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Health & Pregnancy

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Weight Gain

Weight gain during your pregnancy helps your baby get enough nutrients to thrive. But you don't truly need to eat twice as much as usual when you're "eating for two." If you gain too much weight, your baby may deliver early, or become too large. And you're more likely to get high blood pressure, diabetes, or varicose veins. You're also more likely to need a cesarean section if you put on too much weight during pregnancy.

In general, if you start at a healthy weight and are carrying one child, you should gain 25 to 35 pounds. If you are overweight, you should gain 15 to 25 pounds. And if you are obese, you should gain approximately 15 pounds. If you are at a healthy weight and carrying twins, you should gain 35 to 45 pounds.

Call Doctor If:

  • You want to know a good target weight gain for you. Your doctor can help you determine it, based on your BMI (body mass index).
  • You think you are gaining too much weight.
  • You need help determining a good menu plan to gain a healthy amount of weight.
  • You gain weight rapidly. This could be a sign of preeclampsia, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, a serious health issue.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Shoot for 100 to 300 calories extra a day. A glass of milk and four fig bars, or half a peanut butter sandwich, are about 300 calories.
  • Try to put on weight slowly and steadily. But don't worry if you have one or two "growth spurts" and then level out.
  • Exercise regularly, with your doctor's OK.
  • Don't diet or try to lose weight while pregnant. It could harm your baby.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on August 08, 2014

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