Are you gaining too much weight during your pregnancy?

March 07, 2012 by

Weight is a sensitive subject for many women, and the weight gained during a pregnancy is no different. Some ladies balk at the idea of putting on more pounds, but the reality is that it's necessary for the healthy growth of your baby. Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out how high the scales should be tipping.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, how much you gain while you're pregnant depends on your body mass index (BMI) and weight before pregnancy. If you maintained a healthy frame before conceiving, aim to put on 25 to 35 pounds while carrying. Underweight women should aim for 28 to 40 pounds, overweight women should target 15 to 25 pounds and obese women should limit their weight gain to 11 to 20 pounds.

You might be thinking, "where does all that weight go?" You've probably heard that your breasts will get bigger during pregnancy, and obviously the weight of the baby will be accounted for – but what about the rest? The Mayo Clinic reports that extra pounds accumulate in the uterus, placenta, amniotic fluid, blood volume, fluid volume and fat stores for energy.

Of course, most women don't gain much weight during the first trimester, as morning sickness often makes it difficult. Weight gain is more important in the second and third trimesters, when one or two extra pounds a week is considered healthy.

While you might think that eating for two means doubling your caloric intake, you won't actually need to consume that much. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 150 to 200 extra calories each day during the first trimester and 300 extra calories each day over the last two. An extra snack could be all you need to meet these goals.

Keep in mind that if you're having twins, triplets or multiples, you'll need to gain more weight to provide enough nutrients for each baby. Talk to your doctor to figure out a diet plan that's right for you.

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