How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

Our experts answer your pregnancy questions

Fruit on a scale
The recommendation for weight gain is different depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.

If you’re in a normal weight range, we recommend you gain 25 or 35 pounds.

If you are underweight at the beginning of pregnancy, we’d like you to aim for the upper end of that range. We’ll ask you to get adequate calorie intake, about an extra 500 calories a day.

Usually the pregnancy takes care of that, because pregnant women are hungry! They crave certain foods, maybe even foods they’re deficient in. My niece was a vegetarian and craved red meat when she was pregnant. (Expecting moms do need extra protein, just not necessarily red meat.)

For a woman who’s overweight, we still want them to gain 15 to 25 pounds. The weight of the baby and the placenta together is approximately 15 pounds. Bottom line, we don’t want women to starve themselves.

Women who have a BMI of 40, or a BMI of 35 plus obesity-related health issues, we like them to limit their weight gain to 15 pounds. Your Body Mass Index is determined from a specific chart that looks at your height over your weight.

The right amount of weight gain for you is a good topic to discuss with your midwife or doctor at your first prenatal visit.

Mary Johnson, certified nurse-midwife
Fairview Clinics – Burnsville
Fairview Clinics – Bloomington, Oxboro
Fairview Clinics – Savage

To learn more:
Make an appointment with a midwife or OB doctor or book a tour at The Birthplace.

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