Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Weight gain during pregnancy is an issue every pregnant woman or teen faces wondering how much weight is healthy to gain in order to have a healthy pregnancy without excessive weight gain. It is important to know how much weight gain during pregnancy is healthy depending on your size.

Many pregnant teens do not practice healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Some teens are scared they will gain too much weight and instead try dieting. However, these practices can greatly damage the health of the unborn baby and can cause serious problems once the child is born. 

How much is healthy weight gain during pregnancy?

  • Typically it is safe to gain about 25 to 35 pounds while pregnant. However, it also depends on your height and average body weight. Not all women who are built more petite will gain that much. The reverse is also true; taller, larger-framed women might gain closer to the top of the recommended weight gain scale. Gaining weight during pregnancy is crucial in the development of the baby to do so properly and to avoid other developmental or health problems once the baby is born. 

Where does that extra weight go?

  • Baby = 8 pounds
  • Placenta = 2 to 3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid = 2 to 3 pounds
  • Breast tissue = 2 to 3 pounds
  • Blood supply = 4 pounds
  • Fat stores for deliver and breastfeeding = 5 to 9 pounds
  • Uterus increase = 2 to 5 pounds
  • Total = 25 to 35 pounds of weight gain during pregnancy

Is it safe to lose weight while pregnant?

  • In most cases, it is not safe to lose weight while pregnant. If you do plan on losing weight, it is a good idea to consult your doctor beforehand to find out any recommendations or advice. Typically however, weight loss is discouraged because it could result in mother losing too much weight while trying to maintain healthy weight gain during pregnancy. 

What is the best way to ensure healthy weight gain during pregnancy?

  • It is a misconception that you are “eating for two” while pregnant. However, you do need to eat more than you normally do. The best way to have a healthy pregnancy diet this is to eat more of healthy foods. Don’t fill up on soda and other empty calories to prevent unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy. 
  • Eat five to six small, meals frequently throughout the day.
  • Eat healthy fats like peanut butter and nuts. 
  • Pregnancy exercise should be moderate but can help you stay in shape while pregnant, and will prevent you from gaining extra weight, which can be difficult to lose after giving birth. 

Keep in mind that weight gain is normal during pregnancy. Many pregnant teens are too afraid of weight gain and do not take care of themselves properly throughout the pregnancy, which often poorly affects the baby. Ensuring  healthy weight gain during pregnancy is also a good indicator that you will quickly lose most of the baby weight following delivery.