Why Do You Gain Weight in Your Thighs During Pregnancy?

The main reason why we put on weight in our thigh during pregnancy is because of our hormones. The thighs play as the tower for the body to carry the baby’s weight growing inside us. So, the body searches for a place to store essential nutrients and fats to support our pregnancy and breastfeeding, and that is our thighs. But, don’t worry, this is all part of your pregnancy and helping the body to support a healthy pregnancy. The good news is that postpartum, as you lose that baby weight, the thigh fat will also start to reduce, meaning you can go back to wearing your pre-pregnancy jeans soon.

First of all, Congratulations on your pregnancy!

We almost love everything about our pregnancy, but there are certain things that we weren’t aware of before getting pregnant. And I guess one of those things is putting on weight in places where we never imagined we would gain weight.

Women usually assume that we generally gain weight during pregnancy but never expected that all our weight mostly went to one body part- THIGHS!

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was already healthy, but I remember around my second trimester, my weight shot up very quickly, even after eating a balanced diet.

The person staring back at me in the mirror suddenly had broad hips, thick thighs, and the butt- it looked like it could have its own zip code.

And sure, I didn’t like at all what I saw in the mirror, but soon I realized that, well, it’s part of the pregnancy. I need to focus more on keeping my unborn baby healthy and safe and if gaining a few pounds in the mid-section area is what will help, then so be it.

This isn’t just in my case; I’ve met so many pregnant women who always complained that one of the things they didn’t like about pregnancy is the extra weight gain around their hips and thighs.

And let me tell you that it’s perfectly fine if you’ve gained a little weight around your bum. You can lose it postpartum and go back to your fitter self.

What is the normal weight gain during pregnancy?

Most pregnant women gain weight anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds. In the first trimester, you might gain 2 to 4 pounds and then 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy.

I know weight gain isn’t something we look forward to during our pregnancy, but know that it’s not just your muscle mass, but weight gain includes increased gain in many parts of your body. The best part is that almost 30% – 40% of the weight gain is reduced right after delivery.

Another thing to consider is the weight gain also depends on how much you weighed pre-pregnancy.

E.g., the recommended weight gain for:

  • Overweight women (25 – 29.9 BMI) is 15 to 25 pounds
  • The average weight (18.5 – 24.9 BMI) is 25 to 30 pounds
  • Underweight women (less than 18.5 BMI) is 28 to 40 pounds

The weight gain also depends on how many babies you’re carrying. If you’re pregnant with twins, then you need to gain 37 to 54 pounds.

It’s best to consult your doctor for your case and know the average weight gain and how you can manage your weight gain by eating healthy food during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy weight goes where?

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Uterus: 2 to 5 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Placenta: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2 to 3 pounds
  • Fat stored for delivery and breastfeeding: 5 – 9 pounds

Total: 25 – 35 pounds

Why do you gain weight in your thighs during pregnancy?

The weight gain during your pregnancy isn’t just in your thighs. Pregnant women tend to gain weight around their hips, bums, lower abdomen, and thighs.

As your baby grows in your uterus, your body creates fats, protein deposits, and essential nutrients. These fat deposits will help you during your delivery and make breast milk after your baby is born.

In short, the fat deposits in your lower part of the body are excellent and essential during your pregnancy.

Think about your lower body as a tower that is getting bigger to support your growing baby. It’s the good fat that is getting deposited to help you in the coming months.

If you put on weight within the recommended weight gain chart, then remember that this fat stored in your thighs and bums is helpful to support the growth and development of your little one in your body.

But remember not to overdo it. Excessive weight gain can lead to other pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, premature birth, and such.

Make sure to always remain active throughout your pregnancy unless advised against by your OB/GYN.

The best part is that the fat deposits are not deep-rooted, so they are easier to lose than the abdomen. Your abdomen will probably go back to its original form with time, as your uterus shrinks and with regular exercises.

Exercises to tone your thighs during pregnancy

A pregnant woman is exercising on a yoga mat in her living room, to stay healthy during her pregnancy.

Before I list down some of the exercises you can do during and after your pregnancy, it’s best if you consult your OB/GYN and know whether it’s safe for you to do these exercises.

Do your research, ask your doctor and then make an informed decision.

Leg lifts

Leg lifts are one of the great exercises to tone your legs.

  • Lie on your right side.
  • Line your knees, shoulder, and hips in a straight line.
  • Hold your head up with your right arm.
  • You can place your left arm either on the floor or mat.
  • Now, lift your right leg as high as you’re comfortable with and then bring it down.
  • Do 10 reps on one side and switch to the other side.

Squats

Make sure to maintain a proper form while doing this exercise.

  • Stand up with your legs and hips-width apart, with your toes pointing out 45 degrees.
  • Begin squatting down as if you’re about to sit on a chair.
  • Try to go as low as you’re comfortable.
  • If you’re towards the end of your pregnancy, or you’re not able to do it without support, then hold on to the back of a chair for proper support.

Ballet legs

  • Stand and hold your right hand to the back of the chair.
  • Place your left hand on your left hip.
  • Bend your left knee so that the left foot touches your right calf.
  • Then, stretch your left leg out in front of you.
  • Return to the first position.
  • Do 10 reps, then switch sides.

FAQs

Which trimester do you gain weight the most?

Most women generally gain more weight during the second trimester, also known as the babymoon phase.

How can I keep my weight stable during pregnancy?

You will gain weight because as your baby grows, the uterus, amniotic fluid, blood supply, breast tissue will increase, which is needed for the baby. To gain weight within the recommended weight gain chart, try eating a balanced diet that includes fruits, protein, leafy vegetables.

Also, make sure to stay active during your pregnancy. You can go for a walk every day for about 45 mins. Divide the 45 mins into 3 parts, such as 15-15-15 mins in a day.

Does breastfeeding help you lose belly weight?

Yes. Breastfeeding does help to lose the belly weight as it tightens the belly as breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract and shrink to its original size.

When do you start showing?

This can also depend on your pre-pregnancy weight. Generally, first-time moms will start showing anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks.

Takeaway

Remember to be kind to yourself and be realistic about expectations. If you think you’ll lose all that baby weight right after your delivery, well, that isn’t possible. If it took you 9 months to gain that weight, it would take the same or more time to lose it.

Try to accept and love your body the way it is. You may be able to lose all the baby weight, but you might still be a little bigger than your pre-pregnant self, but know that it’s okay and perfectly beautiful too. Embrace the new sexy curve you have now.

Your body has gone through so much during and after pregnancy. Be proud and give your body time to heal.

Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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