Third Trimester Weight Gain

Weight gain during pregnancy is a touchy issue for many women because it doesn’t seem like anyone hits the textbook description of weight gain exactly. Some women gain too much and they worry about getting their figures back, other women don’t gain enough and they deal with the constant worry of doctors and family, and then there are those women who gain just about what they should but feel as though it was too much or too little. Can it be just right?

The third trimester is not the only time when you’ll be gaining weight; many women find that they start gaining slowly right away. Slow and steady is the way you want to gain weight when you are pregnant because you want it to be a healthy gain of fluids for your baby and to support your busy body.

If you begin pregnancy at a normal weight you should gain 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy. Adding just 300 calories a day to your diet will help you achieve this weight gain. If you begin pregnancy underweight you should probably gain more weight, say from 28 to 40 pounds, and if you started out overweight you should gain a bit less, at 15-25 pounds. And, if you are pregnant with twins you should gain 35-45 pounds.

This means that in the last trimester you’ll probably gain about ½-1 ½ pounds per week. This sounds like a lot, but your baby will be going through a huge growth spurt gaining fat and muscle that will support him or her throughout life. You may find that when you compare estimated weights by ultrasound from early in the pregnancy and one toward the end of pregnancy that there is a large weight difference.

This is not to say that you should not continue to gain if you have already exceeded the recommended weight when you get to your third trimester. You have to continue to eat; you just might want to think about what you’re eating. Eating healthy will allow your baby to continue to gain weight without you putting on excess weight that will be hard to take off later. A gradual weight gain is best, but if you find out that you’ve gained more than anticipated, don’t diet! Pregnancy is not a time for dieting!

Don’t let weight gain get you down during pregnancy, you may go through “growth spurts” where you gain a lot, and then you’ll go through times where you may actually lose a pound or two. Your body will figure it out, and when you eat healthy you can be sure that you are providing all the nutrition that you baby needs as well as what your body needs to sustain your pregnancy. Pregnancy should be a time when you love your body, because it is doing something awesome, it’s doing what it is meant to do. So, indulge every now and then but remember to eat healthy and to gain gradually for the best results for both you and your baby.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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