Dr. Chew Answers: Pregnancy weight gain

Weight gain is a normal and healthy part of pregnancy. Most women gain a normal amount of weight by eating well and staying active. The extra pregnancy weight gain:

pregnancy weight gain

Weight gain by trimester

Generally, there is little pregnancy weight gain during the first trimester (1-2 kg) because of morning sickness. The most weight is gained (about 5-7 kg) during the second trimester. In the third trimester, a woman gains about 4-5 kg. This is the average weight gain.

Every woman’s body is different, depending on body weight before conception. For normal healthy woman, the weight gain ranges from 11-16 kg. Women who are underweight prior to pregnancy usually would gain little more and overweight women, a little less.

Risks of being underweight

Women who do not gain enough weight have an increased risk of delivering small babies (low birth weight of less than 2.5 kg). In Singapore, Indians tend to deliver smaller babies than other races. Small babies can die in early childhood and have many health problems. They are more prone to asthma, and respiratory tract infections (cough and cold). Small babies are at greater risk of having cerebral palsy (a nervous system disorder causing difficulty in talking and walking). Their intelligent quotient (IQ) is lower and they may have delayed development.

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