should not eat unwashed fruits and vegetables, again because of the potential for consuming harmful bacteria. Certain sprouts like alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean can contain disease-causing bacteria, and should be cooked thoroughly and not eaten raw.
Excess caffeine should also be avoided, since it can cross the placenta, and the effects on the baby are not well known. Herbal teas are also not well studied, and the effects they may have on the baby are not well known.
Under no circumstances should a pregnant woman consume alcohol, as no study has found a level of alcohol that has been proven to be safe during pregnancy. Alcohol increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It also can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which can result in the development of intellectual disabilities as well as facial deformities.
Smoking should also be avoided before, during, and after pregnancy, as smoking during any of these periods can negatively affect the baby, as well as the mother. Smoking during pregnancy can result in many detrimental health outcomes, including premature birth, fetal death, cesarean section (which can cause maternal hemorrhage), and more. It has also been found to increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, birth defects such as altered brainstem development and lung structure as well as cerebral palsy. Some studies have further shown that smoking during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of the child being obese as a teen, and obesity has numerous undesirable implications for mortality and morbidity.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, and if unsure, consult a medical professional. Generally, keeping yourself healthy while paying special attention to foods that are known to be beneficial or detrimental to babies, in particular, will give your baby a better chance of being healthy.
- Institute of Medicine. "Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining The Guidelines."
- Mayo Clinic. "Pregnancy weight gain: What's healthy?" mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-weight-gain/art-20044360?pg=1.