weight gain during pregnancy and metabolic rate

weight gain during pregnancy and metabolic rate
  • PublishedJanuary 15, 2020

Expectant moms ought to have a good amount of healthy weight, as this is important for both themselves and the growing baby. This is the main reason why when you go for antenatal care, healthy eating is emphasized by the physician. For most women, a lot tends to cross their mind as regards to what causes weight gain during pregnancy? How much weight is normal? Whether the weight gain is not harmful to their health? And if they will gain their normal shape after birth.

Well, in this article we are going to discuss most of these concerns and by the end of this submission, you will be in a position to embrace this inter trimester weight gain.

What causes weight gain during pregnancy?

When women become pregnant, they experience a variety of changes ranging from what they eat, body exercise, and general daily routines. All this happen due to the fact that they are no longer eating for themselves alone, but also for the unborn baby. Most of these changes occur on the day of conception and they develop over time. In the third trimester, women experience the most weight gain than in the first trimester.

This weight is not only from the growing baby, but much of this weight also comes from extra fluids in the body for baby circulation, the amniotic fluid, breast tissue preparing for breast milk, more blood and the placenta.

What trimester do women have the most weight gain during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, women experience very many changes right from the first trimester to the third trimester. During the third trimester, most of these changes worsen and of course, vary from one individual to another depending on a woman’s body.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is in the third trimester that the foetus gains the most weight. 2 pounds in 27weeks, 4 to 5 pounds in 32 weeks and 6 to 10 pounds at full-time delivery.

As a matter of fact, the general weight not only comes from the growing baby but also more blood, fluids, amniotic fluid, the placenta, fat stores and a larger uterus.

How much is normal weight gain during pregnancy?


weight gain during pregnancy

As a matter, during pregnancy women experience a lot of changes and one of them is the weight gain. Weight gain is much more significant in the third trimester when the child is about to be born. Most of the time, we tend to be uncomfortable with this weight hearing our neighbours exclaim and wondering whether or not this weight is healthy both to the mum and the unborn baby.

According to the U.S institute of medicine, weight gain during pregnancy depends on your health and body mass index (BMI) before getting pregnant. Body mass index is the measure of body fat based on your height and weight.

The U.S Institute of medicine issues guidelines that are followed by doctors around the world.

And below is a recommendation on weight gain vs body mass index by the U.S Institute of medicine.

Underweight Health weight Overweight Obese
Pregnant with one baby 28-40 pounds 25-35 pounds 15-25 pounds 11-20 pounds
Pregnant with twins 50-62 pounds 37-54 pounds 31-50 pounds 25-42 pounds

In a nutshell, a pregnant woman should gain 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester, and 1 pound per week in the last two trimesters. If a mum is expecting twins she should gain between 35 and 45 pounds during her pregnancy, which is approximately 1.5 pounds per week after the first trimester. A pregnant mum should see a physician if her weight gain is worryingly out of range for assistance.

Is weight gain during pregnancy important?

Gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy can be harmful to you and your baby. It is, therefore, the right amount of weight that can be important to your health and that of the baby. To the pregnant mom, weight gain reduces the risk of caesarean delivery, premature birth and pregnancy complications. It, however, helps the mom to return to pre-pregnancy weight faster.

To the unborn baby, weight gain helps in brain development, reduces the risk of birth defects and it is also key to the ideal birth weight of the baby.

Can you safely reverse weight gain during pregnancy?

In most cases, doctors don’t advise women to lose weight or crush diet during pregnancy. However, in cases of overweight, this should be done under the doctor’s care.


Does metabolism speed up during pregnancy?

Like we discussed in the preceding paragraphs, during pregnancy, the body undergoes many tremendous changes. This is actually a lot of work which requires the body to burn more calories. The body not only grows the baby but also produces more blood, breast tissue for breast milk and the placenta. All the above depend on the body to take place. This, therefore, requires more than double the energy before pregnancy.

The metabolic rate, therefore, rises in order to produce more energy to sustain all these functions by the body. This is evident that the body temperature increases as the metabolic rate increases. This is why pregnant mums always have a high temperature.

Dizziness and light-headedness are also common with pregnant moms as the metabolic rate increase. This is because glucose is cleared faster from the blood, leading to low levels. Calm is restored when one eats food timely. In fact, the American pregnancy association recommends increased consumption up to about 300 calories per day.

How many calories do pregnant women burn daily?

With the right calorie amount, a pregnant mum will have a healthy weight gain. This can be tracked using an average scale of 1 to 4 pounds during the first 3 months, and 2 to 4 pounds during the second and third trimesters.

In the first 3 months, you only need more energy to support the developing baby, with just nutritious foods. No significant additional calories needed.

In the second 3 months, increase calorie intake by 300 to 350 calories per day. While in the last 3 months you will need an extra 500 calories per day and for twins, a mum may need an additional 300 calories per day for each paper.

Emphasis should be put on low-fat foods, proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains as these will nutrients and enough calories. You need to gain weight while you are pregnant but in a healthy and timely manner.

Wrap up

Expectant mothers normally experience changes throughout the entire gestation period. Most of these changes include metabolic rates and weight gain. Weight gain and metabolic rates are intense in the last trimester when the child is about to be born. During this period, metabolic rates rise and more calories are burnt. As a matter of fact, the doctor will advise the mom to increase food consumption so as to burn more 300 calories a day.

Weight gain is very important both for a healthy mother and a healthy baby. The normal weight gain is determined by the body mass index, and the doctors always advise you accordingly.

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