Being pregnant and gaining weight goes hand in hand for obvious reasons, but we all know that pregnancy makes you REALLY hungry (this is, when you are not feeling-sick). All this eating can easily spiral out of control and the visuals that you had of looking like a glowing maternal princess might soon lay in the shadows of a beached whale instead.  Although most of us know full well that you don’t have to ‘eat for two’, almost half of moms-to-be put on more weight during pregnancy than the guidelines advise.  I am here to to let you know thou should not fear, I have some handy info for you right here to keep yourself in check. 

On a side note

Personally I had a whopping 18 kg weight gain so far (I am at 32 weeks at the moment) I went up from 65kg to about 82kg now.  I am not sure what I will lose after the birth (because some of that weight goes straight out the window after baby is born) so that is still left to be seen.  With Sammy starting weight was 70kg I went up to 87kg and then I was about 65kg ever since.

What is the suggested weight gain vs reality

The suggested weight gain for most mums-to-be, with a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, doctors recommended gaining between 11-16kg  over the full nine months.  It is obviously different if you already have a bit of booty to work with already so this is the guideline you should follow:

  • Underweight: Gain 12 – 15 kg’s
  • Normal weight: Gain 11-16 kg’s
  • Overweight: Gain around 6 – 11 kg’s
  • Obese: Gain 5 – 10 kg’s

What is important to know is that pregnant women do not gain weight at a consistent rate. Your weight gain will not be consistent from week to week, not during your whole pregnancy, nor even just from the second trimester on. This is surprising, because the charts most Gynie’s use to track pregnancy weight gain like the one below usually show an even, steady increase of about 500 grams per week from the second trimester on.

weight gain chart during pregnancy

The good “old” way of determining weight gain during pregnancy

There’s no other way to put this really but his is just nonsense. Your weight will gain weight the way it sees fit, not at a steady rate and there is no handbook to predict how it will happen for you.  Please keep this in mind when you are stressing about picking up too much in one said trimester. 

There is a more realistic guideline to work on.

Your weight gain should be substantially less in the first trimester, the most in in the second and in the third you could actually plateau or even lose a bit of weight as your stomach space will also be a bit crowded and you will feel full rather quickly. 

You might also notice that in your first trimester you are literally a raging savage.  You are hungry all the time and grumpy A.F if you don’t get fed.  This is largely because you are growing a whole new organ.  The placenta which will become your baby’s support system supplying nutrients and oxygen to your developing baby throughout the pregnancy. Your body is also burning massive amounts of calories to enable your body to manufacture this organ.  IS THIS NOT AMAZING?!

A rapid amount of weight gain in the second trimester is common and to be expected. Most of the weight you gain in the second trimester is water.  And water weight, unlike fat, can come on very fast. The insane, unquenchable thirst that strikes in the second trimester? It allows your blood volume to increase by almost 50%.

Then the last trimester, weight gain mainly comes from gaining fat, on the baby, and on you.  The increase in blood volume and in amniotic fluid is largely behind you.  

So ever wondered how all this weight gain is divided?

I drew up a little chart for you to see

where weight gain goes during pregnancy

What about the fat?

Now for the good news and the bad news. The bad news is that most fat from pregnancy (due to pregnancy hormones go straight to the thighs. The good news thigh fat comes off first after birth. More bad news is that belly fat tends to linger a bit longer. With Sammy I found that 6 months to a year is a realistic goal to lose belly fat.

So what is the best way to control the eating? 

We have all heard this old chestnut “But surely I need to eat more – I’m growing a baby!”

No. Sadly, that’s not the case.

You should eat the same amount as a non-pregnant woman which is about 8700 kj’s for the first 6 months and then in the last 3 months of your pregnancy, you need just 850kj’s more per day.  This is because your baby has his/her biggest growth spurt and you also need additional nutrient stores for breastfeeding.

In Conclusion 

Picking up too much weight in pregnancy has real medical, and life threatening repercussions.  When we are talking about an extra 5kg’s I really don’t feel you should stress too much. There are so many variables with pregnancy that you cannot be too hard on yourself, as mentioned before everyone is different.  I think if you follow the “healthy” guideline rule book you are in good hands.  Try and avoid empty calories without being a “Hitler of pregnancy” on yourself.  Balance is key as always.  And Mobility and exercise is super important as well to keep that mood and body in check.  If you would like some pregnancy workouts please check my Youtube Channel out and here is also a link to a nice lower body workout to get you started.

Lower Body Pregnancy Workout

Watch this video on YouTube.

Please do take the time to  leave comments and questions.  I always appreciate them.

Much Love

Brigitte   

Written by Brigitte Willers
I am a working mom from Cape Town. I am passionate about fitness, all things self help and DIY. I like to figure it out and share as I go along, after all we are all just trying to figure this life out. I am all about women helping each other to excel whether its in work, play, or health and fitness. I am a qualified with the Health and Fitness Professional association, I have chosen not to use it as a career path but rather to help women achieve their goals via this blog. My work/business is Project Management in the FMCG and Entertainment Sector (www.theprojectlead.co.za) My true passion is music, nature, animals, helping others and most importantly my family. I am quite a philosophical mess (on the light side) and on a great adventure of finding my true self, like most of us (except maybe mermaids and unicorns because they know exactly who they are) Why don't you join me on this exciting journey and we can do it together, I promise I will make you laugh and you won't get bored.