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Plus-Size Pregnancy

Having a baby when you're overweight puts you at an added risk of complications such as gestational diabetes, but it doesn't mean that you can't have a healthy child. Here, advice from the authors of the new book Carrying A Little Extra: A Guide to Healthy Pregnancy for the Plus-Size Woman.

  • Watch weight gain. A woman is overweight if her body mass index (BMI) is between 25 and 30, and obese if it is over 30. (Visit to calculate your BMI.) Heavy women should gain between 15 and 25 pounds during pregnancy -- a few pounds in the first trimester and 2 to 3 each month after that.
  • Eat right. It's essential to make smart nutritional choices: Get your daily dose of 1,000 milligrams of calcium from nonfat yogurt and skim milk-not ice cream. While it's okay to give into cravings sometimes, aim to have a daily diet that also includes 60 grams of protein, 25 to 35 grams of fiber (whole wheat carbs are a good option), and lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Get fit for labor. Swimming, yoga, and walking are easy ways to get moving and can help you have a healthier pregnancy. (Discuss all exercise plans with your doctor.)
  • See your doctor regularly. Stay in touch with your ob/gyn about any concerns you have, take your prenatal vitamin daily, and remember that what your baby needs most now is for you to take good care of yourself.