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Prevea Health

Staying fit during pregnancy


Pregnancy can do wonders to your body, from preparing for the baby’s growth to the time for birth. Understanding the proper amount of weight to gain during pregnancy will ensure that you and your baby stay healthy. Also, understanding the benefits and guidelines to exercising while pregnant can help you not just physically but mentally.

Pregnancy weight gain

  • Knowing how much weight to gain during pregnancy is important for both you and your baby. You want to put on enough weight to have a healthy pregnancy, but not too much to cause health concerns. 
  • Typical recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy range from 20 to 35 pounds. To be more specific, identify your BMI, and then use the charts below to determine the right amount of weight to gain during your pregnancy.
Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended pregnancy weight gain
Underweight (BMI < 18.5) 28 to 40 lbs
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to 35 lbs
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 15 to 25 lbs
Obese (BMI 30 or more) 11 to 20 lbs
  • Please note, we do not recommend dieting for weight loss while you are pregnant. Your baby and your body need the right amount of calories and nutrients.
  • Always consult your obstetrician before changing your diet. Following the guidelines above is a great first step to gaining the proper amount of weight during your pregnancy. 

Benefits and guidelines to pregnancy exercise

There are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy, including: 

  • Improved energy and mood
  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced swelling and constipation
  • Improved strength and endurance for labor
  • Monitoring weight gain

Women who have non-complicated pregnancies should engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. If you are just starting a workout regimen, begin slowly and take your time, walking is a safe exercise to begin with. For those who already have a work out plan, don't push yourself too far, moderation is key. Always consult with your OB doctor or midwife before beginning an exercise routine. 

Pregnancy exercises can include stretching, swimming, brisk walking, stationary cycling or low-impact aerobics. These types of exercises have little risk of injury and benefit your body, even after birth. When doing exercises during pregnancy, avoid contact sports, supine positioning and sports that involve holding a position for long periods of time. Stop exercise and consult your provider if you experience any of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Uterine contractions
  • Vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking

If you have any pre-existing medical condition, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes consult your doctor before any form of exercise. Certain medical conditions can cause strain and stress to you and your baby during pregnancy.

When in doubt, always contact your OB doctor or midwife to see what exercise plan works best for you and your baby as well as the proper amount of weight to gain or lose.

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