Skip to main content
  • Members: On March 31, 2023, the pilot program between AmericasHealth Plan (AHP) and Gold Coast Health (AHP) will end. All AHP Medi-Cal members will be GCHP members as of April 1, 2023. Your benefits are not changing. You will continue to have Medi-Cal coverage. Click here for more information.

  • Providers: Please be aware of the Medi-Cal Rx Reinstatement of Prior Authorization Requirements and Retirement of the Transition Policy for Beneficiaries 22 Years of Age and Older. Click here for more information.

Please select your language.

Selecciona tu idioma.

Health library

Back to health library
Reviewed 10/20/2022

Pregnancy and weight gain: Myth or fact?

Gaining the right amount of weight when you're expecting can help you have a healthy baby. That's just one reason it's so important to know the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to pregnancy and weight gain. Take this quiz and see if you're in the know.

Myth or fact: I should double my calories now that I'm "eating for two."

Myth. An expanding tummy isn't an excuse to overeat. Most women don't need any extra calories during the first trimester. The amount you need later depends on many factors. So it's best to ask your provider about your calories needs.

Myth or fact: The more weight I gain, the healthier and stronger my baby will be.

Myth. If you gain too much, you're more likely to have a bigger-than-average baby and-as a result-a complicated birth. Your baby is more likely to have birth defects or become obese. Gaining too little weight can also hurt your baby's health.

Myth or fact: Not every pregnant woman should gain the same amount of weight.

Fact. Talk to your doctor about what's best for you and your baby. Doctors typically use a woman's body mass index before she was pregnant as a gauge for how many pregnancy pounds she should add.

Myth or fact: It's OK to diet while I'm expecting.

Myth. While you certainly want to be careful about what you eat-and make healthy food choices every day-pregnancy is never the time to diet. If you don't get the calories you need, your baby might not get the right amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Myth or fact: Breastfeeding can help burn off pounds from pregnancy.

Fact. Not only does breastfeeding benefit babies, it helps new moms burn calories. That means nursing can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster than feeding your baby with formula.

You need to consume the right nutrients—like protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and calcium—to help you and your baby stay healthy.

Find out what you should eat

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians; National Academy of Medicine; March of Dimes; National Institutes of Health

Related stories