Gain The Right Weight During Pregnancy!

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Pregnancy presents a new phase of life full of challenges, opportunities, ups, and downs. These nine months can prove to be a valuable experience in your life. To ensure they do, it is recommended that you remain well informed and take care of yourself.

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An important part of doing that is paying attention to your weight. After all, your weight during pregnancy affects your baby’s growth and influences the weight with which they will be born.

Why Weight Gain Matters?

A mother’s weight gain during pregnancy is important for her child’s well-being. Unless the mother is healthy, the baby may be born with low birth weight.

A number of studies have found a high correlation between mothers being underweight and them delivering babies with low birth weight. In addition, these infants often face several health risks as well1. That lends support to the idea that not only is gaining weight important, it is also critical to ensure that this is the right kind of weight.

When you are pregnant, your body needs extra weight for the growing baby and your changing needs. The weight helps build the placenta, develop amniotic tissue, and expand the uterus. It further ensures an adequate blood supply for you and your baby. In addition, it also helps prepare your body for delivery and breastfeeding2.

How to gain weight?

Gaining weight during pregnancy is more about eating right than eating a lot. To understand this holistically, the UNICEF offers guidelines3 for maternal nutrition in India. The guideline lists the food sources that provide nutrients like Folic Acid, Iron, Vitamin A, and Calcium.

Nutrient Sources

Folic acid

Spinach, kale


Enriched cereals, pasta, rice

Calcium and minerals

Dairy and dairy products (e.g. yogurt, milk)

Lean meat (e.g. poultry), eggs, beans, nuts
Iron Red meat, dried beans, peas

Along with that, it is critical to ensure that you have sufficient protein intake. When you do consume a healthy amount of protein, you are more likely to experience weight gain as well as muscle development.

However, a recent study found that most adult Indians tend to have a protein-deficient diet4. In such cases, incorporating a nutritional drink designed for pregnancy is a smart choice. One such drink is the Horlicks Mother’s Plus. It provides 27 vital nutrients with an optimal mix of protein that effectively makes up for the protein requirement during pregnancy.

What Is The Right Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

The World Health Organisation recommends that a healthy woman should gain 10 to 14 kg during pregnancy with an average of 12 kg. That would elevate the likelihood of giving birth to a healthy baby with fewer risks of fetal and maternal complications5.

However, weight gain requirements vary from one woman to the other. In this regard, the body-mass index (BMI) can be a reliable measure. A woman’s pre-pregnancy BMI indicates how much she needs to gain for a healthy delivery6.

BMI Before Pregnancy

How Much To Gain

Less than 18.5 (underweight)

13–18 kg

18.5–24.9 (normal weight)

11–16 kg

25–29.9 (overweight)

7–11 kg

More than 30 (obese)


5–9 kg

Eat Right During Pregnancy

There is a reason why doctors emphasize the right kind of weight gain.

The UNICEF defines undernourishment as a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 kg/m2 and below7. The odds of an Indian woman being underweight and undernourished are high. Diane Coffey, a Princeton University researcher, pegs this number at 42.2%.

In order to gain the right weight during pregnancy, ensure that you are consuming an optimal mix of the right kind of foods. Eating the right foods can help you gain not only an ideal weight but can also provide you with important nutrients.

For that, frequent small meals and a high lean protein intake are essential aspects to consider 10. Along with these, consider snacking on foods that are good for you such as nuts and cheese. Most importantly, keep a close look at your weight and be careful not to gain too much weight either 11.

Talk freely to your Doctor

The right kind of nutrition matters for you and your baby. To ensure that you are continually receiving optimal nutrition and gaining a healthy amount of weight, it is advised that you talk freely to your doctor. Put faith in your doctor and consult a nutritionist if you need any help in gaining and maintaining the right weight.

The key here is to watch your weight while focusing on nutrition. That can reduce the risk of you getting heart disease, diabetes, etc. Monitoring your weight during pregnancy will also ensure you have a healthy baby. More importantly, it can reduce your baby’s health and development risks in the future.

Consult the Doctor

The author is Neha Chandna, who is a practicing dietitian for the last 8 years. The views, opinions, and recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the author and intended as an educational aid. Please consult your doctor for professional advice concerning specific health/medical matters.

Horlicks Mothers Plus 500g Tetra Pack

Horlicks Mother's Plus

Vital Nutrients


Protein For Healthy Birth Weight

Protein For Healthy Birth Weight

DHA For Brain Development

DHA For Brain Development

No Added Sugar

No Added Sugar