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  Week By Week Gain

How Much Weight Gain is Alright During Pregnancy?

The question of how much weight gain is alright during pregnancy is difficult to answer with a number. You see, every woman needs to gain weight during pregnancy – even a woman who’s overweight when her pregnancy begins.

Women have a lot of issues with their weight – whether they’re pregnant or not. So rather than focusing on a particular number, it’s more important to focus on being healthy and eating healthy. In other words, how you gain the weight is more important than how much you gain, so long as you’re gaining enough. If you’re eating to fullness and eating healthy, nutrient rich food, then you’ll generally gain an appropriate amount of weight for your body and your baby.

In addition, the amount of weight gain that’s alright for you during pregnancy will be different than the amount of weight gain that’s right for other women. Only your health care provider can help you determine a target that’s right for your body, your health status and your pregnancy.

But you still want a number, right? OK. The average weight gain for a woman of average weight and health carrying a single baby is 25 to 35 pounds. Notice the words “average” there, and notice that there’s a 10 pound range of healthy. Even the most overweight woman will need to gain about 20 pounds to properly nourish her baby and account for additional blood volume, amniotic fluid, the placenta, and the preparation of the breasts for breastfeeding. A woman who is underweight will need to gain more weight, maybe as much as 40 pounds. But again, these are all numbers for carrying a single baby. If you’re carrying more than one baby, those numbers will increase.

So you can see that the amount of weight gain that’s alright during pregnancy can be very different from woman to woman. Pre-existing health conditions – like diabetes – may influence how much weight you’re able to put on during your pregnancy. Certain genetic factors may also play a role in determining how big you’ll get. The only person who can give you a weight gain range that’s alright for you is your health care provider.

But let us stress again that more important than how much you gain is how you gain your pregnancy weight. If you gain only 25 pounds, but you do it eating nothing but chips and soda, the weight you’ve gained isn’t going to be healthy for you and your baby. On the other hand, you’ll find it hard to gain excessive amounts of weight if you avoid sugar and junk food and concentrate on eating lean protein, a variety of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy and healthy fats.

If you eat a healthy diet, you’ll likely gain around five pounds during your first trimester, and then gain weight slowly and gradually until delivery. Ideally, your weight gain should parallel that of the growth of your baby – your health care provider can help you determine whether you’re on track with your baby’s development or not.

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