26 October

Weight gain and calorie requirement during pregnancy

What is the calorie requirement and what is a healthy weight gain for pregnant women?  This is the question bothering many pregnant women. Well, Calorie requirement differs from person to person, depending upon several factors like age, body composition and level of physical activity and much more. The general recommendation as far as the calorie intake is concerned is that non-pregnant women require about 2000 calories per day.

Though you need some extra calories during pregnancy, it is definitely not that you are eating for two. An average pregnant woman needs only around 300 calories extra than she did before she got pregnant. This is the extra amount you may need apart from your regular diet. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help in the growth of the baby.

To give you an idea about the amount of how much is the extra 300 calories in terms of an Indian diet - it is as much as a 2 and a half Idli with a bowl of sambar or two chapatis with a bowl of curry. The above two examples are only to illustrate the extra amount of food you may need when pregnant. This is not the only food. Eat small quantities spread over the day. It is very important that you eat healthy in the form of increased protein and low-fat foods. Avoid junk foods.

It is always good to ask your doctor how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. A woman who is average weight and height say - 5 ft 2 inches and pre-pregnancy weight of  48 to 52 kgs, should gain probably around 10 to 15 kgs after becoming pregnant. Overweight women may need to gain lesser than that. 

In general, a pregnant women gains from 500 grams to 2 kilograms during the first three months and from the fourth month, she could gain as much as 500 grams every week during the rest of the pregnancy.

Where does the extra weight that you gain during pregnancy go?

Baby when it is born usually weighs around 3 to 3.5 kgs, the placenta can weigh anywhere from 900 grams to 1.5 kgs, The amniotic fluid can weigh around 1 to 1.4 kgs, breast tissue around 1 to 1.5 kgs, the women blood supply increases by 1 to 1.5 kgs, Stored fat and uterus together another 3 to 4 kgs. 

Gaining more weight than recommended during pregnancy can put you at risk for Hypertension, Gestational diabetes, Pre-term labor, and cesarean section. It can be also difficult for you to lose all the weight post pregnancy. So, in conclusion, I would like to emphasize that, eating healthy and walking at least 30 minutes a day, is important for a healthy pregnancy.

About our blogs

We have put together weekly developments during pregnancy. These articles are only for information. Every pregnancy is different and every woman's experience may be different. We also have articles relating to women's health, infertility and plan to add information about newborn care. Through the blogs, videos and our online consultation services, we are trying to empower mothers (as well as soon-to-be-moms) with health information which is easily understandable. Our mission is to help mothers have a happy pregnancy and a very happy postpartum experience. 

Have a passion to write, want to share a pregnancy story... Send in your articles, our team of experts will go through it and publish it on our website. 

Call us at +91 80 39534676  for a second opinion from our doctors. This is a paid service.

Pregnancy brings a new meaning to the concept of beauty to a woman. It is a period of immense joy, excitement and anxiety. The feeling of carrying a little soul within you is beautiful.

Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2018 11:43

Dr Madhu handles technology and business development for MedHealthTV.


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