Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy

We’re supposed to gain weight in pregnancy, but how much? How fast? How much is too much? Too little? How can we know that our weight gain in within healthy parameters?

The best way to make sure that you are on a healthy weight gain track is to eat healthy meals. You should be eating more while you are pregnant, of course, but don’t take the old eating for two adage too literally. While it’s true that you’re eating for yourself and your developing baby, the truth is that your baby doesn’t need nearly as much sustenance as you do.

Your weight gain serves several important purposes. Most women add an extra six to eight pounds of actual fat stores during pregnancy. The rest of the weight gained during the pregnancy come from the baby herself, the baby’s placenta, added blood and fluids, amniotic fluids, uterus growth, and breast growth.

The Right Amount of Weight Gain

Every woman is different, and so is every pregnancy. There’s no way to put an exact number on the amount of weight a woman should expect to gain. There are simply too many factors at play. Your doctor will keep track of your weight gain and discuss any problems, such as gaining weight too quickly or not quickly enough.

With that said, under normal circumstances, the amounts of weight gain which can be expected (give or take 5 pounds) are roughly:

  • 30  pounds for women of normal weight
  • 20 pounds for women who are overweight
  • 35 pounds for women who are underweight

Weight gain will be considerably more if you’re carrying multiples. There are also other factors, including your body mass index, your health, and the baby’s health which come into play and which could cause you to need to gain more or less weight.

Gain Weight by Eating Healthy

Weight gain is healthy in pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you have a free pass to eat junk food. While an occasional indulgence is no big deal, it’s more important than ever to eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re unsure what that looks like, ask your doctor or nutritionist for examples of healthy foods to include in your daily diet. Studies have also shown that adding light exercise to your daily regimen can help keep weight gain within the desired parameters.

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