Weight gain

Many mums-to-be ask themselves how many extra pounds are allowed and still considered “normal“. But there is no “one size fits all” approach to weight gain, because every pregnancy takes an individual course.

A woman who was fairly slim before her pregnancy does not have to worry about gaining weight. If your BMI (Body Mass Index)* before pregnancy was below 18.5, a weight gain of 12.5–18 kg during pregnancy is recommended. Women with normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.9) should preferably have a weight gain in the range of 11.5–16 kg. Those with a BMI between 25.0–29.9 even before pregnancy should take care not to gain too much weight (about 7–11.5 kg).

Don’t overdo it

If you spend all your time on the scales, you are doing yourself no favours. Your gynaecologist will check your weight during each routine checkup and assess whether it is within the recommended range. In general, your calorific needs will not increase before the fourth month of pregnancy, and then by only about 250 kcal. But your requirements for essential vitamins and minerals will be higher right from the beginning. So it is vital to ensure that a well-balanced diet is maintained throughout the entire pregnancy and continued throughout the breastfeeding period. More information on additional nutrient requirements during pregnancy

Many women suffer from nausea and morning sickness during the first three months, so weight gain is hardly an issue. Some women even lose weight during this period.

During the second and third trimester of your pregnancy, the weekly weight gain is between 300 and 500 grams (depending on your pre-pregnancy weight). Shortly before birth, energy requirements may decline again, since your ability to exercise is limited. But the same is true here, too: the amount of energy actually needed, will vary from woman to woman.

A diet is out of the question during pregnancy!

Being overweight before pregnancy does not mean that you now have to lose weight, as this might harm the baby’s nutrient supply. Apart from that, during a diet – similar to smoking – lots of toxins are released into your blood circulation and consequently to your unborn child. 

* BMI = Body Mass Index: is the ratio of body weight and body height 

How to calculate your BMI: body weight (in kg) divided by body height squared (m²). For example: 60 kg : (1.60 m)² = 23.4 kg/m². The BMI for women of normal weight is 18.5-24.9 kg/m².