How much?

A little bit can go a long way! Aiming to get into 30 minutes of strength training most days of the week plus 30 minutes of cardio (walking is included) can increase your ability by 75% to return to your pre-pregnancy weight within 2 months postpartum.

In fact not only does what you do during pregnancy impact your postpartum outcome, but what you did leading up to pregnancy – which is why pre- pregnancy conditioning is also very important. Along with extra oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your baby, a healthy diet and exercise program does not contribute to low birth weight in babies, instead, it contributes to babies being born within a normal, healthy weight range.

Increased pregnancy weight gain which extends into the postpartum period can not only have a negative affect on a mothers physical health but can have a negative affect on her mental health too, such as being a trigger for postnatal depression, increased stress levels and low self esteem.
Engaging in prenatal specific exercise regime, even if just for a few hours a week alongside healthy eating habits will give mums a huge jump start when it comes to beginning their postnatal recovery journey.
While weight gain is a normal and important factor during pregnancy it’s important to understand where the weight gain is coming from and that mums to be don’t need to excessively gain fat.

There is real truth when I say exercising will give you more energy

On average, a woman beginning pregnancy within a healthy weight range should expect to be 12.5kg (27.6lb)  heavier at the end of her pregnancy (due date)

By the time you reach your due date, just over a third of your extra weight will come from your baby, the placenta and amniotic fluid. Every mum and baby is different, but here are some averages
  • At birth, a baby weighs about 3.3kg (7.3lb).
  • The placenta, which keeps your baby nourished, weighs 0.7kg (1.5lb).
  • The amniotic fluid, which supports and cushions your baby, weighs 0.8kg (1.8lb)

The other two thirds of extra weight is due to the changes that happen to your body while you’re pregnant. On average:

  • The muscle layer of your womb (uterus) grows dramatically, and weighs an extra 0.9kg (2lb).
  • Your blood volume increases, and weighs an extra 1.2kg (2.6lb).
  • You have extra fluid in your body, weighing about 1.2kg (2.6lb).
  • Your breasts weigh an extra 0.4kg (0.9lb).
  • You store fat, about 4kg (8.8lb), to give you energy for breastfeeding

So you can see that the ‘fat’ gain is a  small factor of the pregnancy weight gain as a whole and depending on your fat percentage going into pregnancy, your actual gain may need to be more or less.

When it comes to monitoring weight gain during pregnancy, remember that you don’t need any extra calories until the third trimester (200 cal). The stumbling block is that pregnancy hunger can be difficult to manage which is why I often advise my clients to eat little and often – regularly drinking water, eating plenty of veg, lean protein and healthy fats and quality carbohydrates . During pregnancy the desired macro nutrient is carbohydrate which is why mums to be report an increased craving for carbohydrate based foods- while this isn’t a problem, it’s just about being prepared and as a rule always accompany a carbohydrate source with a protein source (chopped carrots/apple with cottage cheese or a banana with 2-3 teaspoons of nut butter) this will help to prevent blood sugar spikes which lead to more carbohydrate cravings. When it comes to main meals (lunch and dinner) during my pregnancy I will ensure I have a quality carbohydrate source (rice,potatoes,), plenty of vegetables and protein at both meals.
Weight gain is a huge source of worry and concern for many women – both during pregnancy and afterward but as long as you continue to maintain an active pregnancy and eat sensibly throughout there is no reason why you can’t enjoy pregnancy and get back to your pre pregnancy self soon after the birth.
Unsure of what types of activity, nutrition and lifestyle choices you should be making? You can get all the support and more through the exclusive fitbump membership – everything from the essential lifestyle information to pregnancy core, glute and whole body training programs for all trimesters and fitness levels. Your lifetime membership will mean that when the time comes you will also have access to the full postnatal transformation series!  You can join right now simply by clicking the link below
If you have any further questions or need more support please don’t hesitate to get in touch
Samala x