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 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.
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.