Monitoring Weight Gain During Pregnancy

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You’ve heard the jokes about pregnant women “eating for two,” and now that you’re the one who’s pregnant, you may be wondering just how many calories you should be consuming to sustain a healthy level of nutrition for both you and your little one. While it may be tempting to overindulge (after all, you’re going to be packing on the pounds anyway) there are some healthy guidelines you should be aware of regarding how much you should consume during your pregnancy.

  • According to Baby Talk (2009:7), generally speaking, most women only need to take in approximately 100-300 extra calories per day to provide the nutrients she needs for her own energy levels as well as her baby’s growth. This means only one extra snack or light meal per day will suffice. If that doesn’t sound like much fun to you, just remind yourself of all of the time, energy, and stress you’ll be saving yourself trying to lose a ton of post-pregnancy weight!
  • Everyone is different. Although there are guidelines (such as the ones here) to help you determine what and how much you should be eating while pregnant, your doctor is your best resource for advice in this matter. If you are underweight, for instance, your doctor may recommend a high-calorie diet, whereas if you are overweight, you may only need a minimal amount of extra calories per day for your baby.
  • Not all calories are alike. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you get to munch on Twinkies constantly—or any other nutrient-starved junk food item for that matter. The extra calories you consume should be rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals that will aid in your baby’s growth and development. Try snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, or low-fat dairy products, for instance.
  • You should never diet during pregnancy. Even if you’re gaining more weight than you anticipated, trying to lose weight while pregnant is not a good idea and could affect your baby’s health. Instead of going on a diet, focus on eating small meals and snacks throughout the day that are rich in whole grains, lean protein, and monounsaturated fats.
  • Most healthy women gain between 25 and 35 pounds over the duration of their pregnancies. Depending on your genes, your metabolism, and your baby, you may gain slightly more or less than this average. Your OB-Gyn can help you monitor your individual weight gain throughout your pregnancy.

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Monitoring Weight Gain During Pregnancy

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51 comments

  1. verochka31 says:

    i try not to gain too much. i eat healthy and necessary foods. i normally shoot for 20 to 25 lbs.

  2. Mamasita says:

    I hope not gaining too much weight

  3. Kay says:

    morning sickness has kept weight gain at bay so far! 9 weeks in..

  4. mommy nhoj says:

    My OB made me eat more when I was pregnant! Increased my vitamins to help baby grows. And ended up weight on mommy than the baby 🙂 I gave birth to 5 lbs and 11 oz baby

  5. VVanNess says:

    I’m only 5 weeks and a few days pregnant and yet this past week or so I feel like I could eat us out of house and home. Strangely enough though, I’m not gaining a single pound. Every morning I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, regardless of how much I’ve eaten the day before. I feel like I should weigh 1000lbs by now.

  6. Amanda says:

    I’m at 24 weeks and my doctor keeps telling me that I’m not gaining enough. I’ve only gained about 6 pounds, but I’m eating plenty and I stop when I get full. I’m not starving myself or the baby so I don’t see why gaining so little is a problem. I think just like everyone’s pregnancy is different so is everyone’s weight gain, and people should not keep trying to put a standard on weight for pregnancy.

    • Ashley says:

      The standard weight gain is made up of parts (baby,placenta, breasts, uterus, amniotic fluid, blood, other fluids, and fat stores), so there’s a reason it exists, it’s just gets complicated quickly (taking things like gaining muscle or loosing existing fat stores into account). Your doc is just letting you know that not gaining enough is a reason to keep a more careful eye on things, so you’re not surprised if she recommends an extra ultrasound to check fluids and size.

  7. sheenaholman says:

    I lose weight during my pregnancy’s but I’m not complaining!

  8. i’ve gained 33lbs. and i’m 5’1″ 1/2 and i’ve always been small,so idk

  9. Marilyn says:

    With my son I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and gained 60 lbs! It took me 3 years to lose it. I was hopeless when it came to weight loss. Until he turned 2 and I just did it. It took a year to lose it all plus some. So I’m not worried. I know I can lose it again.

  10. Kristy says:

    so far only 2 lbs gained!

  11. Phammom says:

    Weighing myself every week helps me to stay on track.

  12. AspenXIzzard says:

    I actually only gained 21 pounds my whole pregnancy. But this time who knows.

  13. Kristilynn says:

    I’m 5 weeks pregnant and have gained 16 pounds since I’ve been pregnant. I’m swollen all over, and I’m still exercising; but really concerned over the weight gain? Help.

    • Amanda says:

      I know it’s counterintuitive, but try drinking at least 64oz. of water daily. I read that the more water you drink, the less you retain! Hope that helps?

  14. Marina says:

    Gained 35 lbs. at 37 wks. My lower extremities are soo edemadous – retaining at least 5 lbs. of water weight

  15. twinstocome? says:

    I agree with you Brittany. I totally thought something was wrong with me gaining all the weight i did, then i figured out i was carrying twins. But regardless I wasnt gonna worry about it. Youre preggo! Youre suppose to get FAT and happy.

  16. Aimee says:

    What about all those weird cravings that you get?

  17. I eat well and try to stay active. At week 30 I have already gained 36 pounds. I was in the normal weight range before I got pregnant – 128 pounds and 5’5". I don’t think that the 25-30 pound weight gain is realistic and I have gotten very depressed trying to keep myself to these standards.

  18. Janice says:

    I gained weight but I did not over eat, or stay with a strict diet to avoid to much weight . I ate what I wanted , and did not worry.

  19. emi285 says:

    I have been cautious as to how much I eat, but I have gained 60-80lbs in the past with my other children (and lost it after 2-3 years), so if it happens I am not 100 % over worried!

  20. I haven’t really gained anything… If i stare at my shadow face on i look like i wasn’t pregnant. If i look at myself from the side, I swallowed a bowling ball…

  21. Valerie says:

    I was 90 lbs pre-pregnancy, and was not gaining like I should so both of my doctors told me to eat, eat, eat. And have now recommended that I also drink ensures!

  22. Kevryn says:

    I was overweight to begin with so I actually lost 40 lbs and then gained back 20 by the end. I was eating regularly and the doctors werent too concerned because the baby looked healthy and I was measuring ok

  23. Hope says:

    I eat healthy and exercise regularly (usually just walking). I have gained a little over 10 pounds (I’m 25 weeks) so far and am gaining wait little by little. As long as my baby is healthy I don’t care how much wait I gain. Although, I do hope not to gain too much either!

  24. Julie says:

    My doctor told me that people usually lose weight in the first trimester because of the morning sickness so she wanted to know how I had gained 11 pounds. I was worried that I wasn’t getting what I needed so every time I got sick I would eat again.

    • Amanda says:

      I totally hear you! I gained most of my weight so far during the first trimester because every time I felt sick, I would eat to avoid getting sick! Since then one of my docs told me I should focus on only gaining a 1/2 a pound a week til the end! I have to say now that I’m not feeling sick, my eating habits and my weight gain have leveled off a bit.

  25. Anna says:

    I didn’t gain any weight in my first trimester, I packed on almost 30 pounds in my second, now in my third trimester I gain weight slowly, about 1/2 pounds a week, although my eating habits haven’t changed much.

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