As discussed in a previous post, excess weight can definitely hamper your fertility and increase your chance of miscarriage (to read the full post, check out: http://couplefit.blogspot.ca/2012/06/is-excess-weight-affecting-your.html). For this reason, I always encourage my patients to bring their weight into a healthy range prior to conceiving. Ideally, your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) is in the normal range to optimize your success.
So, how much weight gain should you be aiming for? This is dependent on your pre-pregnancy weight. Essentially, underweight women need to gain more weight than the average person, and overweight women need to gain less.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) developed guidelines in 2009 on gestational weight gain (for a singleton pregnancy - weight gain goals are higher for multiple pregnancies):
- BMI <18.5 kg/m2 (underweight) — weight gain 28-40 lbs (12.5-18 kg)
- BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2 (normal weight) — weight gain 25-35 lbs (11.5-16 kg)
- BMI 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 (overweight) — weight gain 15-25 lbs (7-11.5 kg)
- BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2 (obese) — weight gain 11-20 lbs (5-9 kg)
Keeping your weight gain in check will put you one step closer to a healthy pregnancy and delivery!