Eating for Appropriate Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Guidelines for Weight Gain
- Women beginning pregnancy at a normal weight (defined as body mass index [BMI] of 18.5-24.9) are advised to gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
- Underweight women (BMI 18.4 or less) are advised to gain 28-40 pounds.
- Overweight women (BMI 25-29.9) are advised to gain 15-25 pounds.
- Obese women (BMI 30 and over) are advised to gain 11-20 pounds.
Risks of Too Little or Too Much Weight Gain
- Delivering a low birthweight baby
- Preterm birth
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure called preeclampsia
- Gestational diabetes—which can lead to baby with high birthweight
- Preterm birth
- Longer labor and labor complications
- Cesarean delivery
Maximizing Nutrition Without Maximizing Calories
- Make sure your diet is high in healthy foods with lots of nutrition. This includes plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Limit intake of foods high in sugar, saturated and trans fat(fried foods, whole dairy products, red meats).
- Avoid foods that are high in calories and little nutrition (cookies, cakes, chips, and soda).
A Note About Food Safety
- Do not eat or drink any raw or unpasteurized milk or milk products
- Do not eat raw or partially cooked eggs
- Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish because of high mercury levels
- Limit white albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week or less (because of possible mercury content)
- Eat only deli, luncheon meats, or hot dotgs that have been reheated until steaming hot
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/
United States Department of Agriculture http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Women's Health Canada http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/
Healthy Eating for You and Your Baby. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Eat Right website. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442467822&terms=pregnancy. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy. United States Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-breastfeeding/pregnancy-nutritional-needs.html. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Nutrition in Pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website.http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated September 26, 2012. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Rasmussen KM, Catalano PM, et al., New Guidelines for Weight Gain During Pregnancy. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2009;21(6):521-526.
Rooney BL, Schauberger CW. Excess pregnancy weight gain and long-term obesity: one decade later. Obstet Gynecol. 2002;100:245-252.
Supertracker: My Foods, My Fitness, My Health. United States Department of Agriculture Supertracker website. https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Thorsdottir I, Torfadottir JE, Birgisdottir BE, Geirsson RT. Weight gain in women of normal weight before pregnancy: complications in pregnancy or delivery and birth outcome. Obstet Gynecol . 2002;99:799-806.
Weight Gain in Pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated August 20, 2012. Accessed November 29, 2012.
2/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php Cheng YW, Chung JH, Kurbisch-Block I, Inturrisi M, Shafer S, Caughey AB. Gestational weight gain and gestational diabetes mellitus: perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112:1015-1022. Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, et al. Excess gestational weight gain: modifying fetal macrosomia risk associated with maternal glucose. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112:1007-1014.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012
- Update Date: 11/29/2012