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How much weight should I gain when I’m pregnant? 

Experts agree healthy weight gain during pregnancy varies depending on how much you weigh when you become pregnant and whether or not you are carrying multiples. However, it is generally accepted that healthy weight gain follows these guidelines:

• 25 and 35 pounds if you are in a normal weight bracket pre-pregnancy

• 28-40 pounds if you are underweight

• 15-20 pounds if you are overweight

• 11-20 pounds if you are obese

• 35-45 pounds if you are carrying twins

During your first trimester, most doctors recommend a moderate weight gain of 2-4 pounds. The majority of your weight should be gained during the second and third trimesters—about 3-4 pounds a month. While these weight brackets are good for a rule of thumb, women should consult their physicians to establish personal weight gain goals.

Although the idea of gaining upwards of 30 pounds may be upsetting to some women, it is very important to keep in mind that it is a pivotal part of a healthy pregnancy, and, in turn, a healthy baby. It’s also important to keep in mind that the weight is not all being stored as fat. It supports the pregnancy, and much of it will be lost shortly after giving birth. Normally, the baby accounts for 7 to 8 pounds and fluids, increase in blood, increase in breast size, the uterus, and placenta account for another 13 or so pounds. As long as you don’t use pregnancy as a justification to overindulge in unhealthy foods, residual pregnancy weight should be fairly easy to lose once you’re busy caring for a newborn.

For information contact East Jefferson Women’s Care at 504.454.0606 at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org.

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