We've heard before that women are packing on too many pounds during pregnancy. But a new federal health report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is shedding further light on the problem.
Researchers found that only about one-third (32 percent) of pregnant women gained the recommended amount of weight.
The March of Dimes recommends that women who are at a normal weight prior to pregnancy gain between 25 and 35 pounds, while underweight women are advised to gain 28 to 40 pounds, overweight women 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women 11 to 20 pounds.
"Eating for two shouldn't translate to eating without limits," said study co-author Andrea Sharma, CDC epidemiologist. "It should translate to eating twice as healthy."
Experts note that while expecting women should up their caloric intake, the increase should not be drastic. "It's only about an additional 340 to 450 calories in the second and third trimester only. An apple, a cup of yogurt, a handful of almonds might be about 350 calories," Sharma said.
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.