Weight gain during pregnancy is to be expected. Learn how much is recommended and what to do keep weight gain in check.
Oy… the dreaded pregnancy weight gain. I’ve heard from many (and even experienced it myself) the fear of weight gain during pregnancy. On the one hand, sigh, you will undoubtedly gain weight. On the other hand, you were blessed with the ability to create a tiny human inside your body, and with that weight gain you can feel confident you are fueling your baby! Healthy weight gain is essential for the health of your baby. The baby’s birth weight (and even weight in childhood) is heavily influenced by mom’s weight gain during pregnancy.
But how much is normal? Can you gain too much (spoiler alert, yes!)? Is it bad to not gain enough? We’ll review all of these things.Not sure how much weight to gain during #pregnancy? ALL the deets here! Click To Tweet
How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?
How much weight it’s recommended you gain during pregnancy depends on two factors:
1. Your weight before you got pregnant (technically, your pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index or BMI, which basically evaluates your weight in relationship to your height) and
2. The number of babies you’re carrying.
It’s a good idea to weigh yourself before trying to get pregnant so you have a baseline. Also start taking at least a folate supplement, if not a full prenatal supplement, before trying to get pregnant. For all things prenatal supplements, read here.
Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart
Use your pre-pregnancy BMI and number of babies you’re carrying to see how much weight gain is right for you using this chart.
This info is based upon the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data (which comes from the Institute of Medicine recommendations, with the exception of underweight women with twins).
Can You Gain Too Much Weight During Pregnancy?
Yup. And it’s not good. Excessive weight gain increases the risk for high birth weight babies, c-section and babies that are large for their gestational age. What’s more risky is, it’s also associated with higher body fatness in childhood.
Is It Bad to Not Gain Enough Weight During Pregnancy?
Also yes. Inadequate weight gain is associated with low birth weight babies and babies that are small for their gestational age. It also increases the risk for pre-term delivery and is associated with failure to initiate breastfeeding.
What Can You Do To Keep Weight Gain in Check?
Phew, this could be an entire blog post in and of itself, but for starters:
- Weigh yourself regularly (preferably first thing in the morning, before eating and after using the restroom, without clothes; this might be weekly or every few weeks)
- Exercise regularly
- Eat good-for-you foods most of the time (I get it, pregnancy cravings are the worst and veggies tend to be the ultimate enemy, just do the best you can)
- Manage your stress
- Avoid skipping meals
- Avoid eating snacks when you’re not actually hungry (is it stress? want a break from work? other emotional eating?)
You Can Do It!
Keeping weight in check throughout pregnancy is doable, but is definitely harder if you have intense nausea and vomiting or insatiable cravings. Just remember to do the best you can and be sensible with food choices.
As always, I hope this has been helpful for you!
Have you kept your weight in check during pregnancy despite obstacles? How did you do it?
Disclosures: None. This post was not created in partnership with any product or brand.