THE STARTING POINT
Many women will start their pregnancy at a “normal” weight – that is to say with a body mass index (BMI) of between 20 and 25. “The BMI is an easy tool to assess a patient’s weight in relation to length. This is the most useful marker to distinguish between normal, overweight and obese patients,” says Dr Rossouw. Google “BMI calculator” and you can work it out for yourself (or see page 85 to work out your BMI).
If your BMI is less than 20, you’re classified underweight. “Underweight patients are firstly examined to rule out chronic illness. Thereafter they are referred to a dietician. Recommended weight gain in this group is still around 12.5kg,” explains Dr Rossouw.
However, women who are overweight (BMI 25 to 30) and obese (a BMI of above 30) are advised to embrace healthy living. “Weight gain should be minimised. Weight gain of around 10kg is accepted,” says Dr Rossouw. For women who are considered morbidly obese (BMI above 35) or super obese (BMI above 50), they should aim to not gain any weight in pregnancy and keep their weight constant or even lose