One of the best ways to manage gestational diabetes is to monitor your weight gain and eat a certain number of calories per day, relative to your BMI. While calorie recommendations in pregnancy depend on a variety of factors, like your activity levels and your height, your BMI is actually a good starting point when determining how much weight to gain during a pregnancy with gestational diabetes.
Since gestational diabetes is most commonly diagnosed after the first trimester, weight gain in the second and third trimester is more important to manage. Here are the general guidelines.
If you are underweight:
- BMI is under 19.8
- Total recommended weight gain in pregnancy is 28 to 40 lbs
- Recommended caloric intake in second and third trimester: 35 to 40 kcal/kg
If you are a normal weight:
- BMI is 19.8 to 26
- Total recommended weight gain in pregnancy is 25 to 35 lbs
- Recommended caloric intake in second and third trimester: 30 to 34 kcal/kg
If you are overweight:
- BMI is 26.1 to 29
- Total recommended weight gain in pregnancy is 15 to 25 lbs
- Recommended caloric intake in second and third trimester: 24 to 30 kcal/kg
If you are obese:
- BMI is over 29
- Total recommended weight gain during pregnancy: 15 lbs
- Recommended caloric intake in second and third trimester: 12 to 18 kcal/kg
If you’re carrying twins:
- Total recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 35 to 45 lbs
- Caloric recommendations in the second and third trimesters: depending on the woman’s weight, she should eat the calories recommended by her BMI plus an extra 500 calories
The recommendations above won’t apply to every woman; for some people, the numbers might be a little different. But they do represent general guidelines that women with gestational diabetes tend to use during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will be able to work with you, to determine a good nutrition plan for your pregnancy.
- “Medical Nutrition Therapy and Lifestyle Interventions.” American Diabetes Association. 30(Supplement 2): S188-S193. Web. Jul 2007.
- “Gestational Diabetes Nutrition Guidelines.” HealthTeamWorks. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, July 2007. Web.
- Ruth Toiba. “Gestational Diabetes.” TodaysDietitian. Great Valley Publishing Company, Aug 2013. Web.