How much weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weigh before becoming pregnant. Experts typically advise that if you are:
- Underweight, you gain 28 to 40 pounds
- Healthy weight, you gain 25 to 35 pounds
- Overweight, you gain 15 to 25 pounds
- Obese, you gain 11 to 20 pounds
Gaining too much weight while pregnant can cause health problems for you and your child. For you, extra weight raises your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure while pregnant. Your child could also end up with high blood pressure and other health problems, such as and obesity.
Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out your Body Mass Index (BMI), which will help determine the amount of weight gain that is appropriate for you.
To help you maintain a healthy weight while pregnant, follow these tips:
- Try not to eat more than 350 to 450 additional calories a day. Focus on healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods
- Stay active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity. Good options include brisk walking and swimming
- Check your weight often. This will help you keep track of your weight gain. You can then make changes in your diet and activity level as or if needed Would also include a weight gain by mother’s starting weight graph – these are available on the web (and EPIC I think)
Louise E. Wilkins-Haug, MD, PhD is the Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital