Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy: How Much is Enough?

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Weight Gain Goals During Pregnancy

To determine how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy, you should first know your current pre-pregnancy weight.

Underweight: Acceptable weight gain may be around 28 to 40 pounds.

Normal weight: Plan to gain about 25 to 35 pounds.

Overweight: Try to gain no more than 15 to 25 pounds during your pregnancy.

In general, you should expect to gain about 2/3 of a pound a week until you are 20 weeks into your pregnancy. From 20 to 40 weeks, you may expect to gain about a pound a week. If you are unsure about what your pre-pregnancy weight is and what your weight gain goal should be, consult with your doctor.

Think Snacks Versus Meals

Most doctors will agree, you will need only 300 more calories a day in order to gain weight at a healthy pace throughout your pregnancy. You have several options for getting those extra calories. You can either add another serving of mashed potatoes at dinner or follow the advice of experts in fetal nutrition. Most specialist agree that adding healthy snacks benefits the fetus most. Instead of eating three meals a day, try eating five to six smaller meals throughout the day.

Besides providing a more steady stream of nutrients to your growing baby, eating smaller and more frequent meals may help with heart burn. Heart burn is a common side effect of pregnancy.

Delicious 300 Calorie Snacks

So what exactly is a smart and healthy 300 calorie snack? Instead of reaching for a candy bar or glass of juice, think about whole grain, high fiber, nutrient-packed healthy snacks. These snacks will most benefit your growing baby and help you feel better about gaining weight with healthier choices versus fast food options.

  • One apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
  • Bag of microwave popcorn.
  • A cup of whole grain cereal with a sliced banana with low-fat milk.
  • One fried egg, two slices whole wheat toast and a cup of orange juice.
  • A cup of cottage cheese with fresh red grapes.
  • Handful of toasted almonds with dried apricots or raisins.

Exercise During Pregnancy

If you are still concerned about your weight gain during pregnancy, there are many exercise options that are safe for both you and your baby.

Consider what level of fitness you started at before getting pregnant. If you weren’t a tennis player before you conceived, you may want to wait to purchase a tennis racquette till after you have the baby. It is very crucial you start off slowly with a fitness program rather than diving into a new sport or adding an extra hour to your morning run.

Taking a moderately paced walk for thirty minutes is a good start. If you are able to speak clearly without breathing heavily, you are walking at the proper speed. Some doctors will recommend you keep your heart rate under 140 during any exercise while pregnant.

Think about taking up swimming. Not only does the water take the pressure off your aching limbs, but the resistance from the water will add an extra boost to your work out. Because your ligaments and joints start to stretch and become more limber, there are more chances for you to trip or fall while walking or jogging. Swimming in a pool will reduce the chance of a fall that may harm you or your baby.


The information in this article should not be considered medical advice. The information in this article is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. Always check with your physician before taking any products or following any advice you have read on Always consult your doctor before you start, stop or change anything that has been previously prescribed.

This post is part of the series: Pregnancy Nutrition

Learn the ins and outs of pregnancy nutrition, including foods that you should be eating and foods that aren’t safe.

  1. What Are the Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy?
  2. Getting Enough Calcium During Pregnancy
  3. Essential Vitamins for a Healthy Pregnancy
  4. Diet During Pregnancy: Consequences of a Poor Diet
  5. What Vitamins are Needed During Pregnancy?
  6. Nutrition During Pregnancy - A Healthy Diet
  7. Pregnancy Food Guide: What to Eat and What Not to Eat
  8. Healthy Weight Gain Tips for Pregnancy
  9. Eating Iron-Rich Foods During Pregnancy
  10. How to Avoid Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy