More Articles on A Healthy Pregnancy

Thinking About Getting Pregnant?
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
Can I continue to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy?
A Pregnancy Menu For You and Your Baby
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
What About Seafood?
Don't Eat That!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
Wash Those Veggies!
Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
Breastfeeding: Developing a Future Gourmet
What to Do About The Flu
Gestational Diabetes
Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for Obese Women?
Does Iron Intake Matter?
One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
Folic acid in pregnancy and language development
A Mediterranean Diet, Pre-Pregnancy
There is No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D and Gestational Diabetes
Great News About Breastfeeding
Peanuts and Pregnancy
Fried Foods and Gestational Diabetes
Iodine supplements - should you take them?
Prevent Gestational Diabetes with a Mediterranean-style diet
FDA Updates Recommendations for Fish Consumption in Pregnancy

About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSNFaith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN


A Healthy Pregnancy

What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?

I remember talking to an elderly family member who related to me the pregnancy diet advice she received from her mother-in-law. "You are eating for two now!" Wanting to be a good mother (don't we all?) she diligently doubled her food intake - and then had a terrible time attempting to lose her "baby weight."

During my mother's childbearing years, doctors added the weight of the baby, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and maybe a little bit for breast development and strictly limited women to this weight gain. (about 15 pounds). Fortunately birthing women and their doctors have rejected both extremes and realized that women are NOT all the same and a single size advice does not fit all women.

Food nourishes both the growing baby and the pregnant woman. You need protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals to grow a healthy baby. Focus MORE on healthy eating and moderate exercise than on a specific weight gain and you will likely eat the correct amount for you and your baby.

If you have eaten a poor diet, you may actually lose a little bit of weight as you change the chips and soda for fresh fruit and vegetables! If you are eating well and losing weight, you may be in this category. Not sure if you are eating right? Keep a food diary and compare it with recommendations.

In general, pregnant women need an additional 100-300 more calories per day than what they needed before becoming pregnant. That isn't really that much, so look for foods that give you a lot of nutrients for the calories.

Most obstetricians recommend that:

  • Underweight women gain 28-40 pounds
  • Normal weight women should gain 25-35 pounds
  • Overweight are better staying in the 15-25 pound range
  • Obese women gain around 15 pounds

You don't need to gain much weight during early pregnancy. For a woman with average weight, 2-3 Lbs during the entire first trimester is sufficient. Then, as the baby begins to grow expect to gain about 3-4 Lbs each month.

Good nutrition during pregnancy is VERY important but food nourishes more than just the body. What foods "feed" the inner you? Make a list. Cross out foods that could be dangerous to your baby or cause too much weight gain. Now look at your list. Regularly include foods that are nutrient dense. Occasionally enjoy a small serving of foods that you really enjoy even if they are not as nutrient dense as other foods.

Nourish yourself and your baby!

This is a great link to general recommendations by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: