Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Natural Pregnancy picture by Dr. Dawn Tames

Weight gain in pregnancy is a huge concern for many women. You want to know how much weight you should gain and you worry about how hard it will be to take it back off. Here is what you need to know.

You need to eat a healthy pregnancy diet.

Why? Your baby is counting on you for the nutrients it needs to be healthy. One of the biggest pregnancy myths is that it doesn’t matter what you eat while you are pregnant. That your body will give up the calcium, protein, etc your baby needs to develop properly if you aren’t providing those nutrients in your diet. Not only would this be extremely unhealthy for the mother, but it doesn’t work that way. Making a baby takes a tremendous amount of energy. The nutrients in your blood, not stored in your tissues, are most available to your baby. It takes time and energy for your body to pull calcium out of its bones and then circulate that to your baby. Bottom line, if you aren’t getting the proper nutrients in your diet, your baby will not be getting the best possible start. Your first priority should be getting the proper nutrients for your baby. If you eat a healthy pregnancy diet and cut out all junk and processed food, you don’t have to worry about weight gain in pregnancy. Check out Healthy Pregnancy Diet for more information about exactly what that means and view healthy diet for pregnancy to see exactly how much and what to eat.

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The Right Amount of Weight Gain in Pregnancy

We often get asked, “But what about me, how much weight gain in pregnancy should I expect?” Many books and doctors will try to give you a magic number. Right now the popular figure is usually somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds. But here’s the trick when it comes to weight gain in pregnancy… Everyone has different genetics. You can’t even look to your mother because she has only half of the same genetics as you.

The right amount for you to gain is the amount that your body needs to support a healthy pregnancy. Irrespective of how much you eat, your hormones will dictate how much of that energy your body holds onto. If your genes want to make sure you are prepared to maintain your pregnancy in the face of a potential famine, your body will hold onto more calories than if your genetic makeup is not so conservative. Women with both types of genes still need to make sure that they are consuming the right nutrients *every day* so that the right building materials are there to make their baby. Does this give you carte blanch to eat whatever you desire? Unfortunately no. What it means is that if you stick to eating a healthy pregnancy diet and cut out everything that isn’t listed on our Healthy Pregnancy Diet page, you will gain exactly the right amount of weight for your body during this pregnancy.

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Once you realize how important getting the right nutrients is for the development of your baby, you can see how unfortunate it is for women to restrict their calories based on weight gain over nutrition. You may keep your weight gain down to 20 pounds, but what are the repercussions for your unborn child if the proper nutrients in the necessary quantities are not available? At least 80 grams of protein a day as well as green vegetables and healthy fats are critical components of a healthy diet for pregnancy. Did you know that your brain and that of your child is made up of 75% cholesterol? That is why doctors recommend full-fat milk for children, children need cholesterol for healthy brain development, both in utero as well as throughout their childhood. This is just one example of the importance of getting good nutrition during your pregnancy.

Please, take it from us, you need to worry about eating the right foods and cutting out the empty calories and processed foods out of your diet. You don’t need to worry about what the scale says.

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Where Would You Like to Go Next?

Want to read about What to Eat While You are Pregnant?

Read more about the Importance of a Healthy Diet, especially for unborn babies, children and nursing moms?

Read more about what comprises a Healthy Pregnancy Diet ?

Childbirth can be an endurance event. Read about a few important Pregnancy Exercises you should be doing to prepare your body for your baby's birth.

See some Healthy Crock Pot Recipes that can make meal preparation easy?

…Or go shopping for some great new maternity clothes to show off that beautiful pregnant body?

  • Expecting Maternity Wear & Nursing Clothes
    Stylish maternity wear for any occasion during your pregnancy along with breastfeeding tops & dresses. Also a large range of maternity & nursing bras & lingerie.

…or visit our Natural Pregnancy Forum to read stories and ask questions of the community?