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Weight Increase During Pregnancy

Many women are worried about how much weight to gain when pregnant. Here are some general guidelines about healthy weight increase for you and your baby.

Don’t Eat For Two Adults

First off, it’s important to realize that the food you eat in your diet is the main source of energy for your baby. So you need to eat more while pregnant. When you are pregnant, you need about 300 calories more a day than you usually eat. However, don’t make the mistake of “eating for two adults!” Remember, you are eating for one adult plus one very small being. So don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to overeat. It’s very easy to obtain the extra 300 calories. All you need to eat is a cup of yogurt (110 calories), one slice of wholegrain bread (70 calories) and a baked potato (120 calories).

Recommended Weight Gain

Experts recommend an average weight gain during pregnancy of about 24 to 35 pounds. This will vary according to your pre-pregnancy weight and the number of babies you are carrying. According to the Institute of Medicine, an underweight woman may be advised to gain up to 40 pounds while an overweight Mom-to-be may be advised to gain just 15 pounds.

As a guide, how much weight you need to gain depends upon your body mass index (BMI) at the start of your pregnancy.

Underweight Body Mass Index (< 19)
Gain 28-40 pounds

Normal Body Mass Index (19-25.99)
Gain 25-35 pounds

Overweight Body Mass Index (26-29.99)
Gain 15-25 pounds

Obese Body Mass Index (30+)
Gain 15 pounds

Ask your doctor about what level of weight gain is ideal for your height and build.

How Your Extra Weight is Used

Although it varies from Mom to Mom, this is how the extra pounds are used:

7.5 pounds – average baby’s weight
7.0 pounds – extra stored nutrients like fat, protein, etc.
4.0 pounds – extra blood
4.0 pounds – extra body fluids
2.0 pounds – amniotic fluid surrounding the baby
2.0 pounds – breast enlargement
2.0 pounds – enlargement of uterus
1.5 pounds – placenta

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