How Much Weight Gain Is Normal During Pregnancy?

Written by Evan Jensen

Pregnancy Weight Gain-What’s Healthy?

How Much Weight Gain Is Normal During Pregnancy?

Weight gain is important and inevitable part during pregnancy. Baby’s growth and development depend on this weight gain. However, eating for two isn’t a license to eat twice than usual. Follow healthy lifestyle habits to control your prenatal weight gain. This will support healthy baby growth and make it easier for you to shed those extra pounds after delivery.

Guidelines to Weight Gain During Pregnancy

There is no one fit size to weight gain during pregnancy. How much is normal weight for you during this stage depends upon various factors like body mass index (BMI) and pre-pregnancy weight gain. You should use healthy weight gain habits to control the excess calorie intake. Always work along with your health as it is now related with your baby’s health.

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)
Normal Weight (BMI 18.5-24.9)
Overweight (BMI 25-29.9)
Obese (BMI 30 or more)
28-40 pounds (about 13-18 kilograms)
25-35 pounds (11-16 kilograms approx.)
15-25 pounds (7-11 kilograms approx.)
11-20 pounds (about 5-9 kilograms)

Distribution of Weight Gain in Pregnancy

If your baby weighs around 7-8 pounds then some of your weight gain accounts for it. The rest of your weight breakdowns as given below:

  • Fat stores about 6-8 pounds
  • Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds
  • Increased fluid volume: 3 to 4 pounds
  • Larger breasts- 2 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid-2 pounds
  • Larger uterus-2 pounds
  • Placenta about one and half pounds

In total you gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy period.

Weight Gain During Trimesters

Most women don’t gain much weight during first trimester due to morning sickness. If you have normal weight then you can gain only few pounds during first few months.
If you’re obese or underweight then steady weight gain is important during the second and last trimesters. Gain an extra 3-4 pounds a month until delivery. It is important to revise your diet and physical activities if you’re underweight.

What Happens if I Gain More Pounds?

Your baby could be too large at birth causing labor complications and put you at higher risk to have premature or cesarean delivery. This also makes you tend to gain more weight after pregnancy. Women who start pregnancy with overweight are at higher risk to start breast feeding. Additionally children whose mothers are overweight from start of pregnancy are likely to become obese themselves.

Tips to Slow Your Weight Gain

Bear in mind pregnant women needs about 2500 calories per day; so eat sensibly. Include five portions of fruits, vegetables and foods from all major groups each day.

  • Carbohydrates: It should include about 55% of your calories. This comes from rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, chapattis and cereals. Whole wheat products are better than refines ones to keep your blood sugar steady and make you feel fuller.
  • Dairy Products: This should comprise of about 35% of your calories. Include milk, butter, cheese and fats from nuts.
  • Proteins: This should be about 10% of your calories. It comes from pulses, fish and meat.
  • Avoid using salt while cooking, it retains water. Cook in healthy way; baking, grilling, boiling and broiling are healthy preparation methods.
  • Walking and swimming is safe for pregnant women.


You can have occasional ice cream or chocolate treat, but the extra weight you put on during pregnancy shows off after delivering your baby. It could pose a tough task to lose weight in the early months of motherhood. It takes nine months to put on the weight so it can take longer to lose it.

A healthy diet along with exercise is best way to lose weight after pregnancy. Do not hasten to start losing weight right away. Being a mother to newborn requires lot of energy. Be patient and give chance to your body, you’ll be surprised to lose weight naturally.



Contributor : Evan Jensen ()

This Article Has Been Published on November 26, 2013 and Last Modified on September 8, 2015

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He specializes in writing about diet, nutrition, exercise and preventive care. He personally has participated in Marathons, Mountain Endurance Races and many other sporting activities.

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