Pregnancy Information Weight Gain

During my pregnancy, I gained a total of twenty-five pounds. This fell right into the average weight gain of pregnant women-suggested to be twenty to thirty pounds. This did not take into account that nine of those pounds I lost in my first trimester because of food aversions. Besides coffee, my strongest food aversions were related to the cooking smells of meat and poultry. I learned this the day after Thanksgiving as I sat in torture while my mother boiled a turkey neck for ten hours to make stock for soup.

Just as aversions develop, so do cravings. For every aversion, I seemed to come up with an equally strong craving. Spicy Mexican food settled my stomach in my first trimester. Later it was fresh fruit pies and at the very end, ice cream sundaes. Staying fit was important for preventing excessive weight gain throughout my pregnancy.

Cravings With Pregnancy

Cravings come on as powerful urges to eat certain foods. Some researchers suggest that cravings have to do with the body’s need for vitamins or minerals. Many pregnant women crave salty or spicy food in the first trimester. These foods might indicate a need for extra sodium as the body’s blood volume increases. Dairy foods like milk, ice cream, and yogurt signal the body’s need for calcium, of great importance as the developing fetus forms bones.

Succumbing to cravings might give the body the nutrition it needs but it can also cause excessive weight gain if the cravings are not sensible. Women may crave the sugar in cakes, candies and cookies but these foods have little nutritional benefit. Substituting yogurt or fresh fruit for these foods provides better nutrition and gives the body the sugar boost it needs without packing on the extra weight. Exercise helps to promote fitness during the times of high calorie demands.

Average Weight Gain and Distribution

The average woman gains between twenty and thirty pounds during pregnancy. Fitness and exercise are safe, but at no time is dieting a safe option during pregnancy. Overweight women should try to gain less than twenty pounds. Women who are thin can gain as much as thirty-five pounds. Still, many women gain much more, succumbing to the old cliché that they’re eating for two.

The following list describes how the weight is distributed in a twenty-nine-pound weight gain.

  • 7.5 pounds — average baby’s weight
  • 2 pounds — breast enlargement
  • 7 pounds — your body’s extra stored protein, fat, and other nutrients
  • 1.5 pounds — the placenta
  • 2 pounds — enlargement of your uterus
  • 2 pounds — amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
  • 3 pounds — your extra blood
  • 4 pounds — your other extra body fluids

Maintaining an exercise program keeps you fit throughout your pregnancy and prevents excessive weight gain. Fitness can also make it easier to take the extra weight off once the baby is born.

Resources

Beers, M. H.