Weight Gain During Pregnancy: What’s Healthy?
The benefits of following a balanced, nutrient-rich diet during pregnancy are clear, but one question leaves many women perplexed: How much weight should I be gaining during my pregnancy?
The amount of weight you should healthily gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. Guidelines for healthy weight gain include:
- Underweight women (BMI below 18.5): 28 to 40 pounds
- Healthy weight women (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9): 25 to 30 pounds
- Overweight women (BMI of 25 to 29.9): 15 to 25 pounds
- Obese women (BMI of 30 or greater): 11 to 20 pounds
How to Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Weight
Regina Whitfield-Kekessi MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Group Health, stresses the importance of being active throughout your pregnancy, for both keeping your weight in check, and for overall health. “Getting in 30 minutes of exercise a day is recommended. A simple walk will do; it doesn’t have to be at a fast pace or a jog,” she points out.
- Related: Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
Regular physical activity helps your body process sugars better, which is especially critical for women who have gestational diabetes.
Dr. Whitfield-Kekessi also says a dietitian consult is helpful for women who are overweight or obese. “A dietitian consult would help you in making better choices of the foods you enjoy. Watching your calories and portion control are the keys to success,” she adds.