You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with most of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:
- 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
- 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)
The total amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight when you became pregnant. Women whose weight was in the healthy range before becoming pregnant should gain between 25 and 35 pounds while pregnant. The advice is different for those who were overweight or underweight before becoming pregnant.
To learn how much weight you should probably gain, enter your height and weight here:
How much should you eat during pregnancy? To help you choose the right amounts from each food group, get a MyPlate Daily Checklist for Moms (formerly Daily Food Plan). Your checklist will show the foods and amounts that are right for you at your stage of pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Your plan will be personalized, based on your age, height, weight, etc. In addition, you should continue to visit your health care provider regularly so they can check on your weight gain.
If you are gaining too much weight during pregnancy, cut back on the calories you are currently eating or drinking by limiting the calories from added sugars and saturated fats. They can be found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, cheese, whole milk, and fatty meats. Look for choices that are low-fat, fat-free, unsweetened, or with no added-sugars. If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, it can be hard to lose the weight after your baby is born. Most women who gain the suggested amount of weight lose it with the birth of the baby and in the months that follow. Breastfeeding for more than 3 months can also help you lose weight gained during pregnancy.
If you are not gaining enough weight during pregnancy, you need to eat more calories by eating a little more from each food group. Try adding a healthy snack each day, or increasing portion sizes at meals. If you keep losing weight faster than you want to, check with your doctor. If you gain too little weight during pregnancy, you may have a higher risk for a premature delivery and a low birth weight infant.