The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your body mass index External link (BMI) before you became pregnant.
|If you were at a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain about 25 to 30 pounds.|
|If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 28 and 40 pounds.|
|If you were overweight before pregnancy, you should gain between 15 and 25 pounds.|
|If you were obese before pregnancy, you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.|
|2 to 4 pounds total during the first trimester|
|3 to 4 pounds per month for the second and third trimesters|
|Baby – 6 to 8 pounds|
|Placenta – 1½ pounds|
|Amniotic fluid – 2 pounds|
|Uterus growth – 2 pounds|
|Breast growth – 2 pounds|
|Your blood and body fluids – 8 pounds|
|Your body's protein and fat – 7 pounds|
Your calorie needs will depend on your weight gain goals. Most women need 300 calories a day more during at least the last six months of pregnancy than they do pre-pregnancy. Keep in mind that not all calories are equal. Your baby needs healthy foods that are packed with nutrients — not "empty calories" such as those found in soft drinks, candies, and desserts.
Although you want to be careful not to eat more than you need for a healthy pregnancy, make sure not to restrict your diet during pregnancy either. If you don't get the calories you need, your baby might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Low-calorie diets can break down a pregnant woman's stored fat. This can cause your body to make substances called ketones. Ketones can be found in the mother's blood and urine and are a sign of starvation. Constant production of ketones can result in a child with mental deficiencies.
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