Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Proper nutrition is one of the best ways to give your baby a healthy start. If you've always been a healthy eater this may come easy to you. For others, this may be more challenging. How much weight you should gain varies depending what your weight is at the start of pregnancy. If you are starting out your pregnancy at your ideal body weight, then you should aim for a weight gain between 25 and 35 pounds

What if I'm overweight?

If you are starting your pregnancy overweight, 15 to 25 pounds is the recommended weight gain. If you are obese, your doctor may aim for a lower goal of 15 pounds or less. Moreover, if you are concerned about your starting weight, work with your doctor to establish a personal weight gain goal.

What if I'm underweight?

If you are below your ideal weight, you will want to gain enough weight to reach your ideal weight and gain an additional 25 to 35 pounds. Inadequate nutrition and poor weight gain, put your baby at risk for low birth weight and premature birth. If you are having difficulty gaining weight work with your doctor on healthy ways to increase your caloric intake.

How much weight should I gain in each trimester?

The majority of your weight should be gained in the second and third trimester. In your first trimester you may find that you do not gain weight and some actually lose weight. This is not ideal, but it is also not abnormal. You should attempt to eat small, frequent meals. This should help with adequate weight gain. You should expect to gain 3 to 5 pounds in your first trimester.

Your second and third trimesters, you should expect more rapid weight gain, typically 10 to 15 pounds in each trimester.

Where does it all go?

Although you are eating for two, the added weight does not all go to baby. Some of your weight will be due to increased blood volume, some to the placenta, and some to breast tissue and maternal stores.

Breakdown of Weight Gain in Pregnancy

7 lbs

4 lbs
placenta, & amniotic fluid

2 lbs

4 lbs
blood volume

3 lbs
breast tissue

5-10 lbs
maternal stores