Pregnancy Weight Gain: What’s “Right?”

Attractive pregnant woman is sitting in bed Many women spend a good portion of their lives worried about portions. Eat this. Don’t eat that. Stay fit so you can stay healthy and confident in your appearance. The messages that swirl around a woman’s body have become more mixed over time, which can only add to confusion and feelings of overwhelm.

This can even extend into a woman’s gestational period. Pregnant women may hear far too many opinions and tips from people who care but also may have no business giving advice.

Here, we discuss what is deemed normal in terms of weight gain during pregnancy.

The Basics of Pregnancy Weight Gain

It is expected and reasonable for a pregnant woman to gain weight. As she is growing a human being inside of her womb, a woman requires extra fuel for energy. It takes a lot of energy for a fetus to develop! While pregnancy demands more energy and caloric intake, there is a need to discuss what is “right” for each woman.

How much weight is ideal?

Some say that a woman should gain only as much weight as is needed to support the growing baby. If too little weight is gained, the baby’s growth and development are at risk. A skinny Mom can equal a skinny Baby. On the flip side, gaining too much weight increases the risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy may also develop worse stretch marks, varicose veins, backaches, and post-partum weight retention.

What is the “Right” Amount of Weight to Gain During Pregnancy?

It is important to see steady weight gain during pregnancy. But how much? Women often hear that is it appropriate to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. This is a generalization that can cause worry in some. While there are guidelines, there is no right answer that fits every woman.

What your obstetrician will look at more than your current weight is your pre-pregnancy BMI.

BMI is body mass index, which is an equation that involves your weight and your height. During pregnancy, weight gain guidelines also take into account the number of babies a woman is carrying. You can use an online calculator or talk to your doctor about your pre-pregnancy BMI.

Generally, BMI falls into one of the following categories:

  • Underweight = less than 18.5 BMI Normal weight = 18.5 to 24.9 BMI Overweight = 25 to 29.9 BMI Obese = 30 or higher BMI.
  • Based on pre-pregnancy BMI, the following guidelines may apply: Women who are underweight should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
  • Women who are normal weight should gain 25 to 30 pounds
  • Women who are overweight should gain 15 to 25 pounds
  • Women who are obese should gain 11 to 20 pounds

These guidelines are based on a single pregnancy, not multiples.

In those situations, the doctor will discuss appropriate weight gain in more detail. Additionally, the doctor discusses weight gain by trimester and what each patient should expect. Pregnancy, as you may know, is dynamic. The body is in a constant state of flux. Our job is to work with each patient to support the health of Mommy and Baby through this major transition.

If you’re ready to start your family, now is the best time to schedule a consultation with an experienced OBGYN. Huey & Weprin OBGYN has offices in Kettering and Englewood, OH. Contact us at 937.771.5100 to schedule a visit.

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