Normal Weight Scales
In 2019, the Institute of Medicine reexamined the 1990 guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. It addressed a rise in the age at which women are becoming pregnant and an increasing incidence of overweight and obese women becoming pregnant.
A woman’s weight at the start of her pregnancy affects the mother’s and baby’s health more than anything else, according to the Institute of Medicine. The new guidelines use body mass index (BMI) categories and include “a specific and relatively narrow range of recommended gain for obese women.”
Total Weight Gain
The new recommendations for women of normal weight with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 suggest a weight gain range of 25 to 35 lb. For overweight women, this range is lowered to 15 to 25 lb.; obese women are encouraged to gain no more than 11 to 20 lb. during pregnancy.
Monthly Weight Gain
The Institute’s latest suggestions are reflected in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid for Pregnancy, which breaks down recommended weight gain, for women of normal weight at the start of pregnancy, to 1 to 4 lb. during the first three months and 2 to 4 lb. per month in the fourth through ninth months.