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All About Weight Gain During Pregnancy

All About Weight Gain During Pregnancy

If you overhear the conversation of two pregnant women, you will most probably hear the following questions.

“Do you feel that the baby is kicking you?” “When are you due?” “Did you suffer from morning sickness?”

And the most common question among all should be “How much weight do you gain?

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Every woman expects to gain weight during pregnancy (after whole life of losing weight). And indeed, gaining the right amount of weight is essential to growing a healthy baby. But how much weight should you put on progressively? How much calories are needed to “eat for two”? How fast should you gain it all? And when are you off-track? You will find all the answers in this article.

How Much Should You Gain?

Pregnancy seems to be one of the most legitimate reasons to pile on the pounds. But beware that piling on too much or too few pounds can spell problems for you, your baby and your pregnancy. So, what’s the perfect weight gain formula for pregnancy?

Actually since every pregnant woman, as well as pregnant body is different. The formula can vary a lot and mostly depends on how many pounds you are packing before pregnancy.

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Ask your health care provider for how much weight you should gain. Generally speaking, weight gain recommendations are based on BMI of your pre-pregnant body.

  • If your BMI is average (between 18.5 and 26), you will probably be advised to gain between 25 and 35 pounds, the standard recommendation of average weight pregnant women.
  • If your BMI is overweight (between 26 and 29), your goal will be somewhere between 15 and 25 pounds.
  • If you’re obese (with an BMI higher than 29), you will probably be told to gain a total of between 11 and 20 pound, or even less.
  • If you’re super skinny (with BMI lower than 18.5), chances are your target will be higher than average — from 28 to 40 pounds.

Though you need some extra calories to put on weights, you don’t necessarily need to “eat for two”. For average pregnant women, you only needs to eat 300 more healthy calories a day than you did before pregnancy to gain the right amount of weight.

At What Rate Should You Gain?

Slow and steady doesn’t only help tortoise win the race — it also applies to strategy of pregnancy weight gain. Indeed, the rate of gaining weight is as important as the total number of pounds you gain. It is because your baby needs a steady supply of nutrients and calories throughout his or her stay in your womb. Gradual gain also allows gradual skin stretching. Need more convincing? A well-paced weight gain will be surely paid off after you’ve delivered and you’re anxious to get back in shape.

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But does steady means equally gaining 30 pounds across 40 weeks? No — this would not be a perfect plan for gaining weight.

During the first trimester, your baby is only about the size of a few poppy seeds, which means eating for two is not sensible at the time. So you only require a minimum weight gain in the first trimester. A good goal will be gaining between 2 and 4 pounds. Indeed, a lot of women don’t end up gaining any or even even losing few pounds thanks to morning sickness at this stage.

During the second trimester, your baby starts to grow in earnest — and so should you. You should gain 1 to 1.5 pounds per week during months 4 through 6, which will add up to be 12 to 14 pounds in total.

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During the third trimester, your weight gain may start to taper off to about 1 pound 1 week (for a net gain of about 8 to 10 pounds). Some women might find their weight holds steady or even dropping a pound or two during the 9th month due to ever tighter abdominal quarters. This might cause difficulty in finding room for food.

Breakdown Of Your Weight Gain

Here’s where the extra weight goes during pregnancy.

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Placenta: 2-3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Stored fat for delivery and Breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
  • Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
  • Total: 25-35 pounds

Weight Gain Red Flags?

Check with your practitioner,

  • if you gain more than 3 pounds in any one week in the 2nd trimester; or
  • if you gain more than 2 pounds in any week in the 3rd trimester; or
  • if you gain no weight for more than two weeks in a row in the 2nd trimester,
  • especially if it doesn’t seem to be related to overeating or excessive intake of sodium.

Realistically, you won’t able to closely follow the gain formula. There will be weeks when your appetite rules and self-control wavers. And there will be weeks when eating seems too much of an effort (due to tummy troubles). Not to worry or stress over the scale. As long as your overall weight gain is on target and your rate reaches an average of the model formula (a half pound one week, 2 pounds the next and 1 the following…), you’re on the right track.

So here’re some final tips for you to keep an eye on the scale.

  • Weigh yourself at the same time of the day
  • Wear same amount of clothes when weighing
  • Weigh on the same scale
  • Weigh once a week (More often and you’ll probably drive yourself crazy with day-to-day fluid fluctuations.)

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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