Pregnancy Weight: How Much Are You Supposed to Put On?

pregnancy weightI'm learning the amount of weight we gain when pregnant varies from woman to woman. Some pregnant women gain weight from just looking at food, but there are studies that say too much pregnancy weight gain can mean your baby will be heavy.

There are new guidelines by the Institute of Medicine that says it's best to be at a healthy weight before you conceive. And they also offer information to guide us and our weight throughout pregnancy.


You can decrease your chance of pregnancy-related high blood pressure, diabetes, or C-section, and they say it's best for the baby, too, since those born to overweight moms risk premature birth and having weight issues as well.

This is all from a Yahoo story on a Reuters piece that suggests how packing on too many pounds during pregnancy can cause a variety of problems.

Here's the worry: About 55 percent of women of childbearing age are overweight. But don't worry if you are in that percent. There are new guidelines to follow:

  • A woman of average weight, as measured by body mass index (BMI), should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. A normal BMI, a measure of weight for height, is between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • An overweight woman (BMI 25 to 29.9) should gain 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.
  • For the first time, the guidelines set a standard for obese women. A BMI of 30 or higher: gain 11 to 20 pounds.
  • An underweight woman (BMI less than 18.5) should gain 28 to 40 pounds.

Check your BMI here.

The study said, "Underweight and normal-weight mothers should put on a pound a week for proper fetal growth in the second and third trimesters. The overweight and obese need about half a pound a week." Women expecting twins can gain more: 37 to 54 pounds for a normal-weight woman, 31 to 50 pounds for the overweight, 25 to 42 pounds for the obese. The study didn't have enough information for those having triplets or more.

It's important to know that pregnancy is not a time to lose weight, said guidelines co-author Dr. Anna Maria Siega-Riz of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "It's not, 'Hey you gained enough, now you need to stop,'" Siega-Riz said. "Let's take stock of where you're at and start gaining correctly."

When asked if it was "realistic for obese women to gain as little as 11 pounds," Cornell University nutrition specialist Dr. Kathleen Rasmussen, who chaired the Institute of Medicine committee said, "We think it's possible. We also think it will be a challenge."

One woman, who was 300 pounds and 6 feet tall when she became pregnant, worked with a nutritionist and gained only 2 pounds by week 24 -- and her baby was growing well. She kept the weight off herself and let it go to the baby by cutting sugary sodas and juices, instead having water.

I'm just at the start of my pregnancy journey, 9 weeks, twins, gained 4 pounds. I think some of it is in my boobs. What about you? How much are you gaining?

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