No one likes to gain weight. But, as a pregnant patient, you are supposed to gain weight in order for your pregnancy to be a healthy one. So, how much weight is a good weight to gain? It depends on where you start your pregnancy. This is all determined by what your Body Mass Index (BMI) is when you start your pregnancy. The BMI is figured by taking your height and your weight and running it through a special BMI calculator that gives a number to predict future health problems. You can find BMI calculators online or we can give you that number when you come in for an appointment.
Why do we even care about how much weight you gain or don’t gain? Because it makes a difference for the health of your baby and for your long-term health. When a woman doesn’t gain enough weight, a baby is born ‘small for gestational age’ which causes problems long term with body function and possibly IQ. For women that gain too much weight, babies are born with larger heads that significantly increases your risk of a C-section. It also puts the child at risk of being obese as a child and an adult. In addition, too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to long-term obesity for the mother. This puts both mother and baby at risk for future diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and osteoarthritis of the lower extremity joints.
So, enjoy your food—when you aren’t morning sick–but watch your intake to keep your weight gain within the guidelines that follow:
- BMI < 18.5. Desired weight gain 28-40 pounds
- BMI 18.5 to 24.9 (Ideal BMI). Desired weight gain 25-35 pounds
- BMI 25 to 29.9 (Overweight) Desired weight gain 15-25 pounds
- BMI >30 (Obese) Desired weight gain 11-20 pounds