You only have to read the ThinkBaby forums to see that many mothers find the changes to their body during pregnancy brings on a desire for
treats and cakes, while other women can't bear the sight of food for months and worry that they're not eating enough.
Because women come in all shapes and sizes even before they get pregnant, you might think it's hard to gauge a sensible balance between
putting on weight healthily and not getting overweight. If you are overweight to start off with, you might find that a pregnancy regime of non-fatty
cheeses, no alcohol or a bout of morning sickness actually bring your weight down in the early months. If you are very thin, or have strong
abdominal muscles due to working out, and you're on your first pregnancy, you may find it hard to believe you're pregnant as your bump
turns from a mole hill into a slightly bigger mole hill!
Still, there are key things to watch for.
The good news is that for the main part, the range of weights mean that your pre-pregnancy state is taken into account before doctors and
midwives get their 'average ideal' measurement notes out. Plus, they will check your weight at every check-up (these check-ups start sporadically and get more
frequent as the birth approaches), so you do not need to become a weighing scale addict in your bathroom.
What is too little weigh gain?
Your own midwife or GP will go by instinct to a certain extent, and gauge whether or not they think you and the baby are thriving. (The baby's ultrasound scans will tell them a lot, too.) However, it is generally considered that pregnant women who do fail to put on at least 9kg are
more likely to have low birth-weight or premature babies.
What is too much weight gain?
The average weight gain is around 11 to 12kg. Beyond this, there is a danger of putting unneccessary strain on your body (back, etc) and
that the baby will be overly large. However, women who are underweight before concpetion may be advised to gain a little more than
average, just as those who are overweight will be advised to control their gain.
Twins, triplets and more!
Although a woman carrying more than one baby is going to need more nutrition to feed the demanding activity inside her, it's not simply a
question of multiplying the calories by the number of babies you are expecting!
Your GP or consultant will advise you about the best progress to help you keep a steady growth and make sure you're carrying enough
'fuel' for the job.
For more, go to the ThinkBaby article on Weight Gain in Pregnancy.