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

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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?

pregnancy health, weight gain

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Phils... PhilsBabyMama

I was 120 lbs when I got pregnant and weighed 146 lbs when I delivered at 41 weeks and a day.  When I found out I was pregnant I started eating very healthy.  I think one of the problems is that pregnant women often will use being pregnant as an excuse to eat a ton of junk food because they're "craving" it.  It's just not a good idea.

baby1... baby1love

My first I was around 150 when I got pregnant I only gained 27 lbs but I was HUGE !


This pregnancy (20 weeks) I lost 10 lbs during my first trimister and just NOW gained back that 10 lbs I lost . Doctor isn't worried but told me to continue to eat what I am eating !

Heath... HeatherLorraine

I am about 4.5 to 5 weeks along and have been over weight for a while ..I am 6ft tall and weight about 215lbs. I used to be a normal 160lbs (for my height that is good) but got into a car accident rupturing a disc and pinching the nerve that runs down your leg..so I gained weight not being able to exercise and being on bed rest..now Im preggers... I have already gained weight..this is gonna be sooo hard. Luckily so far my craving is for veggie soup and pop-corn (my man works at the movies and comes home smelling so yummy..lol)! I gained 100lbs with my first child but was able to take it all off..this time will be hard. Wish me luck!popcorn

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

Good luck HeatherLorraine! You know, veggie soup and popcorn sounds so good to me right now!

Princ... PrincessZ20

I'm average, but gained a whopping 53 lbs during my first pregnancy!  I managed to lose it, plus 10 lbs, by his first birthday though. 


I'm four weeks along with this one, and haven't gained any weight...yet!  I'm trying to be a bit more careful this time around - hopefully that'll make those last few weeks a bit easier!

madam... madamekatekate

With my first daughter I lost 30 pounds and then gained 27 of them back. Yikes, lol!


With this baby I *had* gained 18 pounds but since I've changed my diet after discovering my GD I've lost 7 pounds making the grand total 11 pounds. And since I am  under the obese category (Yuck. I hate admitting it and can't wait to have this baby soI can change that.) I'm right on track. Only about 7 weeks to go, let's see what my final number is!

kitte... kitten_shuga

My doctor told me I can gain 10 pounds  :(   That's it... I am very heavy at 278, but I am concerned with the 10 pound limit and have already considered what to tell her if she complains about what I am putting on. However, I am still sitting right around 278 and I am 21 weeks tomorrow, so maybe it won't be so hard...

AudMama AudMama

With my first, I started out at 118 and gained 24 lbs. I'm on a similar track with this one, I'm 20 weeks and have only gained 3 lbs so far (I started out at 115). I am average for my height (4'11), and 24 lbs was perfect for me..... and I lost it in 3 weeks, which was awesome! Can't wait to see how this one turns out. :)

amw529 amw529

We were not anticipating having a child, so I was 250 lbs when we started.  I've only gained 11 lbs throughout and hopefully when he decides to come out (he was due on 5/26), it will not be too hard to lose that and then some....

tyrel... tyrelsmom

I'm underweight, so I should be in that 28 -40 range.  Maybe I'll manage it this time, but I haven't yet.  With my first I gained 43 pounds - and lost it all within 3 months without any effort whatsoever.  With my second I gained 21 pounds, and lost it all in less than 2 months.  This one is 19 lbs. so far at 31 weeks.  So I'm supposed to gain 9 pounds at least in approx. 9 weeks.  Might actually happen.

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