3 min read

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy it is expected that the woman will gain weight to properly grow the fetus. However, it can be hard to figure out just how much weight you should ideally gain during your pregnancy.

While you might want to excuse yourself from a diet, thinking you need extra food to nourish you and your little one, it’s still best to keep an eye on your weighing scale for both you and your baby’s health. But you may want a better breakdown- just how much weight should you gain during pregnancy?

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

Some people suggest that you gain between 25-35 pounds when pregnant. However, there are several factors to consider before sticking to that range.

The 25-35 pounds weight gain range is best for those whose body mass index (BMI) is in the normal weight before they got pregnant. Your BMI is measured with your height and weight, so you’ll need to know this before pregnancy to know how many pounds you should gain healthily when expecting.

Refer to this:

  • BMI is less than 18.5 (underweight): Gain 28-40 pounds in total, about 1 pound a week
  • BMI is between 18.5-24.9 (normal weight): Gain 25-35 pounds in total, about 1 pound a week
  • BMI is between 25-29.9 (overweight): Gain 15-25 pounds in total, about 0.6 pounds a week 
  • BMI is over 30 (obese): Gain 11-20 pounds in total, about half a pound a week

Besides your BMI, you should also consider if you’re carrying twins. If so, then here is the recommended weight gain:

  • Underweight: 50-62 pounds
  • Normal weight: 7-52 pounds
  • Overweight: 31-50 pounds
  • Obese: 24-32 pounds

You may also have certain individual conditions that affect how much you should weigh and gain during pregnancy. It’s best that you talk with your doctor about your weight to ensure that you stay healthy and to prepare the body for nursing.

Here’s a breakdown for a typical 30-pounds pregnancy weight gain:

  • Your baby: 7.5 pounds
  • Your placenta: 1.5 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
  • Uterine enlargement: 2 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2 pounds
  • Blood volume: 4 pounds
  • Fluids: 4 pounds
  • Fat stores: 7 pounds

How Much Weight to Gain Per Trimester

You should also keep an eye on how much weight you should gain per trimester, as you shouldn’t pack on the pounds immediately and all at once! This is a recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, made for those with a normal BMI before pregnancy:

Gain only 2-4 pounds during your first trimester, as your baby is still small. You may even lose a bit of weight from morning sickness or a lack of appetite, which is fine, as long as you continue gaining weight in the next six months.

Gain about 12-14 pounds during your second trimester, when your baby is starting to grow.

Gain around 8-10 pounds during the third trimester, which is when the baby starts to weigh more but your weight tapers a bit.

Take note that all of these are just averages and not the exact formula to follow. That is why it’s important to communicate with your doctor. 

Wrapping It Up

While it's crucial to keep an eye on your weight, it will be just as unhealthy if you stress over the weight in itself. As long as your weight during pregnancy is within a healthy range and you gain at a healthy pace, you're right on track. Focus your nutrition on healthy and nutrient-dense foods to keep yourself feeling full and fueled.

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