Mercy OB/GYN Dr. Erika Nichelson Discusses Diet and Weight Gain During Pregnancy

July 17, 2015
Hoffman & Associates - OB-GYNs - Baltimore, MD

Sheri Somerville is expecting her second child next month. So far, she's gained about the same amount of weight she did with her first child, but she doesn't count calories.

"I feel that you have to gain weight for a healthy baby. I mean, the baby's growing. You have to eat. You have to eat healthy, and that's just part of being pregnant," Somerville said.

According to Mercy ob/gyn Dr. Erika Nichelson, Somerville is right. For pregnant women, what's most important is to be aware of what they're eating.

"So most of us know that we need to eat healthy and exercise. It's just doing it, that's the hard part, right? So are you having ice cream every night before bed? Are you eating a lot of carbs before bed? So maybe we can rearrange that, eat your carbs in the morning and more protein at night," Dr. Nichelson said.

So how much weight should a woman gain during pregnancy?

That depends on what you weigh when you get pregnant as well as your body mass index or BMI.

So how much total weight should a woman with a normal BMI gain?

"Twenty-five to 35 pounds is normal. So if you're overweight, a BMI of 25-30, then that weight gain recommendation is only 15-25 pounds, and then if you're obese, so your BMI is greater than 30, then you only want to gain 11-15 pounds, no more than 15 pounds," Dr. Nichelson said.

"Everything in moderation. I try not to eat too many sweets or fatty foods and try to eat healthy," Somerville said.

"You can't go on a diet when you're pregnant, but you can eat healthy and a lot of people, just by eating healthy, automatically lose weight," Dr. Nichelson said.

View Dr. Erika Nichelson’s interview about weight gain, diet and counting calories when pregnant, click here.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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