The facts about normal pregnancy weight gain
Gaining weight is a natural part of pregnancy and an important aspect of your growing baby's health. Though you're "eating for two" during pregnancy, it's important to avoid the temptation to eat twice as much. Rather than focusing on quantity, try to enhance the quality of your food choices.
Pregnancy and weight gain: Pregnancy calories still count
Eating the best foods and consuming the correct number of calories benefits your baby's health — and yours — at every stage of pregnancy.
Why weight matters during your pregnancy
How much weight you gain during pregnancy impacts your baby’s health and your well-being during and after pregnancy.
Gaining too little weight during pregnancy increases a baby’s risk of:
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- Difficulty initiating breastfeeding
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases the risk of:
- Macrosomia (birth weight of more than 4,500 g (9 lb, 14.7 oz**)
- Increased baby size, which might require cesarean-section delivery
- Difficulty losing weight after pregnancy
- Gestational diabetes or hypertension
The right amount of pregnancy weight gain varies for each woman and is based on how much she weighs before becoming pregnant. Ask your doctor to help you determine the right amount of maternity weight gain for you.
How to manage calories during your pregnancy while ensuring proper nutrition:
- Try eating smaller, more frequent meals to avoid intense hunger.
- Watch portion sizes, eat slowly, and give your body time to digest food.
- Fill up on fruits and vegetables, which provide nutrients, water, and fiber with fewer calories.
- Focus on better-quality foods, and make adjustments in consumption based on activity levels.
With a healthy approach, you can ensure you’re responsibly eating for two while achieving the pregnancy weight that’s best for you.