Dr. Shalini Kapoor Kad
April 27, 2011
A homoeopathic paediatrician, a counselling expert and a freelance writer are a few words to describe my profession. My sole aim is to put forth practical piece of information that guides every one right in the direction, blending the medicos to a layman with a simple gesture to make the medical things a little less convoluted and comprehendible.
Pregnancy and weight gain go hand in hand. It is obvious that as your pregnancy will advance, you will gain weight. Ideal weight gain in pregnancy is around 22 - 26 pounds. Not all the weight that a pregnant woman gains is of the baby. From the amniotic fluid to the breast of a pregnant woman, everything adds up to the weight of a woman. The child will contribute only 4.8 - 5.5 lbs towards the entire weight of the woman. However, there are a few guidelines which have been issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee in the general interest of pregnant women.
These pregnancy weight guidelines are based on the body mass index or the BMI of a woman before she gets pregnant with a baby.
- Underweight women: 28-40 pounds
- Women with Normal weight: 25-35 pounds
- Overweight women: 15-25 pounds
- Obese women: 11-20 pounds
The pregnancy weight gain guidelines for women with twins are a little different.
- Normal weight: 37-54 pounds
- Overweight: 31-50 pounds
- Obese: 25-42 pounds
- Underweight: weight gain in such conditions should be medically supervised
The weight gain during the pregnancy should be gradual and not sudden. This ensures minimal trouble for the woman. Sudden weight gain could result in itchiness in the skin as well as stretch marks. Stretch marks do not disappear but fade to a silvery white color over a period of time. No amount of medicines or application of creams or gels can make them disappear. Therefore, around the second trimester itself, one should keep her skin moisturized to ensure that the elasticity of the skin is retained.
Pregnancy and weight gain both needs to be monitored very carefully. However, one should not think of losing weight during pregnancy if one is on the higher side of the weight scale. Even after delivery, one should not resort to weight loss techniques like dieting or rigorous exercises. Instead, you should breastfeed your child to reduce weight. Breastfeeding releases the hormone called Oxytocin which helps to reduce the size of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. It also helps to decrease the weight of a woman.
Pregnancy and weight gain can be dangerous at times. Normally, the common notion among people is that a pregnant woman should eat for two. This results in an unnatural weight gain among women. Weight gain can result in a lot of complications both during the pregnancy as well as during the delivery of the child. Sometimes due to too much of weight gain, the child too becomes heavy. In such cases, vaginal delivery of the child is not possible and hence, caesarean method of delivery needs to be adopted. This can also pose risk for the baby as well as for the mother.
To know more about pregnancy and weight gain, a woman must consult her obstetrician as the body and the associated physical needs and requirement differs from a woman to woman. Each case is unique and even subsequent pregnancies of a woman are different from each other.