Pregnancy App Article: "Weight gain in pregnancy"

Weight gain in pregnancy
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Off the scales
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One thing's for certain: you're going to gain some weight when you're pregnant. For some this can be a blessed relief - finally, an excuse to eat when and what they like! Others may find the weight gain a bit alarming, and feel out of control of their bodies. 

If you're one of the former, remember that 'eating for two' isn't strictly necessary - a healthy diet is what's important. If you're in the latter camp, try not to worry too much. Some weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy; it helps your baby grow and gets your body ready to produce milk to feed your baby after birth.

How much weight can you expect to gain?
Lots of different factors will determine how much weight you'll put on: your pre-pregnancy weight, the amount you eat (doh!) and your genetic make-up are just some of them.

NHS Choices reckons that most women put on between 8kg to 14kg (17.5lb to 30lb) - and most of this is after week 20. About a third of this extra heft will be your baby, plus the placenta and the amniotic fluid which cushions it in the uterus. The rest of the weight gain will be:
  • Your boobs - alone they can put on over 1kg (3lbs) as they prepare for breastfeeding (yikes!)
  • Extra blood volume 
  • Extra fluid in the body
  • An increase in the muscle layer of the uterus
  • Increased fat stores
What happens if you're overweight or underweight?
As fabulous as it is to rock a great maternity look, there's a bit more to it than that. Your weight throughout pregnancy has as impact on your own health, as well as your baby's development. 

Women who are really underweight before they become pregnant are more likely to experience miscarriage, premature birth, or having a baby with a low birth-weight. And those who are already overweight before they get pregnant run the risk of complications like pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or having a larger baby.

You should put on weight at a steady pace throughout your pregnancy - keep an eye out for rapid weight gain, which can sometimes be a sign of pre-eclampsia. 

But don't worry too much - your midwife will measure your bump at appointments and keep an eye out for any unusual weight gain.
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I've found the weight doesn't go on uniformly like the charts suggest. You'll know if you're eating well (and as far as I'm concerned that does include a compulsory cake each day).
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I don't know anyone who only managed to put on a mere two stone. I put on at least four.
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How you can control your weight in pregnancy?
The best thing to do is to eat sensibly, choosing a good selection of fresh healthy foods (you know the sort of thing).

Try to stay active, drink lots of water and take cues from your body about when and how much to eat. As a rough guide you should aim to take in about 2,000 calories a day with an extra 200 in the last trimester.

And will it ever come off?
Most women lose about two-thirds of the weight they have put on within a month of giving birth but the rest can be difficult to shift post-pregnancy. 

Some women find it easier to lose weight when they stop breastfeeding, but remember it's taken nine months to put that weight on - it's going to take more than nine days for it to drop off again.
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