Too much, too little or just right
How much weight you should gain throughout your pregnancy 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 by clicking here.
Maintaining the weight that’s right for you
Here are the most current recommendations for pregnancy weight gain, from the Institute of Medicine:
- 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.
- 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) before pregnancy, 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.
Eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much
Even though you may feel like eating everything in sight, the key to maintaining a healthy weight while pregnant is to eat a healthy diet that will give you and your baby the nutrition you need. In fact, you don’t need any extra calories in your first trimester, only 340 extra calories a day in your second trimester, and 450 extra calories a day in your third trimester.
Remember, it takes 9 months to put on the weight, and it can take just as long or longer to take it off. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to not gain too much — so that you’ll have less pounds to lose later.