Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings many changes. One major change is weight gain. Gaining additional weight is normal
during pregnancy and can be a sign of a healthy, growing fetus. But weight gain during
pregnancy can also be the result of several additional factors.
How much weight gain is normal?
Weight gain is triggered not only by the growth of the fetus, but also the growth of your
breasts, uterus, fat storage, and placenta. In addition, the volume of blood and amniotic
fluid increases. Each of these weight gain factors is necessary to support both you and your
growing fetus during your pregnancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), normal weight gain
during pregnancy depends largely on your pre-pregnancy body mass index, weight, and your
pregnancy type (e.g. single baby versus twins). For example, if your body mass index was
within a normal range of 18.5 to 24.9 before you became pregnant, then your healthy
weight gain would be around 25 to 35 pounds by the end of your pregnancy at 40 weeks if
you are carrying one baby. Women who are underweight with a body mass index below 18.5
are expected to gain around 28 to 40 pounds when carrying one baby or 50 to 62 pounds
when carrying twins.
Can I gain too much weight?
You might ask, “Is there such thing as too much weight gain during pregnancy?” The answer
is, simply, “Yes.” Excessive weight gain can be a negative sign for both you and the fetus.
Weight gain should thus be monitored closely by your Women’s Care team to rule out
possible signs of fetal macrosomia, a condition that leads to significantly larger birth size
than average, which can cause delivery complications. Some studies show that fetal
macrosomia is linked to maternal obesity.
If you are obese (body mass index of 30 or greater), you are expected to gain between 11 to
20 pounds by the end of your pregnancy at 40 weeks. It is important to note that obese
women have an especially increased risk of pregnancy complications. These can include
gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and sleep apnea, which can further increase the risk of
high blood pressure or heart and lung disorders. Therefore, it’s even more important for
obese women to be monitored closely and regularly by their physician throughout pregnancy.
According to 2015 National Vital Statistics System birth data, nearly 70 percent of expectant
mothers are either above or below the recommended weight gain put forth by the CDC.
At Women’s Care, our obstetricians offer patients personalized care for weight management before, during, and after their pregnancies, and work with specialized care teams to ensure that our patients achieve the best possible pregnancy outcomes.
Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our Eugene/Springfield offices to discuss your pregnancy weight gain concerns and take greater control over your health and your pregnancy. Learn more about how our maternity patients receive compassionate, respectful, and professional pregnancy care at the highest standards.