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Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

  • As your baby grows, the placenta develops and fluid is retained to protect your baby. As a result of this your weight should naturally increase. Gaining weight too quickly or gaining too much weight however can result in complications for you or your baby.
  • Being overweight or obese or gaining too much weight increases your risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, varicose veins and joint problems.
  • If you put on weight too quickly so can your baby, which puts them at risk of being overweight or developing high blood pressure or diabetes later in life.
  • If you are concerned about your weight talk with your doctor, midwife or dietitian. The first thing to do is cut out any sugary drinks or snacks and choose low calorie food with lots of nutritional value such as fruit, vegetables and low fat dairy products instead.
  • Most women do not gain weight in the first trimester. In the second and third trimester it is normal to gain weight by up to 0.3-0.5 kg or 0.5-1 lb a week. Women who are underweight should gain more weight and women who are overweight or obese should gain less weight. Speak with your doctor or midwife to check if you are gaining weight at the normal rate.

Updated by Fiona Dunlevy MINDI and Sinead Curran MINDI January 2016.

Review date: January 2019

© 2016 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with dietitian.  It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

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