Canadian Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Development/Milestones: Babies


Health Canada
recently changed the recommended amount of baby weight that women should gain during pregnancy. The numbers may not be vastly different than before, but they now follow the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations and are aligned with the World Health Organization's classifications of underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese, based on body mass index (BMI).

BMI is a measurement of how healthy your weight is for your height. The formula uses two units of measurement: Weight in kilograms and height in metres.

Formula: BMI = Weight / (Height) squared
Example = 60kg woman, 1.70 meters

BMI = 60/ (1.70 x 1.70) = 60/2.890
BMI = 20.76

Recommended Rate and Total Weight Gain During Pregnancies Based on Pre-Pregnancy BMI
BMI 18.5 (underweight)
Gain: 1 lb/ week during 2ND and 3rd trimester
Total Gain 28-40 lbs

BMI 18.5-24.9 (Normal Weight)
Gain: 1 lb/week during 2ND and 3rd trimester
Total Gain 25-35 lbs

BMI 25.0-29.9 (Overweight)
Gain: 0.6lbs/week during 2ND and 3rd trimester
Total Gain 15-25 lbs

BMI 30 Gain (Obese)
Gain: 0.5lb/week during 2ND and 3rd trimester
Total Gain 11-20 lbs

Three tips for keeping your weight controlled during pregnancy, after the jump...

For more information on pregnancy involving multiple fetuses please visit Health Canada.

The following guidelines are not too far off the preexisting ones and with a few modifications to your current eating regime, gaining the recommended amount of weight at the right pace can be easier.

First, aim to be in your healthy weight range, which will not only provide optimum protection of health with your future baby, but will also make weight loss easier once your baby arrives. It is the lifestyle we have before pregnancy that determines how much weight we will gain during the pregnancy.

Here are some key principles you can apply to make this process easier.

  • Eat three healthy meals a day: Also, include at least one (if not two) snacks during mid-morning or mid-afternoon. This will help keep blood sugar levels and and your appetite more stable.
  • Get moving: 30 minutes of moving your feet will not only speed up your metabolism and burn fat but will release feel good endorphins that can make you happier. Walking is the number one exercise done nationally.
  • Really cut back on the treats: If you decide to have a treat every day, remember to keep it small. This would include extras such as cream and sugar in your morning cup of coffee or that muffin you bought at a coffee shop. Calories do not take long to add up from these 'extra' sources.

Karla Heintz is a Nutrition Educator and Author of Picky? Not Me, Mom! A Parents' Guide to Children's Nutrition.

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