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The number of pounds an expectant mom should gain during pregnancy depends on her weight before she got pregnant, experts say, and has consequences for the health of both mother and child.

Obese and overweight women have greater risk of several pregnancy problems, including cesarean delivery, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia. Their babies also are at increased risk for certain problems, including macrosomia (larger-than-normal size), congenital abnormalities and, as time goes on, childhood obesity.

To gauge how much weight you should gain, consider the following recommendations from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Prepregnancy Weight
BMI (body mass index) Weight Gain (lbs.)
Obese 30 or more 11–20
Overweight 25–29.9 15–25
Normal weight 18.5–24.9 25–35
Underweight Less than 18.5 28–40

Our free “You’re Pregnant, Now What?” class is a great tool for prenatal and parenthood planning, designed for women who are less than 24 weeks pregnant.


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