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Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy


Every woman gains weight during pregnancy. For some, this is a positive experience: the healthy glow and rounded figure are a badge of honor, broadcasting her good news to the world. For others, it’s a struggle: dealing with the stress of weight fluctuation on top of the other body changes pregnancy brings. But all moms share the same question: how much pregnancy weight gain is too much?

Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The amount of weight gained during pregnancy isn’t an abstract question. It can affect the health of both mother and child during gestation. Gaining too much weight contributes to postpartum weight retention, but gaining too little leads to inadequate birth weight of your infant. If you’re worried about weight gain, discuss it with your obstetrician or CNM. Your physician can give you an individual assessment to make sure you gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. To get you started, here’s a handy chart from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

  • For underweight mothers (BMI of 18.5 or less), the recommended gain is 28-40 lb
  • For average weight women (18.5-24.9 BMI), there’s a recommended weight gain of 25-35 lb
  • For overweight (25-29.9 BMI) moms, doctors recommend a 15-25 lb weight gain
  • For obese mothers (30 BMI and higher), the recommended weight gain is 11-20 lb

How to Control Weight During Pregnancy

If you’re gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy, ask your obstetrician about a personalized nutrition plan. Not only will a proper diet improve your weight gain, it will also provide necessary nutrients to you and your baby. Moms-to-be can also begin a pregnancy exercise routine to improve health and decrease the discomforts of pregnancy. Some conditions make exercising during pregnancy unsafe, so always speak to your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.

Want to learn more about nutrition, fitness, and healthy weight gain during pregnancy? Visit Northside Hospital-Cherokee or make an appointment with one of our physicians or advanced practice providers today at 770-720-7733