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July 26, 2017 | Adult and Adolescent Medicine • Family Medicine • OB/GYN • Women and Children's Center
Weight gain is expected and highly necessary during pregnancy. While a baby is in the womb, the mother must provide nutrients through additional calorie consumption, which naturally leads to an increase in weight.
What are the right amounts of weight gain, and what are some strategies you can take to hit these proper thresholds during pregnancy? Let’s look at some basics in this area.
The amount each mother needs to gain during pregnancy varies between cases, but on average, a mother only needs about 300 more calories per day than she did before she was pregnant. The precise amounts you should gain may depend on either weight or BMI (body mass index). In general, average women should gain 25 to 35 pounds, underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds and overweight women may only need to gain 15 to 25 pounds.
In most cases, you’ll gain about 2 to 4 pounds during the first three months of pregnancy, then roughly a pound a week for the remainder of the term. Women expecting twins should expect to gain 35 to 45 pounds.
Where does all this weight go? Several different places, it turns out. Here’s a basic breakdown based on general averages:
In some rare cases, if a mother is very overweight when she becomes pregnant, her doctor may want her to lose weight under the doctor’s care. Otherwise, though, women should not try to lose weight or diet during pregnancy.
Here are some tactics for gaining weight in a proper and healthy manner:
In some cases, you may gain more weight than your doctor has recommended. Speak to your doctor about your approach here—in most cases, you’ll be advised to wait until after the baby has been delivered to begin a weight loss effort. However, some tips to slow the progress of weight gain include:
If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, your doctor will advise you on a weight plan.
“Gain Weight Safely During Your Pregnancy.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/healthy-weight-gain#1
“Pregnancy Weight Gain.” American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-weight-gain/
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.