Pregnancy & Parenting
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(Too much) Weight gain during pregnancy

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I am 28 weeks pregnant with my fourth (and final!) child.  In the past, I have gained 60lbs with each pregnancy.  I am hoping to not repeat this trend this time.  I have gained (started at 127 - am now 161) 34lbs so far with 10 weeks to go.  I am trying to count calories to ideally keep my weight in the 160's. 

I find I am eating more healthily since counting calories as I have refrained from binging on cookies, cakes...

What is a realistic, safe calorie amount to have as a goal? 2000?Less?
Edited Jul 26 2008 00:52 by msmysz
Reason: Removed Sticky 2008-07-25
25 Replies (last)

What I did for my calories, is during the first tri I just ate at maintenance during the second I plan on eating maintenance plus 200 and during the end i plan on eating maintenance plus 300.

This is a great resource for information.


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when I was pregnant my doctor told me to increase my calories by 500 from what i was eating. But during the first trimester we were ony suppose to gain a pound a month then starting 2nd tri a pound a week. If you follow that it equals out to about 25-30 pounds though I gained 41 with my huge baby

I have to be honest with myself; I'm not eating a lot; but I'm still gaining a ton of weight.  Could this be fluid?  I'm not eating ice cream; or fast foods; or a heavy amount of pasta.  But I gain five to 10 pounds between each doctor visit.  I just don't know where it's going!  I still fit into the same maternity pants I wore when I was five months along; which has to say something; and people do tell me i'm all  baby; and the baby is big-  but it can't be 40 pounds of baby!!!  I've had to take my rings off; so I know some of it is fluid;  I just keep hydrating; but I seem to retain it all.  My face has gotten a little bit further; but back and arms do not have extra fat.  It's kind of an enigma to me!

I have heard that you gain most of your weight (and the most important weight) in your last trimester because this is when your baby gains most of their weight. 

Here is Why It's Important to Eat Well When You're Pregnant:

Do you wonder how it's reasonable to gain 25 to 35 pounds (on average) during your pregnancy when a newborn baby weighs only a fraction of that? Although it varies from woman to woman, this is how those pounds may add up:

  • 7.5 pounds:  average baby's weight
  • 7 pounds:     extra stored protein, fat, and other nutrients
  • 4 pounds:     extra blood
  • 4 pounds:     other extra body fluids
  • 2 pounds:     breast enlargement
  • 2 pounds:     enlargement of your uterus
  • 2 pounds:     amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
  • 1.5 pounds:  the placenta

When you're pregnant, what you eat and drink is the main source of nourishment for your baby. In fact, the link between what you consume and the health of your baby is much stronger than once thought. That's why doctors now say, for example, that no amount of alcohol consumption should be considered safe during pregnancy.

The extra food you eat shouldn't just be empty calories — it should provide the nutrients your growing baby needs. For example, calcium helps make and keep bones and teeth strong. While you're pregnant, you still need calcium for your body, plus extra calcium for your developing baby. Similarly, you require more of all the essential nutrients than you did before you became pregnant.

The most important thing is to concentrate on eating healthy and enough amounts for your bundle of joy that you are carrying.  You will have plenty of time to lose the weight you have gained after he/she is born. 

Here is Calorie Need Calculator with an option for pregnancy if you would like to check it out:

I'm 28 weeks tomorrow, and I've gained 19 pounds.  Apparently, I gained 9 of those pounds in between my last doctor visit and the one I had on Monday.  How did I manage to gain 9 pounds in a month???  My doctor was pretty upset, too.  I can't figure out why, but he only wants me to gain 20-25 pounds, and I'm nearly at the low end of that goal with 10 weeks to go.  I gained 34 with my first pregnancy.  I'm signed up with different pregnancy websites that send weekly email updates on the progress of the baby.  One I received yesterday said to expect to gain an average of 11 pounds from this point on. 

As for calories, I'm striving to get around 2,000 a day, and I'm trying to burn away 200-400 with exercise.  I have no idea if this is even a good number, though.  I'm going to check with my doctor at my next appointment to see if 2,000 calories is enough.  Prior to becoming pregnant, I tried to consume around 1600 calories and burn 200-300 with exercise daily. 

Make sure that you guys are eating enough protien. Apparently not eating enough protein is linked to Pre-E and is very common in our culture. one of my friends swears by the Brewers diet...created by doctor Brewer. 

I gained over 40lbs with my one and only pregnancy and I was already overweight.  All of the doctors I came across didn't really seem to care. Their main concern was what I was eating.  It seemed for every pizza I was eating I was also eating several pounds of fruit and veggies. 

Thanks for all the help.  I just went to the website 'undertherainbow' posted and it said I should be eating about 2400 calories while burning about 400. 

I am finding it hard to eat under 2500 calories as ice cream season is in full bloom but at least it gives me a goal.

The calculator told you to burn calories (ie. exercise)? 

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This is my first pregnancy so I'm no pro or anything.  But I think that everybody's body is different and designed to put on a certain amount of weight during pregnancy.  I've heard other women agree with this too.  Yes it's a great idea to watch what you eat and exercise.  But you can be good and stick to your diet and still gain more weight (much more) than you were hoping to.  As long as you are being relatively healthy and are getting all your vitamins & nutrients, I think zeroing in on the weight can wait until after the baby is born.  At least that's what I'm trying to do!  Good luck ladies!

I read that woman should gain between 25-35 pounds while pregnant...

