Healthy pregnancy (21)
- Pregnancy and fish: What's safe to eat?
- Pregnancy and exercise: Baby, let's move!
- Back pain during pregnancy: 7 tips for relief
- see all in Healthy pregnancy
First trimester (7)
- Fetal development: The first trimester
- Prenatal care: 1st trimester visits
- First trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- see all in First trimester
Second trimester (8)
- Second trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Prenatal care: 2nd trimester visits
- Fetal development: The second trimester
- see all in Second trimester
Third trimester (10)
- Third trimester pregnancy: What to expect
- Fetal development: The third trimester
- Prenatal care: 3rd trimester visits
- see all in Third trimester
Pregnancy problems (23)
- Bed rest during pregnancy: Get the facts
- Heart conditions and pregnancy: Know the risks
- High blood pressure and pregnancy: Know the facts
- see all in Pregnancy problems
Pregnancy weight gain: What's healthy?
From promoting your baby's development to paving the way for post-pregnancy weight loss, here's why pregnancy weight gain matters.By Mayo Clinic staff
Like it or not, pregnancy weight gain is inevitable. Your baby's growth and development depend on it. Eating for two isn't a license to eat twice as much as usual, however. Use healthy lifestyle habits to control your pregnancy weight gain, support your baby's health and make it easier to shed the extra pounds after delivery.
Pregnancy weight gain guidelines
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain. How much weight you need to gain depends on various factors, including your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). Your health and your baby's health also play a role. Work with your health care provider to determine what's right for you.
Consider these general guidelines for pregnancy weight gain:
|Pre-pregnancy weight||Recommended weight gain|
|Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)||28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)|
|Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)|
|Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)||15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||11 to 20 pounds (about 5 to 9 kilograms)|
When you're carrying twins or other multiples
If you're carrying twins or other multiples, you'll likely need to gain more weight. Again, work with your health care provider to determine what's right for you.
Consider these general guidelines for pregnancy weight gain if you're carrying twins:
|Pre-pregnancy weight||Recommended weight gain|
|Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||37 to 54 pounds (about 17 to 25 kilograms)|
|Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)||31 to 50 pounds (about 14 to 23 kilograms)|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||25 to 42 pounds (about 11 to 19 kilograms)|
When you're overweight
Being overweight before pregnancy increases the risk of various pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Although a certain amount of pregnancy weight gain is recommended for women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy, some research suggests that women who are obese can safely gain less weight than the guidelines recommend. Work with your health care provider to determine what's best in your case and to manage your weight throughout pregnancy.
In addition, remember that if you gain more than the recommended amount during pregnancy and you don't lose the weight after the baby is born, the excess pounds increase your lifelong health risks. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also increase your baby's risk of health problems at birth and childhood obesity.
When you're underweight
If you're underweight, it's essential to gain a reasonable amount of weight while you're pregnant. Without the extra weight, your baby might be born earlier or smaller than expected.Next page
(1 of 2)
- Weight control: Eating right and keeping fit. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp064.cfm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Healthy pregnancy - Staying healthy and safe. The National Women's Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/staying-healthy-safe.cfm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Nutrition during pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp001.cfm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Cox JT, et al. Nutrition during pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2008;35:369.
- Olson CM. Achieving a healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2008;28:411.
- Weight gain during pregnancy. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramidmoms/pregnancy_weight_gain.aspx. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- What foods are in the grain group? U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/grains.html. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Foods to choose often. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramidmoms/foods_to_choose.html. Accessed Feb. 10, 2011.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/. Accessed Feb. 11, 2011.
- Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines, Food and Nutrition Board, and Board on Children, Youth and Families. Weight gain during pregnancy: Reexamining the guidelines. Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. http://www.nap.edu. Accessed Jan. 19, 2011.
- Ludwig DS, et al. The association between pregnancy weight gain and birth-weight: A within-family comparison. Lancet. 2010;376:937.
- Routine prenatal care. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute of Clinical Systems Improvement. http://www.icsi.org/prenatal_care_4/prenatal_care__routine__full_version__2.html. Accessed Feb. 10, 2011.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 11, 2011.
- Murry MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 14, 2011.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 26, 2011.
- Blomberg M. Maternal and neonatal outcomes among obese women with weight gain below the new Institute of Medicine recommendations. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2011;117:1065.
- Artal R, et al. Weight gain recommendations in pregnancy and the obesity epidemic. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010;115:152.
- Gunatilake RP, et al. Obesity and pregnancy: Clinical management of the obese gravida. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2011;204:106.