Q&A: I'm pregnant. How do I know if I'm gaining the right weight?
I'm 19 weeks pregnant and worried about my weight gain. How do I know if I'm gaining just the right amount? Could I be gaining too much or too little weight?
An important consideration when determining how much weight is appropriate for you is your pre pregnancy weight and your body mass index or BMI. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on your height and weight. There are some general guidelines to follow, and your healthcare provider should work with you to get you on the right track.
Most women will gain between four and six pounds during the first trimester. The weight gain in the second and third trimesters depends on what category you fall into based on your pre-pregnancy weight.
Don’t try to lose weight during pregnancy or try to stay within the parameters for your pre-pregnancy weight. Too much weight gain puts you at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes. Also having a large baby can cause complications at delivery. Too little weight gain may put your baby at risk for being underweight. A woman who is underweight pre-pregnancy should gain between 28 and 40 pounds. Try to gain slightly over a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.
A woman with a normal pre-pregnant weight should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Many women may not gain much weight during the first trimester due to nausea. But the average is four to six pounds for a healthy weight gain for your first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After the first trimester, you should gain about a pound a week. If you are overweight pre-pregnancy the recommended weight gain is 15 to 25 pounds. You should put on about one pound every two weeks in the second and third trimesters.
Don’t ever try to lose weight during pregnancy.
Where Does All The Weight Go?
- Baby: 7 to 8 pounds
- Larger breasts: 1 to 3 pounds
- Larger uterus: 2 pounds
- Placenta: 1 1/2 pounds
- Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
- Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds
- Increased fluid volume: 2 to 3 pounds
- Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds pregnancy.
Talk with your healthcare provider about what weight gain is the best for you and try to stick within those recommended parameters. Eat well! When you are feeling hungry (and you will!) try to make healthy food choices, doing so will not only help you feel better, it provides the best nutrition for your growing baby.