When you’re pregnant, you get to eat as many donuts and French fries as you want, right? Wrong! You only need about 300 extra calories a day during pregnancy to support your baby’s growth and development. So you don’t need to be chowing down everything in sight!
Be careful about the amount of weight you gain during your pregnancy. Gaining too much or too little weight can be harmful to you and your baby.
Is gaining the right amount of weight important during pregnancy?
You bet. It's important to gain the right amount of weight for your body. Doing so can help protect the health of your baby. Compared to women who gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy:
How much weight should you gain during pregnancy?
It depends on your body mass index (BMI) before you get pregnant. BMI is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight.
Your health care provider uses your pre-pregnancy BMI to figure out how much weight you need to gain during pregnancy. It usually works out like this:
If you’re pregnant with one baby:
If you’re pregnant with twins:
Putting on weight slowly and steadily is best. Don't worry too much if you gain a little more or a little less than you think you should in any week. You may have a few growth spurts when you gain several pounds in a short time, and then level off. And while you don't want to gain too much weight, don’t ever try to lose weight during pregnancy.
If you’re worried about your weight gain, talk to your health care provider.
How can you track your weight gain during pregnancy?
Use our weight-gain tracking chart to follow your progress.
Last reviewed September 2009
Knowing the signs of pregnancy can help you tell if you’re pregnant. Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
If you have any of these pregnancy signs and think you may be pregnant, go to your health care provider. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin prenatal checkups and start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.
You'll start feeling your baby's kicks at around the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby's movements are usually well established and some health care providers recommend keeping track of these movements.
Keep counting until you've felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn't move 10 times within 1 hour, try again later that day. Call your health provider if your baby's movement seems unusual or you've tried more than once that day and can't feel baby move 10 times or more during 1 hour.
Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby's first movements. Also known as "quickening," it's a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This milestone typically starts sometime between 18 to 25 weeks into pregnancy. For first-time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second- or third-time moms, it may happen much sooner.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but you'll notice a pattern soon. You'll start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to get her moving.