If you don’t gain weight during your pregnancy, your baby might be premature or too small, and you could experience complications. Too much weight gain also might cause complications and health problems. Desert Blossom Women’s Care has the answers to common weight-gain questions.

Where’s the Weight Going?

Some of the weight you gain is preparing your body for motherhood and nursing, but a lot of it is going toward your baby. If you gain 30 pounds during your pregnancy, 7.5 of them go to your baby; 1.5 pounds for the placenta; 2 pounds each for amniotic fluid, your uterus’ enlargement and breast tissue; 4 pounds each for blood volume and other fluids in your body; and 7 pounds toward fat stores.

How Much Weight Should I Gain?

That depends on how much you weighed before pregnancy, your metabolism and activity level, genetics, and how many babies you’re carrying — but it’s not an exact science. During your first trimester, you probably don’t need to gain more than three or four pounds. In the second and third trimesters, you should gain about a pound a week if you are normal weight, and 1/2 pound a week if you are overweight. On average, 25 to 35 total pounds is the suggested goal; the previously mentioned factors can change your numbers, though, so it’s worth talking to your midwife with any concerns.

How Should I Gain Weight?

Gain weight gradually. Your baby needs a steady supply of nutrients and calories to grow properly. Eat a well-balanced diet full of nutrient-rich foods. To create a custom nutrition and calorie guide for your pregnancy, check out myplate.gov/moms. This tool will show you the foods and amounts that are right for you.

There will be times when you can’t follow your weight-gain schedule, such as when you give in to a craving, or morning sickness makes the idea of food unbearable. As long as you’re staying healthy, try not to worry, and focus on keeping your overall gain on target.

Will the Weight Come Off?

If you take care of yourself and gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy, it will. As soon as your midwife says you can, go back to the gym or take exercise classes to lose weight, stay healthy and take a break. Breastfeeding also can help you lose weight faster.

When Should I See My Midwife?

If you’re gaining more than 3 pounds in any one week during the second trimester, or more than 2 pounds in the third trimester with no explanation, talk to your midwife to rule out any complications.

Specialized Nutrition Counselors

If you are concerned about being overweight during your pregnancy, are unable to eat or stop eating, have special dietary needs or food allergies, your midwife can refer you to a specialized nutrition counselor to help guide you on how to have a healthy diet and weight gain. Be sure to mention your concerns during your next appointment.

Desert Blossom Women’s Care

For Arizona perinatal, midwife or other pregnancy care, Desert Blossom Women’s Care can help. Our certified nurse-midwives provide care before, during and after your pregnancy, and can answer any questions you have. Schedule an appointment to give your new addition the best possible start.

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