How Much Weight Should We Gain During Pregnancy?

For many women, pregnancy is one of those few times in our lives where we can really let go and eat as much as we want. After all, a mother-to-be needs to eat enough for two, right? Unfortunately, this is a myth that has perpetuated despite our greater understanding about what and how much women should be eating during pregnancy.

Eating for two doesn’t mean we can double our food intake. In fact, we don’t even need to add any extra calories during the first trimester. It is only from the second trimester that nutritionists recommend increasing our intake by an extra 360 calories a day. If you want to know what that looks like, it’s one baked potato or one chicken salad or one wholegrain oatmeal. By the time we reach the third trimester, we can top it up to an extra 470 calories a day.

So how much weight is a mother recommended to gain during pregnancy? It depends on whether we were under weight, overweight or of average weight to begin with before the pregnancy. For ballpark estimates, these are the recommendations from the US Institute of Medicine:

✿ Underweight: 12.5 to 18kgs
✿ Average Weight: 11.5 to 16kgs
✿ Overweight: 7 to 11.5kgs

How did they arrive at these figures? For an average woman, it is the sum of the extra weight from the:

✿ Fetus: 3.5kgs
✿ Placenta: 1 to 1.5kgs
✿ Amniotic fluid: 1 to 1.5kgs
✿ Breast tissue: 1 to 1.5kgs
✿ Blood supply: 2kgs
✿ Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 2 to 4kgs
✿ Larger uterus: 1 to 2kgs

Add all that together and we arrive at a total of 11 to 16kgs. Anything we add on above that 16 kilograms will be extra body fat we have to lose after the delivery. How can we make sure we get all the necessary nutrients developing fetus need for optimal growth and development without breaking the calorie bank? It is a tricky balance to maintain between the morning sickness, the food cravings, and ensuring that we get the three essential nutrients that every pregnant woman must have:

✿ 600mg folic acid
✿ 1000mg calcium
✿ 27mg iron

An easy way to get those vital nutrients into our diet is by taking Similac Mom®. Two servings provide daily requirements of folic acid and calcium that a pregnant woman needs plus 6mg of iron. Similac Mom also contains many other essential nutrients that pregnant mothers require, such as DHA. Best of all, compared to other maternal milk brands, Similac Mom® offers the most number of nutrients with the least amount of fat, so you can worry less about putting on too much weight.