During pregnancy, lots of women wonder about how their body will change and how much weight they will gain. Maybe this is something that you've been thinking about too.
Weight gain is healthy and normal when you're pregnant. And there's no fixed number of kilograms that you should be aiming for. Instead, there's a range of weight gain that's good for you and your baby.
Ask your doctor what your range is for healthy weight gain. It's based on your health, your pregnancy, and your weight before pregnancy.
If you're worried about weight gain during pregnancy, try not to focus too much on the numbers. Think more about having a healthy pregnancy by being active and feeding your baby with healthy foods.
Gaining too much or too little weight raises some health risks for you and your baby.
Gaining too much weight when you're pregnant can raise your risk of having a large baby. If your newborn is 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) or larger, you may be more likely to have:
Also, a newborn who is 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) or larger may become overweight or obese later in life. That could mean that he or she will have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can also make it harder to lose that weight later on.
And if you are very overweight (obese) during pregnancy, you have greater risks for:
Gaining too little weight when you're pregnant raises your baby's risks for early birth, and for low birth weight and size. When this happens, a newborn is at greater risk for:
Pregnancy is not the time to diet. Your baby needs you to eat a wide variety of foods. Follow Canada's Food Guide and focus on eating vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. Limit sugary and high-fat foods.
If you have morning sickness and lose weight during your first trimester, your baby is unlikely to be affected. Just be sure your doctor knows. Get help with nausea and vomiting, if needed.
Ideally, you will gain weight slowly over your whole pregnancy. If you stop gaining weight for more than 2 weeks, or if you gain weight faster than expected, talk to your doctor.
Based on your weight before pregnancy, experts say it is generally best to gain about:
Although pregnant women often joke that they're "eating for two," you don't need to eat twice as much food.
In general, pregnant women in their second and third trimesters need to eat 2 or 3 extra food guide servings a day.
How much you can eat depends on:
Work with your doctor or a dietitian to help you plan healthy meals and the right amount of calories for you.
Other Works Consulted
Health Canada (2009). Prenatal nutrition guidelines for health professionals: Background on Canada's Food Guide. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/nutrition/guide-prenatal-eng.php.
Health Canada (2009). Prenatal nutrition guidelines for health professionals: Gestational weight gain. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/prenatal/ewba-mbsa-eng.php.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of: March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.