What is the Average Weight Gain During Pregnancy? 0

In the good old days, everyone recommended that a woman eat for two when she was pregnant. Times have changed though, and the new recommendations are quite different. Women are advised to follow a healthy eating plan, exercise regularly and only gain as much as is absolutely necessary. So, how much weight is considered healthy in the pregnancy circles? Follow along as we explore the answer to this question.

In pregnancy, healthy weight gain can vary significantly from woman to woman. For some, gaining only ten or fifteen pounds, and for others, gaining as much as thirty or forty pounds is considered healthy. In most cases, the key to figuring out where on this spectrum you should land has a lot to do with your weight before pregnancy begins. For women who are overweight, a minimal weight gain is advised. For women who are underweight, gaining more throughout the pregnancy is considered healthy by most obstetricians.

  • Underweight (BMI less than 18.5) – Gain 28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)
  • Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) – Gain 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)
  • Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) – Gain 15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)
  • Obese (BMI 30 or more) – Gain 11 to 20 pounds (about 5 to 9 kilograms)

Chart taken from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-weight-gain/PR00111

When it comes to gaining weight, each trimester offers something different. In the first trimester, most women are plagued by morning sickness and few cravings exist. This often leads to a minimal weight gain, sometimes so minimal that a woman doesn’t even know she is pregnant until more than half way through the first trimester.

The second trimester is when a woman often feels her best, and this is also when the cravings start to kick in. For some women, this is also a time of significant weight gain, even up to a pound or two a week. While this is the time when a woman is often feeling great and really wants to eat, it is also a time when most obstetricians will advise a woman watches her weight. High weight gain in the second trimester, unless medically advised, can lead to problems like gestational diabetes and blood pressure concerns. A woman who watches her weight and continues to exercise regularly will reduce her risk of falling victim to such ailments, and that is the best way to keep both mama and the baby healthy.

In the third trimester, the weight often starts to increase at the most significant levels. This is when your baby is growing the most, and much of the weight gain is actually the baby’s body weight. For many women, gaining a pound a week is considered normal, and many obstetricians will advise this unless the mother was significantly overweight before the pregnancy began. Still a woman should not consider this the time to eat away and gain as much as she pleases, as weight gain that is too significant can lead to problems during delivery, and a baby who is too heavy at the time of birth can face blood sugar problems and other such concerns.

Weight gain during pregnancy is very individual, and it is always best to consult with your obstetrician to learn the correct numbers for you. The overall rule however is to eat healthy and continue to exercise whenever possible. Do this and you will help to keep yourself and your baby healthy and happy.