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Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy


The typical pregnant woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. Yet, Sheila was in her eight month and had gained a whopping 50 pounds with still a month to go! What happened?

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is usually the result of “eating for two”, eating more sweets and processed foods, and decreasing or eliminating exercise. Have you gained over the recommended range of weight?

The Institute of Medicine recommends a weight gain of 25-35 pounds for women of normal weight, 28-40 pounds for those considered underweight, 15-25 pounds for overweight women and no more than 15 pounds for obese women. If you are an adult with a normal BMI (Body Mass Index) of 20-25, you should attempt to follow this weight gain schedule:

WEEK TOTAL CUMULATIVE GAIN EXAMPLE (140 pound woman)

15 weeks 2-5 pounds Total Weight: 142-145 pounds

20 weeks 6-11 pounds Total Weight: 146-151 pounds

25 weeks 11-17 pounds Total Weight: 151-157 pounds

30 weeks 16-23 poundsTotal Weight: 156-163 pounds

35 weeks 20-28 pounds Total Weight: 160-168 pounds

40 weeks 25-35 pounds Total Weight: 165-175 pounds

Print this article and keep this schedule readily available. If you are not following these guidelines, discuss your concerns with your doctor. She may refer you to a dietician for more assistance in creating a plan that’s right for you.

If you are gaining weight excessively, you may be at a greater risk for gestational diabetes, obesity after pregnancy, and problems with breastfeeding if you attempt crash dieting.

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