I gained 50 pounds with my second, ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  I was 120 before I got pregnant and 170 full term and now my baby is 7 months old and Im 126.  (still breastfeeding)  So all Im saying is that its possible to gain alot and still lose it.  I didnt gain that 25-35 in my first pregnancy either.  I think it was more like 60 pounds with my first.  But maybe age may have something to do with it.  Im 28 and was 21 with my first. 

Good luck pregnant ladies!! Your bringing a new life into the world! Be happy :)

lol i gained 96 pounds while prego

I gained 95 and lost it all within 7 months, so yeah I agree that everyone is different!
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I am 9 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and I'm terrified that I'll gain as much weight as I did with my first. I gained 97 pounds which thanks to stress, my work schedule, improper diet, and lack of sleep, I managed to lose in a year.

I have never counted calories or dieted or anything so I'm really new to this kind of thing. I've looked online for sample menus but for the most part everything is for a meat eater and I'm a vegetarian....anyone have some good pointers? I just did my first food log of what I ate today and I took in about 1,700+ calories which is under what it was supposed to be and I was shocked at how much salt there was in one day's food.

Help for a beginner?

I am 26 weeks pregnant with my second child. During my first pregnancy, I gained 60 pounds (at age 22) and like some other posters, am terrified of doing it again this time around. At this point, I have gained 16 pounds. I gained 12 pounds between 16 and 20 weeks and it floored me. Between 20 and 25 weeks, however, I gained only 4 pounds. My doctor told me that my body was playing catch up and I am now measuring average for how far along I am.

The way I see it is everyone is different and will gain the weight differently. I was hoping this time around to stay skinny and be all baby but that's not how my body works. My boobs get huge and I retain a ton of water. My once-dainty feet look like sausages in my shoes that are 3 sizes bigger than my pre-pregnancy shoes. I even retain water in my back and so I have the bra-roll. I don't eat junk, it's just how I gain and I'm slowly coming to terms with that. I will lose most of the weight in the first six months after this baby is born, just like I did with the first. I just keep telling myself that it will be okay!

Bier-  you just explained my water retention to a tee!  My feet get swollen; but my HANDS look like baseball mitts-  you can even tell in pictures!  I had to take my rings off starting in my sixth month.  My back doesn't retain the water but my chin does; and my face looks like a balloon.  my boobs got huge even before I knew I was preggo-  I try to eat right-  I have to admit pre-pregnant I was way more strict; but I eat so much fruit and veggies and salmon for the omega-3's .  less than two weeks to go-  I'm hoping it comes off at a decent rate-  6 weeks without excercising is hard for me-  i'm still going to walk (slowly)...I'll get back to my strict regimine-  keep my fiber up and hydrate!!  High protein; whole carbs; I know this drill all too well!

You can be retaining water, cut out all the salt in your diet and you should see the water retention go down.  Having four children I learned by the last one how to only gain 20 lbs.  But i was always on the go too.  I had my fourth child 2 weeks before number 1 turned 5.  So I literally had four very young children by the age of 24. 

With all the other pregnancies I gained alot of weight during the last two months.  Most of it water weight because of the meat and potatoes diet we were on being dairy farmers.

It most definitely will be ok.... Watch your sodium intake.  I retained alot of water and noticed that my shoes didn't fit.  So the doctor put me on a no salt diet and he looked at me after the third week of gaining 7 lbs and said.  No more you have to not gain this next doctor visit.  I had to eat alot of watermelon and no french fries which I craved and no dairy products because I loved ice cream.  Everything that had a sodium content had to be cut out of the diet.  It was very hard because I was a eater.  Anything that walked by was fair game.

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I am 31wks with my first (at 38!)  I hit 150 this week and started around 129 @5' 4".  I am fortunate and have 'thin' genes, at my heaviest pre-pregnancy was 135 due to weight training. I have had difficulty wrapping my brain around this weight gain thing. Per this site, I have been taking in under 2000 for a week or so, but have still managed to gain, so am thinking I might be off on my intakes.

I have been semi-militant about my diet. I still manage to get the ice cream inSealed, but eat A LOT of fruit and veggies. I try for a salad at lunch and another at dinner with some protein. I try to save for nights we want ice cream and save some calories for that. I have found honeydew and cantaloupe to be very filling which is helpful as an afternoon snack.  I am admonishing myself this week for two fast food hamburger and some fries. But hey, what’s done is done and moving on.

I am very nervous about these next few weeks, my cousin (also 38)said she gained 25 in the last 2 months of her pregnancy. eek! I want to be able to get back to pre-preggo or at least in the ball park and am concerned I won't have time to exercise and my age may factor in.

Please keep up the posts! I appreciate all your musings and input on this issue

I religiously watch my sodium intake and drink 128 ounces of water or more a day. I still retain water. Oh well! only 12 weeks to go! These last few months, I'm bumping up my exercise from 3 days a week to 5 in order to prepare for labor and recovery. Also, I've been craving salads lately which has helped keep the weight gain to a minimum the past 4 weeks.

guwooty, I am also nervous about the last 2 months since that is when I gained most of my weight during my first pregnancy. The difference was, the first time around I had hardly gained any weight up until 26 weeks or so and then gained 60 in the last couple months. This time, it's been a bit more consistant so hopefully that will curb the sudden last minute weight gain.

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Bier - I spoke to my doctor about this yesterday and she said sensible eating and exercise should help curb excessive weight gain at the end. (We've been swimming! with walks and free weight training at the end of the day when it isn't so hot) However, she did mention retaining water, which I guess is common at the end. Hence, swollen feet and hands. She said this is not fat gain and therefore should be easier to get rid of afterward. But, as you mentioned, watching the sodium intake can help.  Fortunately I haven't had an issue yet, but watching the sodium wouldn't hurt. 

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