Baby Weight and BMI

pregnancy-weight-585I’d always heard that when you’re pregnant, you should gain about 25-35 pounds. Within the context of GROWING A PERSON INSIDE YOU that seems fair, and lets you eat as much ice cream and Chinese as you crave while still being under “doctor’s orders.” However, for the first time, new guidelines from The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine state that not everyone should gain the same amount of lbs to be healthy. For those with a BMI greater than 30, weight gain should be limited to just 11 to 20 pounds, the Institute says.

Since I’ve never had a baby in my belly, I’m no expert, but it makes sense that those with a higher BMI would want to gain less weight for both the mom’s and the baby’s health. All you moms out there, what do you think?

That darn baby weight.


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  1. Laura says:

    I’m pregnant with my second child, and I agree with the NASIM. For my first, I was very overweight and only gained 19 pounds. All was gone in 4 weeks after birth (by C-section). This time, I’m still overweight, but 90 pounds lighter, and have 2 months to go, but I’ve only gained 15 pounds. I’m WAY ahead of most of my friends who already had #1 & #2, but gained a TON of weight that they STILL haven’t lost. I plan on being one fit momma, and a hot mom at that once I get done with this one. The weight loss plan from before this pregnancy is going hardcore once the baby is born. It will be great to be a fit mom and have healthy babies.

  2. Dawn says:

    I’ve decided to ignore all the recommendations. At 24 weeks, I’ve gained 17 pounds and all the books, calculators, etc. are telling me I am one pound about the maximum recommended weight gain for my stage. The thing is, I exercise regularly, my diet is very healthy and I haven’t increased my caloric intake at all (I don’t need or want any extra food). Most importantly, I feel fantastic and my midwife says I am doing just fine. Everyone is an individual, and while I know they sort of HAVE to have guidelines I think they can make a lot of women feel insecure. Everyone is an individual and we don’t all fit into a neat little box.

  3. Vanessa says:

    I’m overweight and pregnant with baby #2. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was a very healthy weight and unfortunately ended up gaining 60lbs during the pregnancy. My doctor never said a word to me about it. I even remember asking her a few times if I was gaining too much weight and she wasn’t concerned about it at all. Now, 5 years later, I’m overweight and almost 16 weeks pregnant. I have a different doctor this time, and she told me at my last appointment that she only wants me to gain 10 lbs. What kinda crap is that?! I had already had my mind set on gaining about 20 to 25 lbs, and she’s saying I can only gain 10. I don’t even understand how that’s possible. If I have an 8 pound baby, that only leaves me with 2 pounds of my own to gain. 2 pounds! That doesn’t even sound healthy to me. On average, women’s pregnancy weight is made up of: Uterus- 2 lbs; Extra blood volume- 4 lbs; Breasts- 1 lb each; Fluid retention- 4 lbs; Extra fat, protein, and nutrients to support the pregnancy- 7 lbs; Placenta and membranes- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs; Amniotic fluid- 2 lbs; Baby- 6 to 8 lbs. By the time they deliver, most women will have gained twenty or more pounds. I would think that even though I’m overweight, it would still be healthy for me to gain that 20 to 25 lbs. I just don’t understand how it would be healthier for me and the baby if I only gained 10 pounds.

  4. Apple says:

    I am overweight and my doctor told me to only gain 15-20lbs. I ended up gaining 17 so I was right where I should have been.

  5. JennMarie says:

    My son is 9 months old and I haven’t lost a single pound from my pregnancy. I was at a very healthy weight (my PCP actually thought I was a little underweight) but the NP I was seeing during the pregnancy told me I was only supposed to gain 15 ish lbs. From the very beginning she harpped on me about my weight but I was eating a healthy diet and I was running 3 miles everyother day till I was 7 months along. In the end I gained 60 lbs. I am now over weight, but not obese, still eat healthy and am working on losing the weight, but I’m not too worried about it just yet. I don’t think there should be so much concern with weight gain if the mom is healthy baby will be too.

  6. I have two thoughts on the subject…

    1. I think each person’s body is different and if you are going about your pregnancy the healthy way your body and baby will determine how much weight you need to gain.

    2. That being said there are some women who use pregnancy as an excuse to completely stuff themselves silly and gain more weight than they really need. The problem with this is that extra weight you gain over what your truly need for your pregnancy is all that much harder to lose once the baby gets here.

    But back to my original point, I have known women than have gained 60 pounds and were healthy the entire time and easily lost the weight. When I was pregnant I just tried to continue exercising and follow my typical healthy 80/20 “diet.” I only gained about 25 pounds, which I guess was just perfect for my baby and frame. Like I said…we are all different 🙂

  7. Melissa says:

    I’ve been struggling with this subject for different reasons. I was overweight (by about 30 pounds) before I got pregnant due to a medication I was taking that made my appetite crazy. I gained about 30-35 pounds within 10 months of starting it. After realizing I no longer wanted to take the medication (for both the extra weight and preparing to get pregnant), I slowly started to ween off of it. In the meantime, I was on a weight-loss plan and exercising several times a week. I lost about 10 pounds before getting pregnant and FINALLY getting off the medication. Between the first trimester nausea and not having the appetite I had for months, I lost another 5 pounds.

    I’m currently at 19 weeks and have barely gained back the 5 pounds, prompting my doctor to demand me gaining weight by my next visit. (I’ve been the same exact weight for every visit so far).

    In this situation, I feel like I would be losing fast if I weren’t pregnant due to being off the medication and having a normal appetite again. However, since I am pregnant, my weight is basically staying the same. I eat plenty (probably more than I should some days), but still don’t gain much.

    Is this normal? I know I don’t need to gain 25+ pounds based on being about 25 pounds over my normal weight but I don’t know how much is necessary.