Eating for Two
Now that you're eating for two, you may need to eat a bit more -- but not as much as you think. So how much is too much? That depends on your age and what you weighed before you became pregnant. If you began your pregnancy at a normal weight, you should expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds. That may sound like a lot, but it translates into eating about 300 more calories a day. A healthy snack, such as a small bowl of cereal with milk and fruit, can easily do the trick. Women who follow this guideline should gain four to six pounds in the first trimester and about one pound a week during the second and third trimesters.
However, if you began your pregnancy under- or overweight, you have different weight gain goals. Underweight women need to gain more (28 to 40 pounds), while overweight moms-to-be may need to put on 15 to 25 pounds. Women who exceed their recommended weight gain can develop health problems, including backaches, varicose veins, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes. They may also be more likely to have a difficult labor resulting in cesarean delivery. Women who don't gain enough weight may risk going into premature labor. The bottom line? Putting on the proper number of pounds is the healthiest way to go.