Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Obesity and Pregnancy

Font Size

Topic Overview

How does your weight affect your pregnancy?

Most pregnant women have healthy babies—and that includes women who are obese. But being very heavy does increase the chance of problems.

Babies born to mothers who are obese have a higher risk of:

Did You Know?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover prenatal services, including screening tests and breastfeeding support, at no cost to you. Learn more.

Health Insurance Center

Mothers who are obese have a higher risk of:

If you're not pregnant already, being obese can make it hard to get pregnant.

These are scary problems, and it's common to worry about your and your baby's health. But being obese doesn't mean that you will have these problems. You can do a lot to improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

Work with your doctor to get the care you need. Go to all your doctor visits, and follow your doctor's advice about what to do and what to avoid during pregnancy.

Should you try to lose weight during pregnancy?

No. Pregnancy is not the time to lose weight. Your baby needs you to eat a well-rounded diet. Don't cut out food groups or go on any type of weight-loss diet.

How much weight should you gain during pregnancy?

Experts recommend that obese women gain between 11 and 20 pounds.1 Your doctor will work with you to set a weight goal that's right for you. In some cases, a doctor may recommend that a woman not gain any weight.

Although pregnant women often joke that they're "eating for two," you don't need to eat twice as much food. In general, pregnant women need to eat about 300 extra calories a day. You can get this in a sandwich or in an apple and a cup of yogurt.

How much can you eat during pregnancy?

How much you can eat depends on:

Like any pregnant woman, you need to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups. You especially need to make sure to get enough calcium and folic acid.

You may want to work with a dietitian to help you plan healthy meals to get the right amount of calories for you.

How will your prenatal care change if you're obese?

You will have the same number of doctor visits as a woman of average weight, unless you start to have problems. Then you would see your doctor more often. But you'll have the same type of tests to look for problems and make sure your baby is healthy.

1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.