How Can I Slow My Weight Gain?

How Can I Slow My Weight Gain

I want to be healthy for me & my baby

How Much Weight Should I Gain?

You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with more of the weight gained in the last 3 months. Many health care providers suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 1 to 4 pounds total during the first 3 months (first trimester)
  • 2 to 4 pounds per month during the 4th to 9th months (second and third trimesters)

The total amount of weight to gain during pregnancy depends on how much you weighed when you became pregnant. Talk with your health care provider and WIC nutritionist to find out what amount is right for you.

General Guidelines:

Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI) BMI (kg/m2) Total Weight Gain
Underweight <18.5 28-40 pounds
Normal Weight 18.5-24.9 25-35 pounds
Overweight 25-29.9 15-25 pounds
Obese ≥30 11-20 pounds

Did you know? Women pregnant with multiples need to gain more weight to help support the growth of multiple babies. Normal weight women should gain 37-54 pounds, overweight, 31-50 pounds and obese, 25-42 pounds during pregnancy.

Risks of Gaining Too Much Weight

Women who gain extra weight during pregnancy are more likely to have…

  • Gestational diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Backaches, leg pain and varicose veins
  • A cesarean section or other problems with delivery due to a larger than normal baby
  • Trouble returning to pre-pregnancy weight
  • Long term health problems from obesity

Did You Know? Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases your baby’s risk of being overweight during childhood?

What Can I Do To Slow Weight Gain?

If you’re gaining more weight than recommended, talk to your health care provider or WIC nutritionist. You should never try to lose weight during pregnancy. But slowing weight gain can help you have a healthier pregnancy and delivery, and an easier time getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

To slow weight gain

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Calcium- fortified soy milk is a good choice for those that choose not to drink milk.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks
  • Find your balance between food and physical activity

Did You Know? Pregnancy only requires around 300 extra calories a day.

Why Should I Exercise During Pregnancy?

Staying active during pregnancy will help you to slow weight gain and have a healthier pregnancy and delivery. Exercise is safe for most pregnant women. Talk to your health care provider to find out what type of physical activity is safe for you.

  • Benefits of exercise during pregnancy
  • Slows weight gain
  • Helps with constipation, backaches
  • Improves sleep
  • Gives you more energy
  • Improves mood

Did You Know? Women who exercise during pregnancy may have shorter labors and easier deliveries.

Guidelines for Exercise in Pregnancy

Avoid contact sports, activities that increase your risk of falling and jerky, bouncing movements.

  • Don’t exercise on your back after the 1st trimester
  • Avoid working out in very hot weather
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week (150 minutes total per week)
  • Warm up and cool down
  • Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids
  • Never exercise to the point of exhaustion

Stop exercising and call your health care provider if you experience faintness, headache, pain, bleeding or have trouble walking.