How much weight gain is expected during pregnancy?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 07, 2011

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Gaining right amount of weight during pregnancy is an indication that your baby is getting all the required nutrients and is growing at healthy rate. Women are often seen worried about the weight gain during pregnancy. There is no fixed criterion for pregnancy weight gain. It largely depends on your weight before conceiving and your body mass index (BMI) i.e. your weight in proportion to your height.

Weight gain expected during healthy pregnancy is three to five pounds in first trimester, and one to two pounds on weekly basis in the second and third trimester. Every pregnancy is different so the weight you should gain depends on various factors. According to the guidelines of Institute of Medicine (IOM), the amount of weight during pregnancy depends on your BMI. They further state the following:

  • Normal weight (BMI between 18.5 to 24.5)- A healthy woman is expected to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
  • Underweight women (with BMI below 18.5) are expected to gain 28 to 40 pounds. If you are underweight it becomes essential for you to gain reasonable amount of weight while you are pregnant.
  • Overweight women (BMI between 25 to 29.5) just need to gain 15 to 25 pounds in pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, overweight women must not try to lose their extra flab during pregnancy.
  • If you are pregnant with twins or triplets then the expected weight gain obviously goes up.

It is important to go with the recommendations of your health care provider. If you gain weight in the required proportion then you are supporting health of your baby. This will also help you to easily come back to your normal self after pregnancy.

Studies have shown that the women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy are more likely to have cesarean section. Moreover, the overweight women also face trouble in breastfeeding their baby. Extra weight during pregnancy can lead to high birth weight, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Moreover, if a pregnant women gain too much weight then it is difficult to get rid of it post- pregnancy. On the contrary if you are not able to gain healthy weight during pregnancy then you are at risk of various fetal problems, low birth weight being one of the common outputs.


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