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Pregnancy experts advise on weight management during pregnancy

With QardioBase and its dedicated pregnancy mode, we have many new moms and moms-to-be curious about what constitutes a healthy weight during and after pregnancy. So we asked top obstetricians, midwives and other pregnancy experts to share their opinion and healthy weight management tips and help us answer the most popular questions.

What is considered a healthy weight gain during pregnancy?
Most experts agree that a healthy weight gain during pregnancy very much depends on the expectant mother’s starting weight, or rather BMI, as the weight range will not be the same for an underweight mom and an obese one. Most pregnancy health care professionals refer to BMI values as opposed to the actual weight. BMI (body mass index) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy.

Sheila Chhutani, MD, MBA from Texas Health Dallas Hospital uses the  American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology guidelines when it comes to healthy weight gain in pregnancy as shown below.

healthy weight gain pregnancy guidelines
Kay Johnson, a certified nurse-midwife at Atlanta Birth Care focuses on the woman’s diet instead of the weight gain alone. “Generally it would be somewhere between 15 and 40 lbs but attention paid to weight gain alone is less useful than exploring the woman’s diet.”

How much weight gain is normal in the first trimester?
Weight gain in the first trimester is often between 1 and 5 pounds. Generally, women do not gain too much weight in the first trimester and some might even lose weight due to the morning sickness and nausea. Dr. Eva Martin, CEO and founder of  Elm Tree Medical explained that “many women will gain weight faster later in pregnancy due to the baby growing faster later on.” During your first trimester, make sure you drink plenty of water as your morning sickness might get your dehydrated and take your prenatal vitamins at time you are most likely keep them in.

How much weight gain is considered normal during pregnancy if you are overweight?
Most of the pregnancy experts we asked agreed 15 to 25 pounds was a normal weight gain if you’re overweight and in the BMI range 25 to 29.9. Although it’s not advisable to start a new exercise regime during pregnancy, it’s usually safe to continue your low-impact fitness routine with daily walking recommended to most moms. Staying active during pregnancy is a great way to keep in shape and ensure your weight stays within the healthy range.

How many more calories a day does a pregnant woman need?
During the second trimester, a pregnant woman only needs 200-350 extra calories a day, which increases to 500 calories a day in the third trimester. According to Jason James, medical director, FemCare Ob-Gyn and Chief of Ob/Gyn, Baptist Hospital a daily total intake for a mom to be should be around 2200-2900 calories per day in the second and third trimesters.

Tracy Donegan, registered midwife, author and the founder of GentleBirth says: “Pregnancy is not a time to eat for two – sleep for two instead!.”

Is it normal to lose weight during the second trimester of pregnancy?
Most medical experts agreed it is not common to lose weight in second trimester. Still, there are some women that do so but it is not necessarily something to be worried about. You should weigh yourself regularly, keep a journal of your weight gain and consult with your healthcare provider if you are not putting on enough weight. QardioBase makes it easy with its dedicated pregnancy mode, which not only keeps your weight history on your phone but also lets you add pictures for a visual feedback.

Starting out at a healthy weight and gaining within the recommended range also makes it easier to return to their pre-natal weight after delivery. You can track your progress with QardioBase, our smart scale and body analyzer. QardioBase is the the only scale with pregnancy mode, allowing you to track weekly progress, chart your trimester weight gain and add pictures to your numbers.

Do you have more pregnancy related questions? We have a whole dedicated section to PREGNANCY. Find all our pregnancy related blog posts here.

Sheila Chhutani, MD, MBA from Texas Health Dallas Hospital
Kay Johnson, certified nurse-midwife at Atlanta Birth Care
Dr. Eva Martin, OB/GYN, CEO and founder of  Elm Tree Medical
Jason James, chief of OB/GYN at Baptist Hospital
Tracy Donegan, registered midwife, author and the founder of GentleBirth

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