As the baby grows inside the womb you will start to gain weight. But ever wondered what is the ideal weight you should gain throughout the pregnancy? It depends on how much you have weighed before your pregnancy. This article explores how much weight you should gain during pregnancy and how gaining too little or more weight affects your pregnancy.

How much weight should you gain throughout the pregnancy?
         If you were underweight or your BMI was below 18.5 before your pregnancy, you should gain 12-15 kgs through the pregnancy. If your weight was normal and BMI was between 18.5-25 then you should gain 10-12 kgs during pregnancy. If you were overweight with BMI between 25-30 it is ideal to gain between 6-10 kgs during pregnancy. If you were obese and your BMI was above 30 it is advisable to gain a maximum of 8kgs during your pregnancy.

How much weight should you gain in each trimester?
         In the first trimester, it is ideal to gain between 0.5-2 kgs. But you might lose weight or gain no weight at all in case you have severe vomiting. In the second and third trimesters, it is ideal to gain 200-500 grams per week.

What is the ideal weight gain when women have twin pregnancies?
         Women with twin pregnancies gain an additional 5 kgs. However, if you are overweight or underweight before pregnancy this weight goal differs. And in case you are carrying triplets, the ideal weight gain differs.

What percentage of pregnant women have an ideal weight gain?
         According to a survey, only 32 percent of women have an ideal weight gain during pregnancy. The remaining 48 percent gain excessive weight and 20 percent of pregnant women don’t gain enough weight during pregnancy.

What are the conditions that lead to poor or excessive weight gain during pregnancy?
         Poor weight gain during pregnancy is commonly due to excessive vomiting and loss of appetite, malnutrition and absorption disorders. Excessive weight gain is due to lack of physical activity, hypothyroidism, excessive intake of junk foods and increased accumulation fluid in the body.

In what way does it affect the baby in the womb?
         Not gaining enough weight puts pregnant women at the risk of having a premature birth. It also affects the growth of the baby in the womb. Gaining excessive weight puts you at risk of having gestational diabetes, and high blood pressure and also increases the risk of having a C-section. It also can cause complications during labor.

How to have an ideal weight gain during pregnancy?
(1) Know how many calories you need - In general, for the first three months, you don’t need any extra calories. In the second trimester, you need an additional 300 calories and in the third trimester, an additional 450 calories are needed. Discuss with your doctor how much extra you need based on your BMI and eat accordingly.
(2) Diet - Have a balanced diet that is rich in protein such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, and whole grains. Prefer low-fat dairy and dairy products. Avoid sugary products and carbonated drinks.
(3) Exercising - Aim to exercise at least 20 minutes thrice a day. Prefer aerobic activity such as brisk walking, cycling along with moderate intensity exercises. Do consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program