However, it is equally as important that woman gain enough weight. It is very important that your baby get proper nutrition from the foods you eat. Dieting or limiting food intake during pregnancy is not a wise idea.
Recommendations for healthy weight gain during pregnancy are based on your weight before you became pregnant. Women who are at "normal" weight (Body Mass Index of 19.8 - 26) when they become pregnant are advised to gain 25 - 35 pounds during their pregnancies. Likewise, experts advise women who are "underweight" (BMI less than 19.8) when they become pregnant to gain 28-40 pounds during their pregnancies.
Healthy eating and healthy weight gain result in many positive pregnancy benefits. Gaining a healthy amount of weight:
- Counteracts your baby's susceptibility to infection and birth defects caused by low birth weight
- Decreases your risk for complications such as anemia and pre-eclampsia
- Reduces the risk of pre-term labor and delivery
- Helps to ensure a healthy birth weight for your baby, which decreases his risk of delayed development, disease, and mortality during the first few months of life.