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Pregnancy Weight Gain

Pregnancy Weight Gain

During pregnancy, many women are concerned with the amount of weight they gain. Eating a well balanced and healthy diet during the pregnancy is good. It allows the mother to stop the cravings and provides the baby with the proper amount of nutrients they need to grow. “Eating for two” is not necessary for the baby to grow at a healthy rate. Of course, the mother does need extra calories from nutrient-rich foods to help the baby grow, but this shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. Usually 100-300 extra calories per day is all a woman needs.

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

This will depend on your doctor’s recommendations. They usually base their judgment on the mother’s weight before pregnancy, or during the early, early weeks.

  • Average women should only gain 25-35 total pounds during pregnancy
  • Underweight women should only gain 28-40 total pounds during pregnancy
  • Overweight women should only gain 15-25 total pounds during pregnancy

The pregnant mother should generally gain 2-4 pounds during the first three months of pregnancy, and one pound every week after that until the baby is born. If the expectant mother is carrying twins, she should gain a total of 35-40 pounds which equals out to 1 ½ pounds per week after the initial weight gain in the first three months.

It’s never safe to lose weight during the pregnancy. Eating 5-6 small, nutrient-rich meals per day will help keep the mother and growing baby on track. If you feel like you’ve gained too much weight during the pregnancy, do not try to lose it. Just begin to eat the proper amounts of suggested foods your doctor recommends, exercise and continue the pregnancy with minimal, yet important changes.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart

This chart isn’t exact, however in most cases the weight generally gains in other places other than the actual baby.

  • Baby = 8 pounds
  • Placenta = 2-3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid = 2-3 pounds
  • Breast tissue = 2-3 pounds
  • Blood supply = 4 pounds
  • Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding = 5-9 pounds
  • Uterus increase = 2-5 pounds
  • Total = 25 to 35 pounds

Tips To Gain Right Amount of Weight

There are many things you can do reduce the amount of “bad” foods you intake during pregnancy. Reducing or avoiding whole milk products will help you reduce the amount of calories and fats you take in. Avoid adding salt to your meals, either before cooking or after cooking. Salt only makes you retain water, which will lead to weight gain. Use fats selectively. These fats include cooking oils, margarine, butter, gravy, sauces, mayonnaise, regular salad dressings, sauces, lard, sour cream, and cream cheese. Using lower fat substitutes that are available for these foods is recommended. If you happen to be out and stop at a fast food restaurant, try avoiding foods such as French fries, mozzarella sticks and breaded meats. Charbroiled chicken, salads, yogurt, plain bagels and bake potatoes will help reduce hunger while maintaining a balanced diet.

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[Page updated April 2015]