Putting on weight for pregnant women is inevitable! And that does not necessarily mean fat, cellulite, and a weight gain of 10 kilos in a month. It is quite possible to manage your weight gain by having a balanced pregnancy diet and by becoming active: neither too much, nor not enough, the idea is that you put on the right amount of weight to manage your pregnancy.
What is the ideal weight gain during pregnancy?
Few women talk about it, and yet, the reality is, many women are still afraid of putting on weight.
If you’ve been here before, you should know that you’re not alone and you don’t have to blame yourself for thinking like that. It is completely normal to be afraid of changes in your body, especially in a society transfixed by aesthetics, even during pregnancy! In any case, do not be afraid, weight gain is absolutely necessary to properly develop a baby: after all, we’re talking about you and your baby’s health here. Having said that it doesn’t have to mean gaining 40 kg: so let’s find a happy medium, by following some of this advice.
For starters, why does a pregnant woman put on weight?
Well, it’s simple. During your pregnancy, a number of changes take place:
- your blood volume increases: you need to supply your baby’s needs and support the growth of your baby so naturally, you make more blood.
- the placenta develops: it allows alimentary exchanges with your future baby and it takes up space!
- amniotic fluid appears: your baby is bathing for 9 months in this liquid which also causes considerate weight gain.
- naturally, you retain more water : hormones can sometimes make your ankles swell up like posts, and hop!, another kilo.
- you store up reserves: from the start of your pregnancy, the body will store up reserves to allow for your baby’s growth, and then post-birth, for it to be able to breastfeed
- your baby is getting bigger: little by little, your baby will end up adding to your weight right up to its birth.
If we combine all these factors, we arrive at a weight gain of somewhere between 9-12 kilos. In general, in the first trimester, you do not gain much weight and you may even lose some (if you are prone to nausea and vomiting). From the second trimester, cravings begin to appear and it increases in the third trimester: do not panic, it is normal, your body requires energy!
Be careful however, this weight gain is only an average and depends on your pre-conceptual body mass index. If you were very thin before pregnancy, your body may need to store more reserves to support your baby’s growth. On the contrary, if you were overweight, weight gain will be less important, because your body will directly draw on the reserves it already has. So do not become transfixed by the scales, I can not repeat it enough: each person is unique!
Eat a balanced diet to gain healthy weight
Not surprisingly, my first tip is to eat a balanced diet. My rule of thumb: stop believing that you should eat for 2. There’s absolutely no need! Pregnancy is a magic moment, but it is by no means a green light to to throw yourself into a diet of tempting but ultra-processed products. On the contrary, you must be even more vigilant than ever about what you eat in order to provide your baby with all the nutrients it needs.
Note that your daily needs only increase from the second trimester, to around 250kcal, the equivalent of a little extra snack. So there’s no need to eat much more than usual! In the third quarter, this further increases to another 500 kcal, but not 500 kcal of chocolate…
Indeed, it is very important that a pregnant woman gains weight very gradually and in line with the needs of the body. A regular weight gain makes for an easier postpartum weight loss …
During these few months, it is also very important to listen to your feelings. Your needs will increase, but your body will let you know by how much – it is that intelligent. So do not deprive yourself when you are hungry, instead, take the opportunity to eat better. Don’t go overboard; the idea is to enjoy your pregnancy without becoming frustrated. So let’s listen to our body! Are you hungry? Great, eat smart to fill it up and help your baby grow! Do you have a sudden craving for chocolate? No, you don’t have to eat an apple, eat your chocolate, but just 1 or 2 squares rather than the whole thing.
Also make sure you eat at the right times throughout the day, adding snacks only if absolutely necessary.
A special pregnancy diet but also a special pregnancy lifestyle!
Who ever said that pregnancy meant stopping sport, or systematically taking the car and the escalator? Obviously, you will have to take care in your activities, but physical activity remains essential.
To limit risks, consult your doctor beforehand and try to speak to a sports coach who is knowledgeable about pregnancy.
The general idea is to avoid all activities that risk falling such as skiing or horse riding, and to instead, practice gentler sports like pilates, yoga or walking which will allow you to maintain your strength and muscular masse during pregnancy. In this way, in addition to complementing your diet, you will avoid excessive weight gain.
Weight gain and pregnancy is a health issue!
If i’m talking about weight gain, i’m not talking about aesthetics, although it is important that you feel good about your body, even with a large belly. There are genuine risks to an inappropriate weight gain
- Too much weight gain can cause foetal macrosomia (the production of an oversized baby) which will not only result in a cesarean but also risks gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
- Too lower weight gain puts babies at risk, often resulting in a baby with a low birth weight and a premature birth
If you think that you have gained a little too much weight, do not panic and do not embark on a diet. Remember, you can’t control everything; you can eat and exercise very well and still put on more weight than necessary. So go see your doctor and make an appointment with one of our qualified dietitian-nutritionists who are specially trained to help with these issues. They fully understand the needs of a pregnant woman and how to manage your pregnancy right up to the final weeks so your baby is born healthily. And if you need help from the first few weeks, we will also be there to give you all the necessary tips and tools for a suitable and adapted diet and a perfect weight gain by supplying you with menus designed to your needs and your tastes.