WHEN WILL I GAIN?
In the first trimester, physiological changes in the body may cause weight gain. These include blood volume changes, swelling of the feet and engorgement of the breasts. “This, however, should not be very significant. Before 20 weeks, the recommended weight gain is 4.5kg,” says Dr Rossouw. Assuming you’re targeting the recommended weight gain of 12.5kg, your weight gain after 20 weeks should be around 8kg – about 0.5kg per week. For women who started their pregnancy at a “normal” weight, your healthcare provider may only weigh you once a trimester, but for women who started their pregnancy overweight or obese, you’re likely to be measured at every visit.
Healthcare providers have become less inclined to weigh women at every visit, because it can cause anxiety over “too much” or “too little” weight gain. However, this isn’t an excuse to head to the chocolate aisle. “Patients who gain more than 15kg during their pregnancy have a higher chance of struggling to lose the weight after pregnancy,” cautions Dr Rossouw.
DO THIS, NOT THAT
You’ve heard it before, because it’s true. Don’t make the mistake of “eating for two” during your pregnancy. Tempting as it is to eat anything that comes your way, pregnant women are encouraged to make healthy food choices and combine it with regular exercise throughout pregnancy.
“This will aid you in feeling more energetic, sleeping better and coping better with the pregnancy and labour itself,” says Dr Rossouw. “Excessive weight gain can lead to the development of gestational diabetes (pregnancy associated diabetes),” she cautions.