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A pregnant woman holds her bump feeling positive; Alabama EFNEP pregnancy weight gain distribution

All pregnant women need to gain weight during pregnancy. This weight gain is needed for the proper development of your baby and for the added growth of the uterus, breasts, blood, and other fluids and tissues needed to support your baby.

Why is weight gain important during pregnancy? The extra weight you gain during pregnancy provides nourishment for your baby and also is stored for breast-feeding your baby after delivery. Eating for your baby is important.

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your weight before pregnancy.

Gaining a healthful amount of weight based on your weight before pregnancy will help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery.

Gaining too little weight makes it hard for your baby to grow properly. Gaining too much makes it more likely that you will have a longer labor and more difficult delivery. It also makes it harder to return to normal weight after your baby is born. Remember: Pregnancy is not the time to lose weight.

By eating the right kinds of food, you will have the nutrients and energy you need to build a healthy baby.

When you gain the right amount of weight, your baby has a better chance of gaining the right amount of weight too. Babies who don’t weigh enough at birth have a greater chance of being sick or dying during the first year of life.

How much weight should you gain during pregnancy? Everyone is different. Your health care provider should decide what the right weight gain is for you. Most normal-weight people should gain between 25 and 35 pounds.

Weight Distribution

  • Baby: 7.5 pounds
  • Breasts: 2 pounds
  • Maternal stores: 7 pounds (your baby’s protein and fat)
  • Blood: 4 pounds
  • Body fluids: 4 pounds
  • Placenta: 1.5 pounds
  • Uterus: 2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
  • Total weight gain: 30 pounds

If a mom-to-be was underweight before becoming pregnant, she may need to gain 28 to 40 pounds. If she was overweight, she may need to gain 15 to 25 pounds. If she was obese, she may need to gain 11 to 20 pounds. Talk to your health care provider about the weight gain appropriate for you.

This is part of the Today’s Mom program of Alabama EFNEP.

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