health canada’s new weight-gain guidelines
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy depends, to some extent, on your weightbefore pregnancy.
pre-pregnancy category* recommended range of total weight gain
Underweight 28-40 12. 5-18Normal weight 25-35 11. 5-16Overweight 15-25 7-11. 5Obese 11-20 5-9
When you’re pregnant, and yourbody is going through so many changes,watching numbers go up on a scale maynot be the first thing you want to focus on.But healthy weight gain is a fundamentalpart of a healthy pregnancy.
Why does pregnancy weight gain varyso much from woman to woman? And howmuch is too much?
Dr. Rhonda Bell, a professor at theUniversity of Alberta’s Institute for HumanNutrition, sheds some light on pregnancyand healthy weight gain.
Why can weight gain during pregnancy differ
so much from woman to woman? Average
weight gain for women during pregnancy
is around 33 pounds ( 15 kilograms) in
Canada. This varies considerably, depend-
ing on your diet, physical activity and
metabolism. Pregnancy is a time when all
systems are revved up to put weight on
in various locations. Some weight goes to
the baby, uterus and amniotic fluid, and
some is deposited where you’re going to
need energy stored for mobilization late
in pregnancy and for lactation.
how can women know how much weight to gain?
The upper weight-gain limit differs withyour pre-pregnancy weight. It’s recommended that women who are underweightto start with gain more during pregnancy,and women who are overweight gain less.
The balance is trying to get enough fora healthy pregnancy and energy for theinfant, balanced with maternal health.
What are the risks of gaining too much weightduring pregnancy? Higher rates of Caesarean sections, pre-maturity and preeclam-sia, and longer and more postpartumweight retention, which then has implications for mothers for diabetes and heartdisease in later life. Too much weight gainalso increases risk for infections and othercomplications of pregnancy, includinghypertension, gestational diabetes, highbirthweight and postpartum weight retention. If you’re underweight and go up tonormal weight, that’s healthy. If you’reoverweight and go up to obese, that’sassociated with long-term health risks.
Why is weight gain so important? One thingstrongly associated with low weight gainis low birth weight. Low birth weightis associated with a high rate of illness,disease and death in newborns.
Keep track of your weight and keep intouch with your doctor to make sure you(and your baby) are growing on track.
How much weight should you gain
By NICOLE POINTON
What are some general dietary guidelines for
It’s really important to have a balance of food and food groups. youdefinitely need carbs during pregnancy. The big thing is doing your bestto cut out junk food. Good sources of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates are important. The fat recommendations are identical to those forwomen who aren’t pregnant. N- 3 fatty acids — fish oils, flax, sunfloweroils — are important to maternal health. The Canada Food Guide will tellyou which foods to eat and which to avoid. The other thing to rememberis portion sizes. you’re not eating for two, but for one and a tiny bit.
*For more information, visit Health canada at hc-sc.gc.ca and search for gestational weight gain,or call Healthlink Alberta at 1-866-408-liNk (5465)
*Pre-pregnancy categoriesare based on Body MassIndex (BMI) scale.