Image for eating while pregnant article Finding out you are pregnant can be an exciting time. There are lots of things you may think about when you start planning ahead. It can also stir up some concerns. One of them may be the amount of weight you gain while you are pregnant. Pregnant women need a proper diet and appropriate weight gain for a healthy pregancy and the nourishment of a growing baby.

Gaining weight during pregnancy can be tricky. If you gain too little or too much, it can harm your unborn baby and create complications for both of you.

You and your doctor can work out the details, but here is a general idea of what you need to know.

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends upon several factors including your prepregnancy weight and your age. If you are of average weight for your height, you are encouraged to gain between 25-35 pounds. If you are underweight or have a low body mass index (BMI), you will need to gain a bit more. If you are overweight, you will be encouraged to gain a little less weight than average.

Women who are pregnant with twins or multiples will usually gain more weight than average.

A slow and steady weight gain over the 9 month period is best, but keep in mind that women gain weight at different rates. You should never try to lose weight during pregnancy, even if you are overweight. The burning of fat stores during pregnancy could cause your body to release substances that could harm your baby. Your doctor will suggest a weight range than best suits you, but the table below shows some general guidelines from the Institute of Medicine:

Pregnancy Status 1st Trimester
Weight Gain
2nd and 3rd Trimester
Weight Gain
Total Weight Gain
Underweight 1-4 lbs. 1-1.3 lbs/week 28-40 lbs.
Normal Weight 1-4 lbs. 0.8-1 lbs/week 25-35 lbs.
Overweight 1-4 lbs. 0.5-0.7 lbs/week 15-25 lbs.
Obese 1-4 lbs. 0.4-0.6 lbs./week 11-20 lbs.

Mothers carrying multiples (like twins) usually gain 33-48 lbs.