The old adage, “Eating for two”, when a woman is pregnant is a myth. Yes, a woman should have a balanced diet that is healthy, but over-eating or under-eating during pregnancy could have adverse effects and gain 0.5kg
When pregnant, how much weight gain is normal?
There is no fixed measure of weight gain during pregnancy as it depends on the age, ethnicity and body type of the mother as well as her health and that of the baby. To ensure that the mother is maintaining a healthy weight, doctors take into account the BMI of the mother before her pregnancy. They use the body mass index as a way to check whether a pregnant woman is gaining too much weight or too little weight.
The guidelines for pregnancy weight gain in relation to the BMI before pregnancy are as follows:-
• If the BMI before pregnancy was less than 18.5, there should be between 12.5 – 18 kgs of weight gain during pregnancy.
• If BMI before pregnancy was between 18.5 and 24.9 there should be between 11.5 – 16 kgs of weight gain during pregnancy.
• If BMI before pregnancy was between 25 and 29.9 there should be between 7 – 11.5 kgs of weight gain during pregnancy.
• If BMI before pregnancy was greater than 30 there should be between 5 – 9 kgs of weight gain during pregnancy.
Often, parents-to-be tend to think that a pregnant mother’s weight relates to the health of the baby – i.e, the more weight she gains, the healthier her baby will be. But, in fact, being overweight or gaining too much weight during pregnancy can give rise to other health issues and affect the health of the baby. Being overweight or underweight can also cause complications during labour and delivery.
Having a well balanced nutritious diet throughout the pregnancy, getting the right amount of exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle will ensure that you have a trouble free and easy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.