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Experts Corner

Nutrition

Weight Gain During Pregnancy
By Mediconsult's Nutrition Services

Q. How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

A. A proper diet and adequate weight gain during pregnancy are essential for good health of the mother and optimum development of her baby. If a mother doesn't gain enough weight, her baby may be born small. Low birth weight infants have a greater chance of health problems. On the other hand, if weight gain is excessive, the baby may grow too large. This could complicate the birth process and increase risk of problems during pregnancy. It is also hard for most women to lose a large amount of excess weight after the pregnancy.

The appropriate weight gain during a pregnancy depends on several factors, including mother's pre-pregnant weight and age. A woman who is of average weight is encouraged to gain somewhere between 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women need to gain a bit more weight, and high weight women a bit less. No one should ever try to lose weight during pregnancy. Maternal weight loss results in excess blood ketone levels. Ketones are toxic to fetuses.

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