Q&A: I’m losing weight while pregnant—should I be concerned?Beth M. Iovinelli, RN, BSN, IBCLC
Healthy eating without dieting is very important during pregnancy, but some women—overweight or not—may actually lose some weight during the first trimester. It’s normal to experience nausea as a result of pregnancy hormones and that can put a real dent in your appetite! If your usual fare isn’t agreeing with you, eat smaller, blander meals, stay well hydrated, and try some of these ideas. Also, always make sure to taking your prenatal vitamins (a standard rule of thumb whether you’re nauseous or not).
An overweight woman who has struggled with unhealthy eating may become more conscious of her diet during pregnancy. A new commitment to healthy eating may lead to some weight loss, but it’s very important not to start a weight-loss regimen while pregnant, as this can be damaging to your unborn child. Although you may be concerned about health, never restrict your food intake while pregnant.
All pregnant women should gain weight. The March of Dimes provides some great information on how much weight is appropriate to gain during pregnancy based on what your body type or weight is before becoming pregnant:
- Underweight women should gain between 28-40 pounds during pregnancy
- Normal weight women should gain between 25-35 pounds during pregnancy
- Overweight women should gain between 15-25 pounds during pregnancy
- Obese women should gain between 11-20 pounds during pregnancy
Much of the weight you gain during pregnancy will come off (with healthy eating habits) after you have the baby. The type of weight gain you experience during pregnancy is not like regular weight gain. According to the March of Dimes, the following things can account for the pounds you are putting on:
- Blood: 3 pounds
- Breasts: 2 pounds
- Uterus: 2 pounds
- Baby: 7.5 pounds
- Placenta: 1.5 pounds
- Fluid: 2 pounds
- Water: 4 pounds
- Fat, protein, and other nutrients: 7 pounds
Your doctor or midwife should be closely monitoring your weight (along with lots of other things) as your pregnancy progresses. If your nausea is preventing you from eating well, or you have experienced vomiting, make your caregiver aware.