Nutrition and Pregnancy: How Much Weight Should You Gain?

It’s important to take care of your body before, during and after your pregnancy to live a healthy, fulfilling life. Most often this includes maintaining a healthy diet, managing weight loss goals, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest and exercise. Pregnancy, however, comes with a unique set of rules that encourages weight gain—which is not something many women think about regularly.

But before you sit back, relax and fill your plates with delicious treats, it’s important to understand how much weight gain is right for you and when it’s best to gain it. If you over-indulge while you’re pregnant and gain too much weight too fast, you increase your risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension and complications during labor.

How much weight gain is right for you?

If you are pregnant, it’s important to talk to your OB/GYN to find out exactly how much weight gain is right for you. Depending on your starting weight, the American Pregnancy Association recommends the following weight gain ranges:

  • Average weight
    For women with body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9, the recommended weight gain guideline is 25 to 35 pounds.
  • Underweight
    For women with a BMI of less than 18.5, the recommended weight gain guideline is 28 to 40 pounds.
  • Overweight
    For women with a BMI of 25 to 29, the recommended weight gain guideline is 15 to 25 pounds. If your BMI is above 30, the weight gain guideline is 11 to 20 pounds.

When should I gain my pregnancy weight?

Your rate of weight gain will depend on your unique situation, which is why it is important to keep up your regular doctor visits throughout your pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends the following weight gain schedule:

  • First trimester
    Most women are encouraged to gain between three and four pounds during their first trimester, however, morning sickness may make this difficult. If this happens to you, it’s okay to make up for it in the second trimester.
  • Second trimester
    As your baby begins to grow and gain weight, your own weight gain should tick up as well. Gaining between 10 and 14 pounds is recommended during your second trimester.
  • Third trimester
    While your baby continues to grow and gain weight, your weight gain should now begin to taper off. You should gain approximately 10 pounds during your third trimester.

If you’re looking for quality obstetrics in Mobile, Alabama that you can trust, call Bay Area Physicians for Women at 251-344-5900. Whether you’re thinking about getting pregnant or have started planning for a new baby, we are here to help.