How Much Weight Should You Gain?

Women always wonder how much weight they will gain during pregnancy. Common questions such as “How much weight should I gain?” and “What will be a safe weight for my body?” are always asked. Pregnancy is not an excuse to eat as much as possible. You are eating for two, not three or four!

Your Physician Can Guide You
Safe weight gain will mean different amounts for each woman. You have to know what is right for you by consulting with your physician. Gaining weight very quickly is not good for you or your baby. You should gain weight gradually over time as your baby grows inside you. If you are rapidly increasing in weight, consult your doctor for some dietary guidelines. If at any stage during your pregnancy you think things are not going right, see your doctor for advice.

What Research Says About Safe Weight Gain
Generally, you should gain 2 to 4 pounds during the first three months of your pregnancy, and then 3 to 4 pounds per month for the rest of your pregnancy. It usually means a total weight gain of about 25 to 30 pounds, which is considered to be a healthy pregnancy weight gain for an average woman. A normal weight gain decreases the risk of giving birth to a low-birth-weight baby and increases the chances of giving birth to a healthy, normal baby.

The weight gained by you includes the 6 to 8 pounds in weight of your baby. The remaining weight consists of water retention, a larger uterus, larger breasts, amniotic fluid and the placenta.

Your Weight is Important for Your Baby
Obstetricians recommend a pregnant woman gain at least 20 pounds during pregnancy, even if the woman is already overweight. Studies have shown that low-weight babies may have been deprived of food in the uterus and they may be more likely to die in infancy or suffer from heart attacks later in life.

Diet and Regular Exercise Are Important
The kinds of foods you eat are even more important than the amount of weight gain. Be sure to take plenty of whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds, meat and other proteins and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Cut back on refined carbohydrates – white flour, white rice or milled corn, and all added sugars. Restrict added fats and avoid partially hydrogenated oils.

Make sure to do regular exercise during your pregnancy. If you don’t normally exercise, now it is a good time to start. Start walking every day. Do whatever helps you feel good and always be aware of the health of both you and your baby.

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