18 Sep Should I weigh myself during pregnancy?
Monitoring Your Weight During Pregnancy: A Balanced Approach
Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body goes through incredible changes, both physically and emotionally. Many women struggle with weight gain: not enough, too much, or simply just feeling uncomfortable with the changes to their bodies. And many women might feel embarrassed to discuss this with their partners, family members, or even ObGyn.
Healthy, appropriate weight gain is part of every healthy pregnancy. One common question we get revolves around the practice of weighing oneself during pregnancy. Here are tips on how to manage pregnancy weight gain and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
The Significance of Weight Monitoring during Pregnancy:
Keeping an eye on your weight during pregnancy can provide valuable insights into your overall health. It allows you to track the natural changes in your body as it accommodates the growth and development of your baby. High or low weight gain can have serious health implications for both you and your developing baby. That said, we recommend you don’t become a slave to the scale, instead work with your prenatal dietitian or ObGyn to monitor weight.
Guidelines for Healthy Weight Gain
Healthcare providers follow established guidelines to ensure a healthy pregnancy. These guidelines take into account your pre-pregnancy weight and set a target range for weight gain throughout the pregnancy journey. Every woman’s body is unique, so weight management, too, is unique. Likewise, weight gain depends on whether you’re carrying one baby or are . Here are some general principles:
- Underweight: If you were underweight before pregnancy, your healthcare provider might recommend a slightly higher weight gain to support your baby’s development.
- Normal Weight: Women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight typically aim for a moderate weight gain.
- Overweight: If you were overweight before pregnancy, your healthcare provider may advise a more controlled weight gain to avoid excessive fat accumulation.
- Obese: Women with obesity might be encouraged to limit their weight gain during pregnancy.
These categories generally depend on your BMI. Calculate it here, and check out the CDC’s recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy depending on your BMI, whether you are carrying one child or twins.
BMI For Adults Widget
A Personalized Approach:
It’s crucial to understand that every pregnancy is unique, and influenced by individual factors such as overall health, activity level, age, and pre-existing medical conditions. Prenatal dietitian nutritionists and your primary care physician will provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.
Prioritizing Health and Nutrition:
Rather than obsessing over the numbers on the scale, the primary focus should be on your overall health and well-being. This includes:
- Nutrition: Ensuring that you maintain a balanced diet, rich in essential nutrients that support your baby’s growth and development.
- Physical Activity: Engaging in regular, safe exercise to maintain fitness and manage your weight within recommended parameters.
- Going to prenatal doctor’s appointments: Attend your prenatal appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your progress, address any concerns, and receive guidance tailored to your unique situation.
Pregnancy brings about significant changes in your body. It’s remarkable how it affects almost every aspect of a woman’s biology, including:
- Endocrine System
- Cardiovascular System
- Respiratory System
- Body Temperature
- Integumentary System: Hair, Skin, and Nails
- Urinary System
- Legs and Feet
- Musculoskeletal System
- Body Weight
Approach these changes with self-compassion and a positive body image. Remember that your body is performing an incredible feat by nurturing and bringing new life into the world. You’re growing a human!
Recognizing Weight Gain/Loss Warning Signs During Pregnancy:
While weight gain is generally expected during pregnancy, certain circumstances require vigilance.
- Sudden, significant weight gain that can’t be attributed to overeating may be a sign of preeclampsia, a condition during pregnancy. This weight gain might coincide with swelling (edema) in your face and hands. Keep in mind that some swelling in your feet or hands can be normal, but it’s essential to monitor it carefully.
- Weight loss during the third trimester can be concerning. It might indicate issues like insufficient baby growth, low amniotic fluid, or conditions like pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia. If you’re experiencing weight loss beyond your first trimester, it’s advisable to contact your healthcare provider. While it could be due to harmless factors like daily water retention fluctuations, consulting your doctor for a thorough evaluation is the safest course of action.
Always contact your ObGyn or midwife if you’re experiencing unexpected weight gain or loss.
Weighing yourself during pregnancy can be a useful tool for monitoring your health. However, it should be done in conjunction with comprehensive care and guidance from healthcare professionals. The number on the scale isn’t necessarily an indicator of health. Prioritize nutrition, exercise, regular check-ups, and, most importantly, embrace the incredible changes your body undergoes as you nurture and bring new life into the world. Healthy weight gain is important for both mom and baby.