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How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

There is no magic number for how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. Every woman is different when it comes to height, weight, physical activity and metabolism. A healthy pattern of weight gain is about three to six pounds during the first three months of pregnancy and about a pound a week for the remainder of your pregnancy, but your healthcare professional will tell you the appropriate amount for you.

General guidelines from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend that women who were underweight before getting pregnant gain 28 to 40 pounds during pregnancy; normal weight women gain 25 to 35 pounds; overweight women gain 15 to 25 pounds; and obese woman gain 11 to 20 pounds.

Women who are pregnant with twins are given special guidelines from the IOM. Those in the normal BMI category should aim to gain 37 to 54 pounds; overweight women, 31 to 50 pounds; and obese women, 25 to 42 pounds.

High weight gain during pregnancy is associated with a greater risk for cesarean section and higher than normal birth weight and moderately associated with weight retention later in life. On the flip side, low pregnancy weight gain can lead to infants with lower than normal birth weights.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.