On average, a healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 22-35 pounds for normal weight women. This is usually reached by gaining 4-6 pounds during the first trimester, and about two-thirds to one pound a week during the second and third trimesters.
Where does this weight come from? According to the Nemours Foundation, this is how a 30-pound pregnancy weight gain is typically distributed:
- 7.5 pounds: your baby’s weight
- 1.5 pounds: the placenta
- 2 pounds: enlargement of your uterus
- 2 pounds: amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
- 2 pounds: breast enlargement
- 4 pounds: your extra blood
- 2-7 pounds: your extra stored nutrients
- 1-4 pounds: your extra body fluids
Keep in mind that pregnancy weight gain may vary.
- If you are underweight, you should gain 27-35+ pounds.
- If you are overweight, you should gain 15-25 pounds.
- If you are obese, you should gain about 15 pounds or less.
- If you are having multiples (twins, triplets), you will gain more weight, so talk to your doctor about the amount of weight gain that will be best for you.
If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, you will be at increased risk of complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation, and back pain. In addition, your labor and delivery may be longer and more difficult. You may also be at increased risk of needing a cesarean section.
If you don’t gain enough weight, your baby will not get the nutrients needed to grow and develop properly.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -