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MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information

For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • Pregnancy & Weight Gain Description
  • Average Weight Gain Guides
  • Weight Gain Concerns
  • Notify Your Midwife or Health Care Provider


  • Weight gain during pregnancy is made up of several elements. About half comes from the baby, placenta and the amniotic fluid; about one third comes from increased weight of the uterus, extra breast weight and increased blood and tissue, and the balance of the weight is stored fat (which is necessary for energy reserves during labor).

  • The weight gained in pregnancy varies from one individual to another and from one pregnancy to another in the same woman. The guidelines discussed here are averages and are only meant to be guidelines. The main concern is to eat a high-quality, balanced diet with adequate calories that will ensure good health for you and the baby. If you eat well and nutritiously, the weight gain should take care of itself.

  • MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Prenatal Vitamins
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Pregnancy Diet
    MoonDragon's Nutritional Guidelines for Pregnancy

  • At your first prenatal visit, your height and weight will be measured and the two compared to help determine if you are starting pregnancy at about the right weight for your height and gives a good starting point to work with for the remainder of the pregnancy. At each or most of the subsequent prenatal visits, you may be weighed again and any concerns you or your midwife may have about weight gain or lack of weight gain will be discussed. Midwives are usually more relaxed about weight gain issues than other health care providers as long as the pregnancy is healthy, the mother and the baby are doing well and her nutrition is optimal with plenty of good nourishment, calories, protein, vitamins and minerals, and salt to taste. Junk and processed foods (often containing empty calories, hidden high fat and salt, and poor nutrition) should be avoided or limited.


    It is not always easy to eat well during pregnancy. With the hectic schedules many families have today it may seem very hard to take the time to eat right. But, it pays to remember that what you eat affects your baby's health for life.


    4 exchanges of milk (1 cup each): whole milk, low fat, skim, buttermilk. If using soy milk, 1.5 cups per serving. One serving of cheese is approximately 1.25 ounces.

    2 calcium replacements for each serving of unfortified soy: almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds brazil nuts, broccoli, molasses, wheat germ*.

    2 eggs.

    6 exchanges of fish, liver, chicken, lean beef, lamb or pork, any kind of cheese. Beans, grains, nuts and seeds and vegetables may also be included in this area, but do not count an item twice. (Average exchange is 1 ounce meat or hard cheese, 1/4 cup of tuna or soft cheese, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1/2 cup beans or grains, 2 to 3 ounces of nuts, and about 5 ounces of most vegetables.)

    2 exchanges of fresh, dark green, leafy vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, romaine lettuce. (Average exchange is 1/2 to 1 cup.)

    5 exchanges of whole grain bread, starchy vegetables and fruits. (An average exchange is 1 slice bread, 1/2 cup cereal, pasta or rice, and 1/2 piece of fruit.)

    2 exchanges Vitamin C foods: orange, grapefruit, pepper, tomato, cantaloupe, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower (Average exchange is 1 fruit or 1/2 cup.)

    5 exchanges fats and oils. (1 tablespoon butter, oil or mayonnaise.)

    1 exchange Vitamin A food: carrots, peaches, sweet potato or yam, cantaloupe, apricots.

    Drink to thirst.

    Salt foods to taste.

    Liver (4 ounces) once a week.

    This diet can be adapted for vegetarians, by using complementary protein at one meal. Choose to eat 2 plant proteins at the same time, such as rice and beans, or to eat some animal protein along with plant protein, such as eggs, cheese or milk.*

    *Adapted diet in The Brewer Medical Diet for Normal and High Risk Pregnancy, 1983
    Adapted with permission from Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy, Thomas Brewer, MD, 1982

    pregnant tummy


  • A general recommendation for weight gain in pregnancy is in the range of 25 to 35 pounds (it is not unusual for women to gain more than 35 pounds, as long as her diet is nutritious and she is getting what she needs). Underweight women may need to gain more. For overweight women, pregnancy is NOT the time to try to lose weight. However, a special pregnancy diet may be recommended to keep weight gain within certain limits. If a woman is expecting twins (multiple fetuses), her nutritional requirements are going to have to be increased to support more than one growing fetus. This means more calories, more protein and other nutrients.

  • Weight gain should be steady throughout the pregnancy. Occasionally in the first trimester some weight loss occurs if the woman is having morning sickness or nausea. This is natural, but it needs to be watched carefully and the midwife will usually recommend some helpful hints for relieving morning sickness symptoms.

  • A gain of 3 to 4 pounds the first trimester is usual.

    A 1 pound gain about every week during the second trimester for a total of 12 to 14 pounds.

    During the third trimester, a pound a week gain continues for the seventh and eighth month, and then just 1 to 2 pounds are gained during the ninth month for a total of 9 to 10 pounds. It is important during the last month of pregnancy to eat well, rest well and take care of yourself. This is the month that the baby is maturing and putting on his/her birth weight which includes the body fat it needs for energy storage for the birth and the first few days of life until the breastmilk comes in.

  • With each monthly prenatal visit, the expected weight gain is usually 3 to 4 pounds over the previous visit. If the weight gain is significantly under or over that amount, further evaluation may be necessary to assess nutrition and diet, or the presence of edema (swelling in the hands, feet, and legs).

  • If a woman is pregnant with more than one fetus, the weight gain will be higher, but not double or triple. The midwife or health care provider will discuss a recommended amount.


  • Controlling weight gain is more difficult in late pregnancy, so it is important that the mother does not gain most of the total weight during the first months. If an excess amount of weight is gained during the first or second trimester, DO NOT DIET! Your nutritional intake needs to stay balanced to supply the daily needs for the fetus. Reassess your diet and make sure you are eating properly.

  • A lack of weight gain in pregnancy may be due to poor nutrition or an illness in the mother-to-be. It can contribute to intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), a term used to describe infants whose weights are much lower than expected for gestational age.

  • When an obese woman becomes pregnant, there is somewhat higher risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension than in the average weight mother (although many plus-sized women do not have these problems during pregnancy and have very healthy pregnancies with healthy babies). It may be more difficult to determine the size of the fetus or pick up fetal heart tones during prenatal visits because of the fat layers (it may take a bit more work on the part of the midwife or health care provider, but it is possible to do a decent assessment with practice and patience), and delivery is sometimes more complicated because the fetus may be larger than average (gestational diabetic problems may cause this... but many plus-size women give birth the average size babies as well as their slimmer sisters!). In a hospital setting, cesarean deliveries are much more common with obese women, although cesarean deliveries are also complicated more by the amount of fat in the abdomen area. Regardless, obese women should NOT diet during pregnancy! The midwife will work with these large mothers to help control weight gain with a good nutritious diet plan and attempt to keep it within recommended guidelines. Good nutrition with adequate moderate exercise is much more important than weight gain!
  • On the average, the larger the weight gain in pregnancy, the larger the baby. However, this is not always the case and a healthy woman can gain 45 or more pounds and still have a healthy 6 to 7 pound baby and a uncomplicated labor and birth.


  • If you or a family member is pregnant and wants additional information on weight gain and nutrition.
  • If you are pregnant and your weight gain increases significantly or does not increase at all during a 2 week period.


    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Twins
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Toxemia of Pregnancy (Preeclampsia/Eclampsia)
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Concerns
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Morning Sickness
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Morning Sickness - Homeopathic Therapy
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Gestational Diabetes Index
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Diabetes
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Diabetes Description & Treatment
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Bulimia
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Anorexia
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Obesity
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Stress
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Appetite Concerns
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Pregnancy Information & Survival Tips
    MoonDragon's Pregnancy Index
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Pregnancy Index
    MoonDragon's Pediatric Information Index
    MoonDragon's Parenting Information Index
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index


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