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Paula Kashtan

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

You know you're supposed to gain weight during pregnancy, but how much is the right amount?

How much weight gain is normal?

If your weight is in the “normal” range (a body mass index of 18 to 25) before you conceive, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends a gain of 25 to 35 pounds throughout pregnancy. Expect to add three to five pounds during the  first trimester and one to two pounds each week after. According to the ACOG, if you’re underweight at conception, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds. If you’re overweight, try to keep it to 15 to 25 pounds. No matter what your starting weight, your goal is to keep the gain as steady as possible. Baby needs a daily supply of nutrients, and those come from the foods you eat.

What could cause excessive weight gain?

Weight gain is, of course, normal — and healthy — throughout pregnancy. But gaining weight suddenly or excessively could be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy condition.

When should I go to the doctor with concerns regarding weight?

Don’t worry if your weight gain fluctuates a bit from week to week, but contact your doctor if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially in the third trimester.

What should I do to gain weight healthily during pregnancy?

A side note: You might think you’ll have no problem staying within your “gain range,” but don't be surprised at how quickly the pounds can pile on. Pregnancy only gives you license to consume an extra 300 calories a day — the equivalent of a very small bagel, sans cream cheese. But, instead of stressing out about the quantities you consume, focus on eating quality foods and steering clear of junk foods that add bulk without nutrients.

Plus, more from The Bump:

10 Pregnancy Foods to Eat for Baby

Checklist: Daily Nutrition

Cravings During Pregnancy