Nearly all pregnant women's are interested in their weight during pregnancy. Many have a difficult time seeing their pregnancy weight gain in a positive light. But proper weight gain at this time is vitally important to your baby's health—and your own. Below are some of the most important and interesting facts to know regarding weight management during pregnancy. Don't hesitate to discuss with your own doctor any "weighty" questions you may have.
Normal Weight Gain
Weight gain for a normal-weight woman during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds (11.25 to 15kg). This sounds like a lot, but if you add up weight for the baby, placenta, amniotic fluid and changes in you, it really isn't that much. Sometimes patients ask me how they are supposed to watch their weight and still eat 300 to 800 extra calories a day.
General Weight-Gain Guidelines for Pregnancy
|Current Weight||Acceptable Gain|
|Underweight||28 to 40 pound (12.6 to 18 kg)|
|Normal weight||25 to 35 pounds (11.25 to 15.75 kg)|
|Overweight||15 to 25 pounds (6.75 to 11.25 kg)|
Sometimes patients ask me how they are supposed to watch their weight gain and still eat 300 to 800 extra calories a day. The answer is, not every woman needs to increase her food intake by 300 to 800 calories; that's a general guideline only. Take your individual situation into account. If you are underweight when you begin pregnancy, you may have to eat more than 800 extra calories each day. If you're overweight when you get pregnant, you may have less need for extra calories.
Underweight before pregnancy.
If you start your pregnancy underweight, the normal weight gain is 28 to 40 pounds (12.6 to 18kg). It is important for you to eat regularly and nutritiously, even if you are not used to doing so.
Overweight before pregnancy.
If you're overweight before pregnancy, you probably should not gain as much as other women during pregnancy. Acceptable weight gain is 15 to 25 pounds (6.75 to 11.25kg). This is an individual situation to discuss with your doctor. It is important for you to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals during your pregnancy. Do not diet!
The key to good nutrition and weight management is to eat a balanced diet throughout pregnancy.
Eat the foods you need to help your baby grow and develop, but choose wisely. For example, if you're overweight, avoid peanut butter and other nuts as a protein source; choose water-packed tuna or low-fat cheeses instead. If you're underweight, select ice cream and milkshakes as dairy-food sources.
The key to good nutrition and weight management is to eat a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy.
Distribution of Weight Gained during Pregnancy
|7-1/2 pounds (3.38kg)||Baby|
|7 to 10 pounds (3.15 to 4.5kg)||Maternal stores (fat, protein and other nutrients)|
|4 pounds (1.8kg)||Increased fluid volume|
|2 pounds (0.9kg)||Uterus|
|2 pounds (0.9kg)||Amniotic fluid|
|2 pounds (0.9kg)||Breast enlargement|
|1-1/2 pounds (0.68kg)||Placenta|
Fear of Fat
Getting on the scale and seeing your weight increase is hard for some women, especially those who have to watch their weight closely. Remind yourself it is a normal part of pregnancy, and it is necessary for your baby's health!
You can control your weight gain by eating carefully and nutritiously; you don't have to gain an extra 50 pounds (22.5kg). But you must gain enough weight to meet the needs of pregnancy. Be prepared to gain weight while you're pregnant.
Thirty years ago, it was fairly normal for pregnant women to be allowed to gain just 13 to 15 pounds for their entire pregnancy. We have learned a lot about pregnancy because of advances in technology and information from research and other sources. We realize today that it is good for a woman to gain a sufficient amount of weight during pregnancy. The normal weight gain today during pregnancy (25 to 35 pounds; 11.25 to 15.75kg) is quite a change from 13 pounds (5.85kg)!