When it comes to pregnancy weight, everyone has a different experience, different fears and different expectations. A healthy weight for you might not be the same as it was for your sister, mother, or even your grandmother.
What is Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain. Overall healthy weight gain depends on a variety of factors including your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). Whether or not you are carrying twins or multiples is also an important factor. While you may hear that you should gain no more than 35 pounds and no less than 28 pounds during pregnancy, in reality, it’s not necessarily so black and white.
Below are general pregnancy weight gain guidelines for a singleton pregnancy:
|Pre-pregnancy weight||Recommended weight gain|
|Underweight (BMI below 18.5)||28 to 40 lbs.|
|Healthy weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)||25 to 35 lbs.|
|Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)||15 to 25 lbs.|
|Obese (BMI 30 or more)||11 to 20 lbs.|
Click here to see weight guidelines for carrying twins.
At your next prenatal appointment, don’t be afraid to ask your provider questions about weight gain, cravings, and which foods you should be eating and avoiding.
Speaking of Cravings
Cravings are an aspect of pregnancy that you should not be embarrassed about nor should you try to ignore. It’s often speculated that pregnancy cravings may give insight into what your body might need in terms of nutrition and vitamins. However, scientific research on the subject found that pregnancy cravings are not necessarily experienced in all cultures. Furthermore, studies to see whether commonly craved foods provide specific nutrients helpful for pregnancy have not lead to any relevant discoveries.
Food cravings can be a concern when they replace good nutrition, so be sure you are not filling up on foods you crave and skipping the nutritious foods your body and baby really need.
Why Proper Weight Gain Is Important During Pregnancy
Not gaining enough weight during pregnancy is associated with babies born too small. This may cause your baby to have difficulty with breastfeeding, increased risk for illness, and developmental delays.
Gaining more than the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy is associated with having a baby who is born too large. This can lead to delivery complications, cesarean delivery, and childhood obesity. It can also increase the amount of weight you hold on to after pregnancy, which can lead to obesity.
Maintaining a healthy diet, and a healthy weight, during pregnancy shouldn’t be difficult or stressful. Make an appointment with your WHA physician to discuss what a healthy weight gain is for you, and how to achieve your pregnancy weight gain goals.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Women’s Health Arizona. As Arizona’s largest ObGyn group, we’re trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.