Pregnancy Weight Gain

Normal Weight Gain in pregnancy

Most women should gain approximately between 25 to 35 pounds which is nearly to 11.5 to 16 kilograms during the pregnancy. Some will gain weight 2 to 4 pounds (1-2 kilograms) during the first trimester, and then 1 pound (0.5kilograms) a week for the rest of the pregnancy. The amount of weight gain depends on the condition of the mother. 

Overweight women need to gain (15-20 pounds or 7-11 kilograms or less, depending on their pre pregnancy weight).

Underweight women will need to gain more weight like 28-40 pounds or 13-18 kilograms.

You should gain more weight if you having more than 1 baby. Women having twins need to gain 37-54 pounds or 16.5-24 kilograms.  

A balance diet like nutrients along with exercise is the basis for a healthy pregnancy. For most pregnant women the correct amount of calories is:

  • 1850 calories per day in the 1st 3 months of pregnancy
  • 2300 calories per day in the 2nd 3 months of pregnancy
  • 2500 calories per day in the 3rd months of pregnancy

Causes of weight gain in pregnancy:

Much of the weight that will gain during thepregnancy is not fat, but is related to the baby. Here is a breakdown of how 35 pounds or 16kilograms adds up:

  • Baby: 8 pounds (3.5 kilograms)
  • Placenta: 2-3 pounds (1-1.5 kilograms)
  • Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds (1-1.5 kilograms)
  • Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds (1-1.5 kilograms)
  • Blood supply: 4 pounds (2 kilograms)
  • Fat stores: 5-9 pounds (2.5-4 kilograms)
  • Uterus growth: 2-5 pounds (1-2.5 kilograms)

Managing pregnancy weight gain:

Some women are already gaining more weight when they get pregnant. Other women gain weight too fast during their pregnancy. Either way, pregnant women should not go on a diet or try to lose weight during pregnancy. It is better to focus on the eating the right foods and staying active. If you do not gain much weight in pregnancy, mother and the baby may have some issues.

Still you can make changes in the diet to get the nutrients you need without gaining too much weight. Talk to the health care provider to get help with planning a healthy diet.  

Here some healthy eating tips to help you get started:

Healthy choices:

Fresh fruits and vegetables make good snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fats. 

Take breads, crackers, and cereals made with whole grains. 

Choose reduced fat dairy products. Need at least 4 serving of milk products every day. However, using skim1% or 2% milk will greatly reduce the amount of calories and fat eat. Also can take low fat or fat free cheese or yogurt. 

Foods to avoid:

  • Naturally sweetened is good foods compared with drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Food and drinks that list sugar or com syrup as one of the first ingredients are not good choices.
  • Many sweetened drinks are high in calories. Substitute water for sodas and fruits drinks. 
  • Avoid junk food snacks, such as chips, candy, cookies and ice cream. The best way to keep from eating junk food or other unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in house. 
  • Go light on fats include cooking oils, margarine, butter, gravy, sauces, mayonnaise, regular salad dressing, lard, sour cream, and cream cheese. Try the lower fat version of these foods. 

Eating out: 

  • Knowing the amount of calories, fat, and salt in food can help to eat healthier. 
  • Eat at place that offers salads, soups, and vegetables. 
  • Avoid fast foods. 

Cooking at home:

  • Prepare meals with low fat cooking techniques.
  • Avoid fried foods. Frying foods in oil or butter will increase the calories and fat of the meals. 
  • Baking, broiling, grilling and boiling are healthier, lower fat methods of taking.


  • Moderate exercise as recommended by provider, can help burn extra calories. 
  • Walking and swimming are generally safe, effective exercise for pregnant women. 
  • Be sure to consult with health care provider before starting an exercise program.

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