Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain - Baby Chick

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain

pregnancyUpdated August 18, 2020

by Kate Horney

Pre & Postnatal Fitness Specialist


How much weight should you expect to gain during pregnancy?

This is a question that comes up from many pregnant moms who want to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy.

You should always ask your physician how much weight you should gain, as each mom and baby is different. But in general, if you’re a woman who was average weight before getting pregnant, your aim should be to gain somewhere between 25 to 35 pounds after becoming pregnant. 

Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds, and overweight women may need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy to be considered at a healthy pregnancy weight.

In a normal pregnancy, healthy pregnancy weight gain is broken down as follows:

  • Baby: 8 pounds
  • Placenta: 2-3 pounds
  • Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
  • Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds
  • Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
  • Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds

Total: 25-35 pounds

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain: Timing

In addition to tracking overall pregnancy weight gain, it’s helpful to consider the timing of your healthy pregnancy weight gain. Many women are sick during the first trimester and don’t end up gaining much (if any) weight at all.

But whether you were barely able to gain an ounce during the first trimester (think: crazy morning sickness) or you gained a few more pounds than you care to admit (think: tons of comforting carbs for the queasy tummy), our babies should be our top priority, so when you hit the second trimester, your body should be healthily gaining weight.

Starting in the second trimester, your baby’s getting bigger and bigger, and consequently, you should be too.

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain: Tracking

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is a sign of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy, growing baby. It’s not something to be feared.

But with that said, just because you’re growing a baby doesn’t mean you get a free pass to stuff our faces with donuts and pizza all day . . .

As with many things, balance is key. Though you do need extra calories to support a healthy pregnancy, it’s not necessary to ”eat for two,” as many women are told. The average pregnant woman needs only about 300 healthy calories more a day than she did before she was pregnant. This will help you ensure that you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.

It’s never healthy or safe to diet during pregnancy, so keeping weight in check and knowing where you’re at regularly is a great way to prevent things from getting too out of hand.

Make slow and steady your motto and aim for a weekly weight gain of about one pound.

If you weigh in at home, once a week (or once every other week) is plenty, just make sure you do it consistently–at about the same time and under about the same conditions (undressed, right after getting up, for instance). Or leave the weigh-ins to your monthly prenatal visits.

Your baby is a REASON to make a healthy choices priority . . . not an excuse for why you can’t!

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