Most doctors will tell you that you should gain anywhere between 25-30 pounds throughout your pregnancy. You should aim to gain about 3 ½ pounds during your first trimester, although more often than not most women find that they lose weight their first trimester. The culprit is morning sickness. Some women suffer from such a severe case of morning sickness they can not keep anything down. Chances are your doctor will not be too concerned if you lose a few pounds that first trimester as long as you gain steady throughout the next two trimesters.
Your second trimester is where you will probably put on most of your weight. Most women put on about a pound a week, so roughly four or five pounds a month which brings their second trimester weight gain to about 12-15 pounds. Some women put on more while others put on less. Do not be surprised if you put on a lot of weight one month and not so much the next.
For the seventh and eighth month, you will probably continue about a pound each week or so. Look to gain between eight and ten pounds those months. Most women find that their weight gain slows down in the ninth month. You might find your weight gain coming to an end as your due date draws nearer. This can be a sign that labor is on the horizon. Or, you may find that your weight gain continues especially if you are retaining a lot of water.
So where does all this weight go? It doesn’t really make sense that you should gain between 25-30 pounds if your baby is only going to weigh between 7 and 8 pounds. Let’s break down where the extra weight goes.
First, you have your baby. An average baby weighs about 7 ½ pounds. Some can weigh more and some weigh less. That amniotic fluid that your baby has been swimming in for the past nine months weighs about two pounds. Figure in about two pounds for your breast enlargement and 1 ½ pounds for your placenta. Your uterus, which started off about the size of a golf ball has grown to weigh about two pounds. Your body should be producing about 4 pounds of extra blood by the end of your pregnancy and about seven extra pounds of fat. Let’s not forget the extra fluid of about four pounds that your body might be holding on to. All this equals to the grand total of around 30 pounds.
Now keep in mind this is just an estimate and not a guarantee of how your weight will fall. There are women who wind up having a 10 pound baby and others who have a 5 pound baby. The key is to maintain a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and it is best for you and your baby if those extra calories come from food that has a lot of nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables or protein. Staying away from junk food will help you curb your weight gain.
When it comes to taking the weight off, do not be surprised if your body hangs onto it, especially those first days after delivery. Once you are home keep in mind that it took nine months to gain that weight so give yourself at least nine months to take it off.