Gaining too little weight when you're pregnant raises your baby's risks for early birth, and for low birth weight and size. When this happens, a newborn is at greater risk for:
Illness in the first weeks of life.
Physical and mental disabilities.
Long-term health problems later in life.
What about dieting during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is not the time to diet. Your baby needs you to eat a wide variety of foods. Focus on eating a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and meats. Stay away from sugars and fats as much as you can.
If you have morning sickness and lose weight during your first trimester, your baby is unlikely to be affected. Just be sure your doctor knows. Get help with nausea and vomiting, if needed.
How much weight gain is good for you and your baby?
Based on your weight before pregnancy, experts say it is generally best to gain about:
28 lb (13 kg) to 40 lb (18 kg) if you are underweight.
25 lb (11 kg) to 35 lb (16 kg) if you are at a healthy weight.
15 lb (7 kg) to 25 lb (11 kg) if you are overweight.
11 lb (5 kg) to 20 lb (9 kg) if you are obese. In some cases, a doctor may recommend that a woman not gain any weight.
Ideally, you will gain weight slowly over your whole pregnancy. If you stop gaining weight for more than 2 weeks, or if you gain weight faster than expected, talk to your doctor.
How much can you eat during pregnancy?
Although pregnant women often joke that they're "eating for two," you don't need to eat twice as much food.
In general, pregnant women in their second and third trimesters need to eat about 300 extra calories a day. You can get this in a sandwich or in an apple and a cup of yogurt.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.