As a first time mom, my main focus during my pregnancy is to make sure that my baby is healthy and safe, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit concerned about how much weight I was going to gain as well. I was naive enough to think that I would be able to control the amount of weight that I would gain and I thought that if I ate well and worked out regularly there was no way that I’d be packing on a ton of weight…ummm yeah, not quite.
I soon learned that I had NO control over my body and the pounds that I was going to gain. I’m one of those people that weighs themselves everyday, not because I’m obsessed but just because it makes me feel accountable, and there were many times that I would step on the scale throughout my pregnancy and freak the f**k out when I saw the number climb up.
I just didn’t get how I was gaining so much weight, even though I wasn’t eating that much differently than normal, and was still working out 4-5 days a week. There were days where I would step off the scale on the brink of tears feeling frustrated and like a fat ass, and I would cry to my husband about it and he would look at me like I was crazy and say “good, I’m glad you’re gaining weight, it means that you and the baby are healthy”.
I literally wanted to strangle him when he said that to me, but then I realized that he was right. I was gaining the right amount of weight, and whatever weight I gained was going to be the right amount for me to have a healthy baby. So I’ve switched my mentality – all of the weight I am gaining is good weight that I need to gain to ensure that I have a healthy pregnancy and baby, and that’s what matters, nothing else.
That being said, I still wanted to know what the recommended weight gain was during pregnancy, and where it comes from, so here’s a simple breakdown for you.
The weight gain recommendations which are based on your pre-pregnancy weight and BMI (body mass index that you can calculate here):
- If you were underweight (BMI under 18.5) you should gain 28-40 lbs.
- If you were in the normal range (BMI between 18.5 – 24.9) you should gain 25-35 lbs.
- If you were overweight (BMI between 25 to 29.9) you should gain 15-25 lbs.
- If you were obese (BMI higher than 30) you should gain 11-20 lbs.
- If you’re having twins and were in the normal range 37-54 lbs., overweight range 31-50 lbs. and obese, 25-42 lbs.
How do those pounds add up? We know it’s not all baby and burgers, so here’s a breakdown of those extra pounds:
- Baby: 7-8 lbs.
- Placenta: 2-3 lbs.
- Amniotic fluid: 2-3 lbs.
- Breast tissue: 2-3 lbs.
- Body fluid (water): 2-4 lbs.
- Blood supply: 4 lbs.
- Uterus: 2-5 lbs.
- Stored fat (needed for delivery/breastfeeding): 5-9 lbs.
- Total: 25-35 lbs.
In the first trimester you’re supposed to gain 1-5 lbs., and then each week after you should be gaining about a pound a week. I didn’t gain a pound each week – I would plateau for a few weeks and step on the scale one day and BOOM would be 2-4 pounds heavier than I was the day before, and then would plateau again for the next couple of weeks and wouldn’t gain any weight, but everyone is different in how they gain, and when they gain so don’t compare yourself to anyone else because you’ll just drive yourself crazy.
So now that we’ve gone over the weight gain, how about the weight loss post-pregnancy? The average post-birth weight loss immediately following delivery is around 12 lbs., and in the next couple of weeks after that you’ll lose even more (especially if you’re breastfeeding) and the average weight loss 2 weeks post-partum is about 20 lbs., which is kind of amazing if you think about it!
We’ve just got to remember that it took 9 months to put on the weight, and it’s not going to come off immediately and that’s okay. Of course it’s easy for me to say this now as I’m still pregnant, and I’m sure I’ll feel differently when I’m stuck at that “I can’t get these last 10 lbs off” stage, but I guess I’ll just have to wait until I get there and complain to you guys about it then 🙂