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Top tips for pregnancy weight management

Top tips for pregnancy weight management

Every pregnant woman will gain weight and it is important to understand why the scales may be moving up.

There is a range of guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy, the following are the general numbers.

  • For those with a healthy pre-pregnancy body weight, 10 to 14 kilos is a normal weight gain.
  • For those who are underweight, expect to gain closer to 19 kilos.
  • Anyone who is overweight will gain an average of 9 kilos.

There are variables to these guidelines. Some overweight women may lose weight during pregnancy, and that is okay as long as it is supervised. We can track and explain your expected pregnancy weight gain over the trimesters as part of your initial consultation at Pear.

Average weights at birth to keep in mind

Everything within your body will grow, not just your baby – here are some averages to get you thinking:

  • At birth, a baby weighs about 3.3kg.
  • The placenta, which keeps your baby nourished, weighs 0.7kg.
  • The amniotic fluid, which supports and cushions your baby, weighs 0.8kg.
  • Your uterus (womb) grows dramatically and weighs an extra 0.9kg.
  • Your blood volume increases and weighs an extra 1.2kg.
  • You have extra fluid in your body weighing about 1.2kg.
  • Your breasts weigh an extra 0.4kg.
  • You'll store fat, about 4kg, to give you energy for breastfeeding

Pear's Top Tips To Manage Pregnancy Weight Gain

1. Don't eat for two

Instead, make what you eat count for twice as much! While pregnant, you need an extra 150 calories a day in the first few months and an extra 300 calories a day for the remainder of your pregnancy. This equates to an additional apple a day or a serving of yoghurt and fruit.

While pregnant you have natural insulin resistance, to provide glucose as energy to your growing baby, so large blood sugar spikes may not be as well controlled. So at Pear, we advise you to eat real food when pregnant and try to avoid sugar binges and ‘junk foods’.

Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body and help grow a healthy baby. Eat fibre-rich foods and plenty of protein and healthy mono and saturated fats like coconut oil and avocado every few hours to prevent hunger pains that cause you to crave high-calorie snacks.

2. Invest in some supportive and flattering pregnancy bras and clothing

We highly recommend investing in a supportive sports bra and day bra for your growing bust. This will help with your posture and self-confidence.

We also suggest a well-fitted pair of training shoes if you want to incorporate walking and jogging into your pre and post-natal exercise routine. As your feet will swell during pregnancy, and may remain a size or a half larger after the birth, having a supportive pair of trainers is so important. Your ligaments are also much more supple and prone to injury.

3. Get some sleep

Whilst this is easier said than done if you are already a mum to other kids or waking up every hour with pregnancy aches and pains. But not getting enough sleep can contribute to weight gain by slowing down your metabolism, and can really influence your mood and levels of fatigue.

If possible make up for interrupted sleep by going to bed earlier, or napping during the day. Completing some moderate-intensity physical activity during the day can also help you with quality sleep at night.

4. Keep exercising!

If you were exercising before your pregnancy, it's safe to exercise while pregnant, but make sure to check in with your GP / obstetrician to get the all clear. Exercise can support healthy weight gain during pregnancy and help you to stay within the recommended weight gain guidelines. Regular to moderate intensity exercise during your pregnancy can also maintain fitness and coordination, ease musculoskeletal pain, manage stress, improve your feeling of wellbeing, prepare you for the physical demands of labour and assist you to achieve your pre-pregnancy fitness levels after birth.

If you want some guidance with your exercise during pregnancy then our accredited exercise physiologist at Pear Exercise Physiology can set you up with a safe exercise plan or you can join one of our small group classes designed especially for pregnant mums.

As well as tracking and explaining your expected pregnancy weight gain over the trimesters as part of your initial consultation, Pear can guide you through your entire pregnancy journey, including the often-overlooked postnatal return to fitness.

Article written by Pear Exercise Physiology