How much weight are you supposed to gain in the first trimester of pregnancy?

(February 2, 2010)

The exact amount and speed of weight gain during the first 3 months of the pregnancy is dependent on various factors such as age of the mother-to-be, race, current weight, height, and so on. What is certain is that some degree of weight gain is required and beneficial to the health of the baby. If the mother-to-be is not underweight, a gain of about 10-11 pounds is what is usually considered normal and healthy. This is considered optimal for those mothers-to-be who are slightly overweight as well. Most doctors will recommend some form of weight loss to those who are overweight and wish to conceive.

In cases where the mother-to-be is underweight the weight that needs to be gained will be proportionately higher. Those who are extremely underweight may be recommended even up to a 25-30 pound increase. This usually applies to those who are carrying a single baby. In cases of multiple births, the weight gain expected of a mother-to-be will be higher. The important thing to bear in mind here is that the adage of ‘eating for two’ must not be taken literally. It is not a mere matter of doubling the existing level of calories. In fact that is far from recommended. An increase of approximately 300 calories a day works best to help with the recommended weight gain in the first trimester. Instead of a general hike in calories, it is best to make sure that the 300 calories are obtained from healthy sources.  

An expecting mother should make sure that her diet includes servings of fruits, dairy, and protein. Proteins sources could include fish, lean meats, eggs, and pulses. All vegetables and fruits are rich in fibre and various other nutrients. Sources of dairy for those are underweight or normal-weight could include cheese, butter, olive oil, etc. For those with existing weight/health issues a diet rich in nuts, yogurt, and other low-fat options work well too. Faddy diets that recommend eschewing whole groups of food should be completely avoided. A healthy source of carbohydrates includes whole-wheat breads, pastas, brown rice, and various cereals. It is best to substitute all refined flour with whole wheat as this helps to keep the blood sugar at a steady level, and reduce the desire to overeat and binge on calorie-rich but nutrient-poor fast foods. In conclusion, an expecting mother should and will gain weight starting with the first trimester. It is best to make sure that this weight gain is gradual and occurs due to the consumption of healthy and nutritious foods.

Submitted by P T on February 2, 2010 at 09:45

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