It goes without saying that pregnant woman needs extra calories than a normal woman, but do NOT translate this into ‘eat for two’. A pregnant woman needs an average of 300 calories more than what she had before conceiving. Those who are carrying twins will need around 3000 to 3500 calories a day. Weight gain during pregnancy depends on body mass index (BMI) of the woman and whether she is having more than one fetus.
Recommended weight gain
Do talk to your doctor about your target weight gain during this period. In general, the recommended weight gain for different BMIs is given in the following table.
|Your BMI before pregnancy||Recommended weight gain if you’re carrying one child||Recommended weight gain if you’re carrying twins||Average weight gain per week after 3 months|
|Less than 18.5||12.5 to 18 Kg||no recommendation||0.5|
|18.5 to 24.9||11 to 16 kg||17 to 25 kgs||0.44|
|25 to 29.9||7 to 11.5 kg||14 to 23 kg||0.3|
|30 or higher||5 to 9 kg||11 to 19 kg||0.3|
During the first three months, you should gain an average of 1-2 Kg and around 0.5 kg during the rest of pregnancy. Gaining the target weight when you are carrying twins is very important because maternal weight gain may affect the babies’ weight gain.
Gaining the target weight during pregnancy
Here are few tips to gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy
- Opt for small, frequent meals during the day
- Go for healthy snacks like nuts, cheese, yogurt, and crackers
- Have peanut butter with toast, crackers, apples, and bananas for extra, healthy calories
If you gain more/less weight during pregnancy
Gaining more than the target weight may increase the risk of conditions like hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and even pre-term delivery. Gaining less weight than the target increases the risk of low-birth-weight baby.
You will lose around half of the weight gained during pregnancy in the first few weeks after delivery. A healthy diet and regular exercise will help in shedding off those extra pounds that you have added during the nine months of pregnancy.