Aishwarya’s weight gain

7:25 am Health Care, Medicine

Aishwarya has been in the news again post delivery. She has gained a lot of weight. It has become a topic for discussion in the social media.

Physiological changes relating to pregnancy result in weight gain in the absence of pathological water retention.  Excessive weight gain causes increase in fat stores. Post partum weight retention is a problem for a large proportion of mothers even at one year after the birth.

Women with high BMI have the highest risk of excessive weight gain and postpartum maternal weight retention, which can be associated with lifelong medical complications.

Women with BMI> 25 should not gain more than 11.5 kg during pregnancy and with BMI > 30 should not be allowed more than 9 kg of weight gain during pregnancy. These women should receive thorough counseling regarding risk of obesity in and out of pregnancy and they should be counseled for proper weight gain and weight loss in the postpartum period. For women with BMI > 35, one should try for either a small weight loss or maintenance of weight during pregnancy.

Weight gain in pregnancy involves the following:

  • Fat stores: 2.7 to 3.6 kg
  • Increased blood formation: 1.3 to 1.8 kg
  • Increased fluid formation: 0.9 to 1.3 kg
  • Breast enlargement: 0.9 to 1.3  kg
  • Uterine placenta : 0.9 kg

It is evident that weight gain in the postpartum period invariably means gain in fat, which is dependent on lifestyle and dietary habits. Women, therefore, should be counseled during pregnancy so that they do not continue gaining weight after the pregnancy.

Progesterone levels during pregnancy are responsible for fat accumulation during first and second trimesters and for fat mobilization during third trimester. Leptin levels correlate positively with body fat content and BMI, increase during pregnancy and play a direct role in pregnancy-related weight gain and postpartum weight retention.

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