What is the recommended weight gain in pregnancy?
How much weight you should gain in pregnancy can depend on a number of important variables. Are you pregnant with one (singleton) or two (twins) or three (triplets) babies? What is your age and what is your pre-pregnancy weight? Do you have any additional medical conditions such as gestational diabetes or hypertension that will affect the overall recommended weight gain.
It’s clear that gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy involves eating a healthy and balanced diet so that your baby is getting all the nutrients he or she needs and is growing at a healthy rate. In general you will need to consume 100 to 300 more calories a day to meet the needs of your growing baby. You should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during your first three months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Guidelines for weight gain during a singleton pregnancy are as follows:
Underweight women (BMI < 18.5) should gain 28-40 pounds.
Normal-weight women (BMI, 18.5-24.9) should gain 25-35 pounds.
Overweight women (BMI, 25-29.9) should gain 15-25 pounds.
Obese women (BMI, 30 or higher) should gain 11-20 pounds.
It is important to ask your health care provider how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. A woman of average weight before pregnancy should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women should gain 28-40 pounds during pregnancy. Overweight women may need to gain only 15-25 pounds during pregnancy.
Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?
Baby 8 pounds
Placenta 2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid 2-3 pounds
Breast tissue 2-3 pounds
Blood supply 4 pounds
Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding 5-9 pounds
Uterus increase 2-5 pounds
Total 25 to 35 pounds
I find that some women in my practice have a difficult time pacing themselves as the pregnancy goes along on how much weight to gain and at what intervals. It’s a challenging time to see your body completely morph over a 9 month time period. I always remind women that this is a temporary time period when you need to allow your body to grow and develop in a healthy way. Once you are done with pregnancy and nursing you can have the body you once had before this wonderful journey began!