Weight gain during pregnancy is both normal and expected. How much weight you gain during pregnancy can affect both your health and that of your baby’s. Recommendations vary, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). Your gynecologist will guide you in determining an appropriate weight gain for you.
Women who are carrying twins or multiples should expect to gain more weight than those pregnant with a single fetus.
Weight gain during pregnancy in underweight women
Women who are underweight with a BMI of less than 18.5 should ideally gain from 28 to 40 pounds during pregnancy. Being underweight increases the risk of having a preterm birth or a baby who is small for gestational age. Talk to your OBGYN about how much weight you should gain and consider a consultation with a dietician for help in building a nutritious eating plan.
Weight gain during pregnancy in women of normal weight
Normal weight women with a BMI of 18.5-24.9 should aim for a 25 to 35 pound weight gain during pregnancy. Most of the weight gain should come in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, when it’s expected weight will increase by 3 to 4 pounds each month until delivery.
Weight gain during pregnancy in overweight women
Overweight women with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are at greater risk of pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Recommendations are for overweight women to gain between 15 to 25 pounds throughout pregnancy.
Weight gain during pregnancy in obese women
Women with a BMI of 30 and greater are more likely to experience preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, difficulty with anesthesia and pain medications, miscarriage, risk of blood clots, urinary tract infection, stillbirth and complications when C-section is performed. For these reasons weight gain should be limited to 11-20 pounds.
Eating healthfully during pregnancy
During pregnancy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and avoid empty calories and junk food. Planning healthy meals and snacks, staying active and attending all scheduled prenatal visits will help maintain your health and that of your baby.