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Stuart Fischbein, MD

Dieting While Pregnant?

I’m on a diet and just found out I’m pregnant. Is it safe to stick with the weight-loss plan?

Nope, sorry. Pregnancy is _not _the time for weight loss, even in the early weeks. (And even if you’re dying to fit into that slinky black dress for your sister’s wedding!) During pregnancy, your body and baby need a steady stream of nutrients. That means you’ll actually need about 300 extra calories per day to supply the energy needed for baby’s growth and development.

Women of average weight are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you’re underweight, you can safely gain 28 to 40 pounds. Overweight and obese women should keep their weight gain between 11 and 20 pounds. Your physician or midwife can help you develop an eating and exercise plan that will help you meet your needs and those of your baby; a consultation with a nutritionist may also be helpful.

If you’re already on a weight-loss plan, stop following it and talk to a healthcare provider to develop a healthy eating plan. In fact, it’s important to let your OB or midwife know if you’re on any kind of special diet — gluten-free, diabetic, etc. — so she can give you nutrition advice based on your individual needs.

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