Being OVERWEIGHT increases risk of C-section delivery: Track your pregnancy weight using BMI

Gaining weight during pregnancy is completely normal but knowing about the right amount of weight to gain is the key to a healthy pregnancy and helps in avoiding complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery.

The first and foremost thing to understand here is that the amount of weight you gain during your term of pregnancy depends upon your pre-pregnancy weight, the trimester you are in and whether or not you are carrying twins or multiples. Since these are only recommendations, the actual weight you gain depends upon how your hormones react to the fact that you are pregnant and the pace at which you gain weight is not always steady. For women who gain more in the early trimesters tend to even out during the later stages of pregnancy and vice-versa. For easy understanding, please refer to the following categories based on your pre-pregnancy weight using Body Mass Index (BMI):

BMI < 18.5

Women who are Underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5 should gain between 12 to 18 kgs distributed as –

First Trimester – 0.5 to 2 kgs

Second Trimester – 0.5 kg weekly

Third Trimester – 0.5 kg weekly

18.5 < BMI < 24.9

For women with average weight with a BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 the recommended weight gain is around 10 to 16 kgs distributed trimester wise as –

First Trimester – 0.5 to 2 kgs

Second Trimester – 0.5 to 1 kg weekly

Third Trimester – 0.5 to 1 kg weekly

25 < BMI < 29.9

For Overweight women with a BMI between 25 to 29.9, the average pregnancy weight gain should be around 6 to 11 kgs.

First Trimester – Around 2 kgs

Second Trimester – 1 to 1.5 kg monthly

Third Trimester – 1 to 1.5 kg monthly

BMI > 30

For women who are already Obese with a BMI of 30+ should only strive to gain 5 to 9 kgs –  around 0.5 to 1 Kg per month.

Remember stepping on the scale daily will only make you more cautions. Consulting a nutritionist can help you manage your weight with a proper healthy diet and program exercise because that is what will provide for the crucial nourishment for your baby. Some women even tend to lose weight during pregnancy especially in the case of women with pre-pregnancy BMI of 28 & above if they intake a healthy diet and make necessary lifestyle changes. So take a deep breath and relax because this is a time to enjoy and not fuss around. Happy Pregnancy!

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