Guide for Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy
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Guide for Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Everyone knows that weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable, but even the most seasoned moms may not quite understand just how much is too much during pregnancy. Avoiding excessive weight gain during your pregnancy will not only help you during the birthing process, but it will also make it much easier for you to regain your pre-pregnancy shape after delivering your baby.


Your pre-pregnancy weight helps determine just how much weight you should gain during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you were obese before pregnancy, you should probably only gain about 11 to 20 lbs. Underweight women should try to add about 28 to 40 lbs. to their body weight during pregnancy. If your body mass index was of a normal range before you conceived, then you should aim for a weight gain of about 25 to 35 lbs. Those moms who were a little overweight before pregnancy might target a weight gain goal of no more than 15 to 25 lbs.


Moms carrying twins, triplets or other multiples will need to gain more weight than the traditional pregnant woman, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, this figure is best decided in coordination with your doctor.

Adding Extra Calories

Most pregnant women need only add about 300 calories a day to their food plan, according to the federal government website Women’s Health. However, avoiding junk food is essential to healthy weight gain. Consider adding low-sodium vegetable juice, 100 percent fruit juice, low-fat milk, whole-grain bread and lean protein to your pregnancy diet.


You should not drink any alcohol or eat certain types of fish while pregnant, according to Women’s Health. Avoiding tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel is essential during pregnancy, as these types of fish contain high amounts of potentially dangerous mercury. Limit your intake of lower-mercury fish, such as salmon and tuna, to about 12 oz. per week.

Time Frame

Gaining your extra weight during the second trimester is a great idea, according to the Mayo Clinic. During your first trimester, you may suffer from morning sickness and are less likely to want to eat the extra food required to healthfully gain weight. If you wait until the third trimester, much of your baby’s development is already underway. However, taking folic acid supplements and prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy is always a good idea. You’ll also want to stay well-hydrated with fluids during your entire pregnancy; choose water, low-fat milk, low-sodium vegetable juices and 100 percent fruit juice when possible over sodas and caffeinated drinks. This helps reduce your risk of additional water retention.

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