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I’m concerned that I haven’t gained enough weight
Q: Is it safe for baby when you gain only 16 pounds during your whole pregnancy? If not, what do you recommend I do to gain more weight?
Dianatou New York City
A: How much you gain in pregnancy will depend on your diet and your pre-pregnancy weight.

In 1990, The Institute of Medicine issued recommendations for weight gain in pregnancy. Women of average weight prior to pregnancy are advised to gain between 25 and 35 pounds, while overweight women are advised to gain less, between 15 and 25 pounds. Women who are underweight before conception are often advised to gain more than 35 pounds.

Most weight gain in pregnancy occurs during the second half of pregnancy, when many women gain around a pound a week. If you’re concerned about weight gain, it would make sense to review your typical diet. Write down everything you eat for a couple of days. Then review your diet to see if you are eating the recommended servings of each food group:



If you find that you are regularly missing servings from important food groups, start by including these in your diet. If your diet appears well-balanced already, add high calorie, nutritious foods to help you to gain weight.

Here are a few popular snacks you could try:
  • cheese on whole wheat crackers

  • peanut butter on toast

  • fresh fruit and soy milk smoothies

  • yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit

  • hummus on pita

  • almonds and dried fruit


  • Remember, weight gain to be gradual throughout your pregnancy. Breakfast is an important meal and should be included each day. And it’s best to gain weight through healthy, nutritious foods rather than junk foods.