Essential exercise information and weight-gain guidance for pregnant women.
How much weight should you gain?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that women who start out at a healthy weight gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy; underweight women, 28 to 40 pounds; overweight women, 15 to 25 pounds; and obese women, 11 to 20 pounds. (Some experts disagree with the recommendation for obese women.) Try out our online tool to calculate your pre-pregnancy BMI. This will give you a starting point for recommended weight gain.
If possible, also pay attention to your weight before becoming pregnant. Women who are very overweight when they conceive have an increased risk of delivering babies with birth defects, including spina bifida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Top 5 Nutrients
Include these in your daily diet:
■ CALCIUM>1,000 mg
Where to get it: Dairy foods, dark leafy greens, calcium-fortified foods.
■ FOLATE>600 mcg
Where to get it: Legumes, broccoli, asparagus, oranges. (Folic acid is the synthetic form, available in supplements.)
■ IRON>27 mg
Where to get it: Dry beans, liver, meat, oatmeal, tofu.
■ PROTEIN>70 g
Where to get it: Meat, poultry, seafood, milk and other dairy foods, beans.
■ VITAMIN C>85 mg
Where to get it: Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, dark leafy greens.