Pregnancy Weight Gain and Wise Eating

While appropriate weight gain and a healthy diet during pregnancy help keep you and your developing baby healthy now, research suggests that it may also influence your baby’s health long past birth.

The amount you should gain by the end of your pregnancy depends on whether you were underweight, overweight or just right before you conceived, and if you are carrying more than one baby.

Most women gain 25–35 lbs. during the course of pregnancy, only 5–8 of which are stored as body fat. The remaining pounds are added by your baby, amniotic fluid, placenta, increased fluids, blood, breast growth and uterus.

Check out where you’re starting from with this BMI (body-mass index) calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Academy of Medicine has issued weight-gain recommendations during pregnancy, based on a woman’s pre-pregnancy BMI:

  • 28–40 lbs. for women who are underweight
  • 25–35 lbs. for women in a normal weight range
  • 15–25 lbs. for women who are overweight
  • 11–20 lbs. for women who are obese

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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