Weight is always a subject of controversy. Too skinny? Too fat? We gossip about our friends’ weight, and the weight of our favorite celebrities. This obsession often spills over into pregnancy. This is a time in a woman’s life when weight is extremely important. However, the “rules” are very different from what you might think.
In the not-so-distant past, women were discouraged from gaining any weight during pregnancy. Some doctors even prescribed dangerous diet pills to pregnant women!
While most doctors these days have a healthier attitude about pregnancy weight gain, there are still a few with dangerously outdated ideas. Society, obsessed as it is with weight, may be to blame for this frightening situation.
Perhaps you’re worried about how your body will look during and after pregnancy. Your partner may even have voiced concern about how you’re going to look.
Regardless of concerns about appearance, health needs to be your number-one priority. A few guidelines should be kept in mind to ensure a healthy pregnancy. The most important thing to remember is that you are going to gain weight, and that this is necessary. Your body simply can’t form another healthy body within itself if you don’t put on some weight. Keeping yourself too thin during pregnancy is dangerous, potentially leading to complications and even infant death.
If you’re at a healthy weight when you get pregnant, you should expect to gain between twenty-five and thirty-five pounds. If you were obese, you will still gain, though not as much. Underweight women should be prepared to gain even more.
Eating for two doesn’t mean doubling your caloric intake. Eating an additional two hundred to three hundred calories a day is usually sufficient for healthy weight gain.
During the first trimester, you will see only slight weight gain. Most of your weight will be added during the second and third trimesters. About a pound a week is normal during this time, adjusted for obese and underweight women.
Remember that these are guidelines. Your doctor will monitor your weight, and let you know what’s normal. If you gain a lot one week, it may even out with very little gain the next week. Be wary of any advice to remain at your pre-pregnancy weight, eat healthfully and, if your doctor approves it, exercise to stay in shape. Health is the most important thing, and these steps will ensure your own health as well as the health of your baby.