Keely Willment has always
been physically active and never
struggled with her weight, but when
she became pregnant in 2011, the
importance of healthy eating and
exercise took on a whole new meaning.
“ I had a pretty rapid weight gain
in my first trimester,” she says.
Her doctor then outlined a healthy
pregnancy weight gain range for her. “ I
really tuned in and realized I needed
to start thinking about it more.”
Willment began following the
Canada Food Guide more closely and
added walking and prenatal yoga to
her exercise routine.
“ I knew what I was eating, the baby
was eating,” she says. “Ultimately, it
was up to me— I was making these
decisions for my baby’s health.”
Pregnancy weight gain
recommendations in Alberta are based
on a woman’s body mass index (BMI)
before she becomes pregnant.
“Weight gain is an important part of
pregnancy,” says Ann Marie McInnis
of Alberta Health Services’ Healthy
Pregnancy Weight Gain project.
“Eating well, being active and gaining
within the recommended ranges are
healthy for both you and your baby.”
Too much weight gain can lead to
difficult deliveries, babies who are
prone to obesity later in childhood
The right amount of weight gain
is important for both babies
Keely Willment and son Brayden; her weight management decisions were for her baby’s health.
and moms who struggle to lose
weight after pregnancy. Gaining too
little weight can lead to premature
and underweight babies. Either too
much or too little weight gain puts
babies at a higher risk of physical and
mental disabilities and ongoing health
problems later in life.
Yet 46 per cent of Alberta women
with a healthy pre-pregnancy BMI gain
more than the recommended range.
That number increases to 80 per cent
for women who are overweight or
obese before becoming pregnant.
Willment’s weight gain was within
range, thanks to her changes in diet
and activity. These changes also made
it easier for her to lose weight after
giving birth to a healthy son, Brayden,
in June 2012.
— Tara Grindle
For more about healthy pregnancy
• Talk to your family doctor or health-
• Visit healthcanada.ca and search for
• See the Healthy Eating Active Living
(HEAL) for Pregnancy booklet at