Why is gaining a healthy amount of weight important?

Gaining a healthy amount of weight may help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery. It also may help you have fewer pregnancy complications, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation, and backaches.

Gaining too little weight during your pregnancy makes it hard for your baby to grow properly. Talk to your health care provider if you feel you are not gaining enough weight.

If you gain too much weight, you are more likely to have a longer labor and more difficult delivery. Also, gaining a lot of extra body fat will make it harder for you to return to a normal weight after you have your baby. If you feel you are gaining too much weight during your pregnancy, talk with your health care provider.

Do not try to lose weight if you are pregnant. If you do not eat enough calories or a variety of foods, your baby will not get the nutrients he or she needs to grow.

How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

Talk to your health care provider about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy. General weight-gain recommendations listed below refer to pre-pregnancy weight and are for women expecting only one baby.

If you are: underweight You should gain: about 27 to 40 pounds
If you are: normal weight You should gain: about 25 to 35 pounds
If you are: overweight You should gain: about 15 to 25 pounds
If you are: obese You should gain: about 15 pounds or less
Do I have any special nutrition needs now that I am pregnant?

Yes. During pregnancy, you and your growing baby need more of several nutrients. By eating the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five food groups, you should get most of the nutrients you need.

Be sure to include foods high in folate, such as orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, and fortified breads and breakfast cereals. Or get it in a vitamin/mineral supplement.

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