Recommended Total Weight Gain Ranges for Pregnant Women.a,b


Recommended Total Gain


Weight-for-Height Category



Low (BMI <19.8)



Normal (BMI 19.8 to 26)



High (BMI >26.0 to 29.0)



Obese (BMI >29.0)



a Adapted from Nutrition During Pregnancy.1

b For singleton pregnancies. The range for women carrying twins is 35 to 45 lb (16 to 20 kg). Young adolescents (<2 years after menarche) and African-American women should strive for gains at the upper end of the range. Short women (<62 in. or <157 cm) should strive for gains at the lower end of the range.

  • Which of these snacks and fast foods do you like? (Use the box in Tab 7.)

  • When would be a good time for you to eat a bowl of cereal with milk and fruit?

  • Assist with dietary improvement: reinforce positive aspects of the diet; help the woman to set realistic goals (e.g., one change at a time or small changes in related behaviors); and encourage her to commit to one change, possibly in writing (a contract for change).

    • What will you change? How much change is realistic right now?

    • When will you do it? Where? How? Who might help you?

  • If the woman is currently breastfeeding and plans to continue, emphasize the importance of careful food selection and give concrete suggestions.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement