Most women do not like to gain weight. And, for the most part, gaining weight may not be a healthy thing to do. There is one time, however, when gaining weight, especially the right amount of weight, is essential: during pregnancy. This article will discuss pregnancy weight gain and how it affects the size of a woman’s baby.
Why gain weight?
Gaining weight during pregnancy is the healthy thing to do. The extra weight is needed for many things to help a woman’s changing body and especially to help the growing baby. The extra weight nourishes the baby and helps a mother produce milk after the baby is born.
Where does it go?
All of the extra weight that a woman gains during pregnancy is not fat. The baby accounts for some of the weight; around seven to eight pounds of it near the end of the pregnancy. And the placenta, amniotic fluid, the uterus, and the woman’s enlarged breasts account for around one to two pounds each, of the added weight. Blood and other fluids add up to around eight pounds of the extra weight, and the woman will have around seven pounds of fat storage for nutrients.
How much to gain
The amount of total weight gain does, and should, vary from woman to woman. A proper weight gain helps the mother to remain healthy during and after pregnancy, as well as ensures the best outcome for the infant as well. If a woman was a healthy weight before she became pregnant she should gain around 25 to 37 pounds. If she was underweight before pregnancy she should gain somewhere between 28 to 40 pounds. If a woman was overweight before she conceived, she should keep her weight gain between 15 to 25 pounds.
What happens if you don’t gain enough?
If a woman does not gain weight through out her pregnancy, or loses weight while she is pregnant, her baby could be in danger. The nutrients that a mother consumes and stores during her pregnancy, feeds her baby. If she does not have enough nutrients to feed her baby, the infant may become malnourished during the woman’s pregnancy. A woman who does not gain enough weight could have a premature delivery or a low-birth weight infant. These babies have a more difficult time surviving and may be small for their gestational age.
Some woman may lose weight at the very beginning of their pregnancy because of morning sickness. This is not too much of a concern since the baby does not need quite as many calories as later on during the pregnancy. However, it is important that the woman begins to gain weight at a steady pace throughout the remaining months of her pregnancy.
What happens if you gain too much?
If a pregnant woman gains too much weight during her pregnancy it is possible that both she and her baby will develop and experience problems. Some of the problems that a pregnant woman may experience if she gains too much weight during pregnancy will affect her infant. One such problem is gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes can cause a woman to have a very large baby. This can cause a difficult vaginal delivery, which many times will result in a cesarean delivery.