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The pregnancy weigh-in

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By Paula Kashtan

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To keep mom and baby healthy, it's important to stay within the right weight range. Here's how.

What is weight gain during pregnancy?

If your weight is in the "normal" range (a body mass index of 18 to 25) before you conceive, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends a gain of 25 to 35 pounds throughout pregnancy. Shoot to add three to five pounds during the first trimester and one to two pounds each week after. According to the ACOG, if you're underweight at conception, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds. If you're overweight, try to keep it to 15 to 25 pounds. No matter what your starting weight, your goal is to keep the gain as steady as possible. Baby needs a daily supply of nutrients, and those come from the foods you eat.

More from The Bump: Weird pregnancy cravings!

What could be causing my weight gain during pregnancy?

Weight gain is, of course, normal -- and healthy -- throughout pregnancy. But gaining weight suddenly or excessively could be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy condition.

When should I go to the doctor with my weight gain during pregnancy?

Don't worry if your weight gain fluctuates a bit from week to week, but contact your doctor if you suddenly gain or lose weight, especially in the third trimester.

What should I do to gain weight healthily during pregnancy?

A side note: You might think you'll have no problem staying within your "gain range," but don't be surprised at how quickly the pounds can pile on. Listen -- pregnancy isn't an excuse to pig out. It only gives you license to consume an extra 300 calories a day -- the equivalent of a very small bagel, sans cream cheese. But, instead of stressing out about the quantities you consume, focus on eating quality foods and steering clear of junk foods that add bulk without nutrients. (Um, that includes French fries...but you knew that, right?)

 

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