Ah, the baby bump. It’s the tell-tale sign that you’re preggo, and it’s obviously where all the baby weight goes… right? Not quite. It’s no big secret that you’re going to put on some pounds during the next three trimesters. After all, you are growing (and carrying around!) a human being inside of you. But how much weight, where it’ll go and exactly when you’ll start to see the numbers on the scale inch upward isn’t always as apparent. Scroll on to find out what you can expect from your nine months of pregnancy weight gain!
1. Total Numbers: By the end of your pregnancy, it’s totally normal to gain 25-35 pounds, according to Dr. Kecia Gaither, a double board-certified physician in OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Keep in mind that your starting BMI impacts your end weight. The US Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health notes that underweight women may need to gain anywhere from 28-40 pounds, and overweight women may only need to gain between 15 and 25 pounds during pregnancy.
2. Your Baby: It would be totally fab if those extra pounds all went toward the baby. By delivery day, your baby may account for somewhere around seven or eight pounds (sometimes it’s even more). Along with your baby’s body weight, the placenta may also add another one or two pounds.
3. Blood Volume: A change in your blood volume results in a change you see on the scale. Dr. Gaither says, “Total blood volume increases by 2-3 pounds — this allows the oxygen-carrying capacity to increase not only for the mother’s benefit, but specifically for the needs of the growing fetus.” She also adds, “Blood loss is expected at the time of the delivery — the body is very smart in preparing for this.”
4. Other Fluids: Your blood isn’t the only bodily fluid (and yes, we know you probably cringed when you read those two words) that contributes to pregnancy weight gain. Other (non-blood) fluids account for roughly 2-5 pounds, according to Dr. Gaither. That’s not to mention your baby’s fluids (the amniotic fluid). This can increase your weight by about two pounds.
5. Enlarged Breasts: “Breast tissue increases weight by about 2-3 pounds. This is in preparation for breastfeeding,” says Dr. Gaither. Hey, there are worse places to gain weight!
6. Weighty Matter: Now that you know how much weight you should gain (and where it’s going), it’s important to realize what can happen if you gain too much (or not enough). Gaining more weight than what would be expected for your starting BMI may put both you and your baby at risk of being overweight in the future. That said, your body (and your baby) needs nutrition during pregnancy. Gaining too little weight is also unhealthy.
7. Medical Conditions: Weight gain and food intake don’t always go hand-in-hand. Dr. Gaither notes that there are conditions that can impact the pounds you are (or aren’t) putting on. “Signs, or medical conditions, where a woman may gain an excessive amount of weight can be seen in women that are diabetic or have preeclampsia,” she says. Likewise, there are medical conditions that may cause women to lose or not gain enough weight. Dr. Gaither notes that these include, “Cardiac disease, end-stage renal disease, intestinal diseases (like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis), or eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.” Of course, these issues aren’t the only ones that influence weight changes. Consult a medical pro ASAP if your numbers aren’t where they should be.
Where is your pregnancy weight gain hitting you the most? Share your story and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)