Healthy for Two Healthy for You

A 30+ BMI puts pregnancies at risk for many complications like diabetes, high blood pressure and pregnancy loss. Healthy for Two Healthy for You helps you achieve healthy weight gain during your pregnancy, return to a healthy weight after delivery, and focus on improving your overall wellness.


About Healthy for Two Healthy for You

This unique interactive program focuses on improving your health behaviors with the goal of enjoying a healthy pregnancy, delivering a healthy baby, returning to a healthy weight after delivery, and focusing on improving your overall wellness.


The Johns Hopkins Advantage

For 130 years, Johns Hopkins Hospital has led the way in both biomedical discovery and health care, establishing the standard by which others follow and build upon. This is one of many faculty-developed programs, protocols and services provided by Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care. Our faculty experts developed this program for maximum impact, based on years of research and clinical success.


Pregnancy Weight Gain Facts

  • Eating for two isn’t a license to eat twice as much as usual.
  • Healthy lifestyle habits make it easier to manage your pregnancy weight gain, support your baby’s health and shed the extra pounds after delivery.
  • There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain.
  • Appropriate weight gain for you depends on various factors including your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI). Your health and your baby’s health also play a role.

Being overweight

Being overweight before pregnancy increases the risk of various pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy – such as preeclampsia – and the need for a C-section. Although a certain amount of pregnancy weight gain is recommended for women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy, some research suggests that women who are obese can safely gain less weight than the guidelines recommend. Further study is needed.

Being underweight

If you’re underweight before pregnancy, it’s essential to gain a reasonable amount of weight while you’re pregnant. Without the extra weight, your baby might be born early (premature birth) or smaller than expected.

When you gain too much

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase your baby’s risk of health problems – such as being born significantly larger than average (fetal macrosomia) – and complications at birth – such as the baby’s shoulder becoming stuck after the head is delivered (shoulder dystocia). Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can also increase your risk of postpartum weight retention.

The good news is that if you are pregnant, the Healthy for Two Healthy for You program is here to help you improve your health and the health of your baby.


Healthy for Two Healthy for You

Improving your health behaviors will contribute to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:

  1. Eat the right number of calories (energy) and choose foods filled with nutrients (the “ingredients” your body needs to do its job).
  2. Do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (exerting enough effort to give your heart and lungs a good work out).

We designed this program to help you achieve healthy weight gain during your pregnancy. Supported by a specially-trained health coach, the program will also help you return to a healthy weight after delivery and focus on enhancing your well-being like reducing your stress and improving your sleep.

This unique program is:

  • Specific to your needs
  • Easy to follow
  • Based on the latest research and best practices
  • Follows you through your pregnancy and the first 12 weeks postpartum
  • Offers telephone support by a specially trained health coach
  • Uses a popular website and cell phone app to help you and your coach track your health behaviors (like what you eat and your activity)
  • Helps you to talk about your progress with your OB/GYN and other members of your health care team

The role of your coach:

Your coach will help you with healthy weight gain and wellness during your pregnancy. Also, she will help you with healthy weight loss postpartum.

During your coaching calls, you should expect your coach to review your:

  • Weight goals
  • Calorie goals
  • Exercise goals
  • Offer helpful strategies to best achieve these goals
  • Help you set personal goals to meet program recommendations
  • Give specific feedback on your progress toward your goals
  • Boost your motivation and commitment to the program
  • Support and encourage you during your pregnancy and beyond

Success calls for commitment!

To achieve your goals while taking part in Healthy for Two Healthy for You, we ask you to:

Commit to You and Your Baby!

  • Follow the program’s healthy eating and exercise
  • Attend all your OB/GYN appointments
  • Take all prenatal vitamins and medications recommended by your health care team

Commit to the Program!

  • Join the program’s 12 weekly calls and seven biweekly calls during your pregnancy and then biweekly calls during the first 12 weeks postpartum
  • Always discuss medical concerns with your OB/GYN and report any suggestions to your coach at the beginning of every call
  • Receive approval from your OB/GYN before starting the program’s exercise goals

The Johns Hopkins Advantage

Healthy for Two Healthy for You was developed through years of research and clinical application by Wendy Bennett, M.D., M.P.H., an an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. She has joint appointments in epidemiology and population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Bennett studies the prevention and management of obesity and type 2 diabetes. As a principal investigator for the Population Project for the American Heart Association’s Strategically Focused Research Network on Obesity at Johns Hopkins University, she is testing a health-coaching behavioral intervention to limit weight gain in pregnancy. Dr. Bennett co-directs the Center for Women’s Health, Sex and Gender Research. She is a practicing general internist.