Average Weight Gain During Pregnancy

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When you find out you're pregnant, it can be tempting to think you can begin to gain as much weight as you like. Many women believe that gaining more weight is healthy for the baby and for the mother, so they feel they have carte blanche to eat anything and everything. And while this might be enjoyable, it is not always healthy for mom or for the baby. In fact, many medical professionals are trying to encourage women to monitor what they eat closely so as to avoid gaining too much weight during their pregnancy.


When a woman gains too much weight during her pregnancy, it can lead to a number of problems. Women who gain too much weight, especially during the early part of pregnancy can be at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, which can cause the pregnancy to be deemed high risk. The mother and the baby can be at risk of complications during delivery and after the birth. A mother who does not gain more than she should can expect to deliver a healthy sized baby without having troubles in labor and delivery. In addition, a mother who is fit during her pregnancy is more than likely able to have a shorter labor without troubles pushing or becoming too tired during the process.


Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy

It is recommended that the average weight gain during pregnancy should be about 35 pounds. However, this number doesn’t mean every woman needs to gain an additional 35 pounds. Those mothers who are underweight at the beginning of their pregnancy are advised to gain 25 to 40 pounds as part of a healthy pregnancy; normal weight women should gain 25 to 35 pounds, while overweight women should gain no more than 15 to 25 pounds. To reach these goals, women should not diet, but should only add 100 to 300 additional calories to each day’s eating plan. The diet should change slightly to include more lean meats and proteins in order to fill the body with nutrition to support the developing baby. Those who are pregnant with multiples will need to gain more weight, but this will be supervised by the doctor.


How to Manage Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Though it seems you need to gain less weight than you thought, this does not mean that pregnancy should be a time of dieting. The opposite is true. Mothers should simply be more aware of their calorie consumption and what types of foods they are putting in their bodies. More dairy products, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended foods to help them gain weight healthily.


With these guidelines in mind, you can gain an average amount of weight during your pregnancy at a rate of about 4 pounds during your first trimester (first 12 weeks) and then about a pound a week for the rest of your pregnancy. All women are different, but knowing what you need to gain can help you keep your body and your baby healthy.