How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?
According to BabyCenter, it depends on how much you weighed before you conceived and how appropriate that weight is for your height. The relationship between your height and weight is expressed in a number called a “body mass index,” or BMI. You can calculate your BMI here.
The guidelines for pregnancy weight gain are issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), most recently in May 2009. Here are the most current recommendations:
- If your pre-pregnancy weight was in the healthy range for your height (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9), you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds, gaining 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy for the optimal growth of your baby.
- If you were underweight for your height at conception (a BMI below 18.5), you should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
- If you were overweight for your height (a BMI of 25 to 29.9), you should gain 15 to 25 pounds. If you were obese (a BMI of 30 or higher), you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.
- If you’re having twins, you should gain 37 to 54 pounds if you started at a healthy weight, 31 to 50 pounds if you were overweight, and 25 to 42 pounds if you were obese.
Use the BabyCenter pregnancy weight gain estimator to find out how much you should gain (based on your height and pre-pregnancy weight) and to see how the pounds are distributed.
How can I stay within the recommended amount?
Eat a healthy diet while you’re pregnant and ask your doctor or midwife to help you set up anexercise program that’s right for you. Eating for twodoesn’t mean eating twice as much as you usually do. In fact, you don’t need any extra calories in your first trimester. According to the IOM, you need only 340 extra calories a day in your second trimester, and 450 extra calories daily in your third trimester.
How can I deal with my anxiety about how my body is changing?
If you’ve struggled with controlling your weight in the past, or even if you’ve never dieted in your life, you may have a hard time accepting that it’s okay to gain weight now. It’s normal to feel anxious as the numbers on the scale edge up. Try to keep in mind, however, that some weight gain is important for a healthy pregnancy and that those extra pounds will eventually come off after you’ve had the baby.
If weight gain is making you feel blue, you’re not alone. Find out how other moms-to-be are coping with putting on the pregnancy pounds.