Slow Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Slow Weight Gain During Pregnancy

26 Aug 2022 | 3 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 625 Articles

Slow weight gain during pregnancy can be a cause of concern. Most pregnant women gain around 11 to 16 kgs during pregnancy. If the expecting mum does not gain enough weight, there might be health problems for the mum and the baby. 

Overweight women need to gain less than 7 to 9 kgs or even less, depending on their pre-pregnancy weight. On the other hand, underweight women need to gain more than 13 to 18 kg. Expecting mums should gain more weight if they are carrying twins (17 to 24 kgs).

Therefore, it is important to monitor your weight gain throughout your pregnancy. If you notice that you are gaining weight too slowly, it is advisable to consult your doctor right away. Read on to know why.

Impact Of Inadequate Weight Gain During Pregnancy On The Expecting Mother

  1. If you gain weight very slowly during pregnancy, you might feel tired often. Fatigue and feeling stressed are probably common symptoms of inadequate weight gain.
  2. Expecting women who gain weight slowly during pregnancy have a longer postpartum recovery and might be putting their bone health at risk.
  3. It can also put you at an increased risk for nutritional deficiencies like anaemia.
  4. Just like being overweight puts you at an increased risk of experiencing severe morning sickness, gaining weight slowly can also have the same risk.

Impact of Inadequate Weight Gain During Pregnancy On Babies

  1. Babies whose mothers gain weight too slowly during pregnancy are more likely to:
  • Have a premature birth
  • Suffer growth restriction in the uterus (girl child)
  • Be small for their gestational age
  • Be underweight
  1. Babies born to underweight mums are at a higher risk of developing specific health issues later in life, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  1. Mums might have trouble breastfeeding underweight babies and will be at greater risk for illnesses and missing developmental milestones.
slow weight gain
Try to include plenty of fresh fruits during pregnancy to gain appropriate weight. | Image Source: freepik

3 Tips For Gaining Adequate Weight During Pregnancy

  1. Choose nutrient-dense foods: Choose calories in small packages that are filled with healthy fats, protein and fibre. Some of the nutrient-rich options that you must include in your pregnancy diet if you have lost your appetite are:
  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Beans and peas
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain bread, cereal and pasta
  • Dried fruits
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Plain Greek yoghourt
  • Lean meat or poultry
  1. Add fruits and vegetables to your pregnancy diet: Include plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables that are a rich source of folic acid. It helps in the formation of healthy cells and reduces the risk of birth defects like spina bifida.
  1. Eat at frequent intervals: It is not recommended to skip meals even if you’re feeling nauseous. Instead of eating three large meals a day, you can have six smaller snack-sized bites every two hours or so. Eating smaller and frequent meals will help relieve morning sickness.
pregnancy
If you are experiencing severe nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, consult a doctor as it might keep you from gaining weight. | Image Source: pexels

When To Call Your Doctor?

Gaining weight too slowly during pregnancy can also be a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum (severe and continuous nausea and vomiting). Therefore, it is important to call your doctor if you are:

  • Dehydrated and notice an increase in heart rate
  • Vomiting more than four times a day
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headedness leading to fainting episodes
  • Losing weight rapidly.

Gaining appropriate weight is a requisite of a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor without any delay if you have any concerns regarding your weight gain.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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