How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?

It’s expected and encouraged that you gain weight during pregnancy, but how much is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, and where is all the extra weight coming from?

By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton, Chief Medical Advisor, Natalist

Gaining healthy weight is a necessary part of pregnancy and helps to avoid pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and more. Your pre-pregnancy weight will play a role in how much you should gain during pregnancy, but on average you can expect to gain up to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Let’s break down where this weight is going and how you can best support your body during pregnancy.

Recommended weight gain by trimester

Pre-pregnancy weight has a lot to do with pregnancy weight gain. If you were underweight before getting pregnant, you’ll need to gain more, and if you were overweight before pregnancy, you’ll likely gain a little less weight.

Trimester specific weight gain for a woman with a normal BMI should look something like this:

  • First trimester: 1–4.5 pounds
  • Second trimester: 1–2 pounds per week
  • Third trimester: 1–2 pounds per week

Where is all this weight going?

A woman with an average BMI will gain around 30–35 pounds during pregnancy. Let’s break down exactly where all this weight is going:

  • 7.5 pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
  • 1.5 pounds is how much the placenta weighs.
  • 4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of the uterus.
  • 2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue.

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