Host: How much weight should a woman gain?
Dr. John Schmitt: Well, that depends on what their starting weight is. On average if you look at a whole bunch of pregnant women then normal range of weight gain is somewhere between 20 and 40 pounds and the average is about 28 pounds or so. If you started out significantly overweight you don't need to gain that much weight. Many studies have now shown that just really gaining a few pounds that will accommodate a 7-8 pound baby, a little bit of placenta, a little bit of fluid is enough to have a very healthy baby. Basically, overweight women don't want to starve themselves in diet but on the same token they don't have to gain too much weight. On the other hand, if you start out significantly underweight you want to shoot to gain a little bit more than that in pregnancy and shoot for the high side of that average maybe approaching 30-40 pounds to give more calories to the baby but not only that, to give you more energy to get through the pregnancy.