Pregnancy Weight Gain

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you can tell that I have started to post more about pregnancy nutrition/wellness since I, myself, have become pregnant. I know that is kind of self-serving, but I do think it is great information and I am just excited to share with you all credible information. I have been trying to space out the pregnancy information, with posts about cooking, running and general wellness topics. If there is a certain topic you want me to research further/more in depth, let me know! 

Ok ... so pregnancy weight gain. I have talked about this before in previous posts, but I wanted to talk specifically about it now in regards to how you gain weight. This was a topic that I was very curious about and wanted to dig deeper. 

In between 22-25 weeks I started to notice that my weight really started to jump up, from ~142lbs up to 147lbs in just a matter of weeks. I have been eating well, counting calories, exercising 3-4 times per week and walking throughout the work day to help my back and stretch my legs. I feel great otherwise, but the scale numbers were really jumping up. I was given a heads up that this might happen from a co-worker. She had mentioned that she noticed this fluid shift around 25 weeks gestation. I started to do some more research and I found a great write up on Expecting Science that explained how this weight gain occurs in the 2nd trimester. We know current pregnancy weight gain guidelines (2009) are as follows: 25-35lbs for a normal weight woman, 28-40lbs for underweight woman and 15-25lbs for an overweight woman. This sounds simple, but ends up being more complicated in terms of how this weight is gained. 

  • A lot of the weight gained during the 2nd trimester is water weight. There is a large fluid shift that occurs and by the end of the 2nd trimester, mothers have doubled your blood supply. That is a huge fluid shift and that increasing scale number is more likely fluid compared with fat accumulation or even baby's weight.
  • Pregnant women also don't gain weight neatly week to week. All of us gain/lose weight at various rates and often it is not consistent. So a large increase over a couple of weeks isn't surprising, especially if weight gain was low in the weeks prior. 

I thought this graphic was a huge help in better understanding pregnancy weight gain. As you can see about 20 weeks gestation the mother's blood supply really started to increase and the weight of the uterus and breast size also increases. As anticipated, during the 3rd trimester the baby's weight increases and that starts to be the main growth area that occurs prior to delivery.

Making sure that you are aware of your weight gain, and keeping track of it is important. Your weight gain might also not be completely predictable. That is ok! If you are looking for additional information for weight gain recommendations then read this short article from Pregnancy & Newborn. They touch on weight gain during pregnancy and even losing weight afterwards. Your body is an amazing thing and its ability to adapt and grow is really neat, even if it feels slightly unpredictable.