Look at the quality of food, not just the amount; the health of the mother, not just her weight. As always, I’d say that we are not so simply quantitative.
Using myself as an example, I will confess that I gained 60 pounds for each pregnancy. Believe me, I wasn’t happy about it, and the second time, swore I wouldn’t, but it simply seemed to be what my body, and my babies, needed. I nursed it off within a year each time. My daughter, who was 7 pounds at birth, is now a slim, fit 22 year old. My son, who was 8 pounds at birth, is a lean and well-muscled 19 year old.
This is, again, an example of the reductionist tendencies of today’s medicine, research, and press reporting. A couple of numbers will never tell the whole story. Norms, means, and averages can’t always reliably dictate what an individual should do. And implying that weight is even marginally determined before birth shifts the responsibility off the individual to make the changes taht create health. That’s a pity. On the other hand, I am all for women working on their health before they conceive. That can only be a good thing!