Eating for Two

What is a healthy weight gain when pregnant? Some of us can’t keep anything down, and some of us only feel good during and just after eating. Often women are thrilled to stop counting calories and eat whatever their hearts (or the baby) desires! But, an appropriate weight gain is important to your pregnancy, your labor and delivery and your recovery.

The average suggested weight gain is 25-35 lbs.

If you were underweight pre-pregnancy the suggested weight is usually 28-40 lbs.

If you were overweight pre-pregnancy the suggested weight gain is usually 15-25 lbs.

If you’re carrying multiples your weight gain will be higher.

Some pregnancy complications are increased when you are overweight, such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. And if you gain excessive weight during the pregnancy and don’t lose all the pregnancy weight you put yourself at increased health risks for life. Being underweight or not gaining an appropriate amount of weight can put you at risk for pre-term labor or an underweight baby.

Where does the weight go…?

  • Average baby is 7.5 lbs.
  • Placenta 1.5 lbs.
  • Extra blood volume 3-4 lbs.
  • Extra fluid volume 3-4 lbs.
  • Larger uterus 2 lbs.
  • Larger breasts 2 lbs.
  • Amniotic fluid 2 lbs.
  • Fat stores 7 lbs.

Of course proper nutrition is key, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins and 64oz of water per day. Discuss you weight gain and nutritional goals with your obstetrician.


© 1998-2012 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER).


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