How much pregnancy weight should I put on?
How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is a subject that even the experts argue about between themselves, but generally you can work it out best from your height, weight and body frame. Your midwife or doctor will probably take these measurements and tell you your Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a helpful guide. To calculate your BMI, take your weight (kg) and divide it by your height (m). Then divide that number once again by your height (m).
It’s great to aim for a steady, gradual pregnancy weight gain but everyone has a different pattern so don’t worry if you gain more one week and a bit less the next – nobody is the same!
It’s recommended that if you’re under 20 years old, it’s good to aim for a pregnancy weight gain at the top end of the range for someone with your pre-pregnancy BMI.
Is losing weight during pregnancy safe?
In a word – no. It’s true that being overweight may increase your risk of complications, including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and premature birth, but it’s never wise to consider weight loss as an option during pregnancy. Sorting out your weight before you get pregnant is a good thing to do but dieting once you get pregnant could only reduce your baby’s birth weight and put them at risk. If you miss vital nutrients, you could be denying them a healthy and happy start in life.
What you can do is ask your midwife about a healthy, balanced diet that includes all the food groups and essentials, whilst not piling on any extra pounds that you don’t really need.
Being underweight during pregnancy (BMI under 20)
Being underweight can also cause problems during pregnancy so if you fall into this camp, you should also try and get up to a healthy weight before you conceive. Or, if you are already pregnant, speak to your midwife about a healthy diet that will help you achieve a healthy pregnancy weight gain.