Weight Gain During Pregnancy

In May 2009, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) made changes to the guidelines concerning pregnancy weight gain. The last recommendations had been released in 1990 and more research has been conducted on childbearing. Taking into consideration the demographics of the current childbearing woman, the IOM made their new guidelines using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) body mass index (BMI) as the starting point. These new guidelines give women a clear range of what a healthy weight gain looks like, in order to help them avoid pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Facts

American Pregnancy Association compiled a list of facts from some of the most authoritative medical studies and resources available on the topic of weight gain during pregnancy.

For women of average weight before pregnancy, with a BMI of 18.5-24.9, the recommended weight gain guideline is 25-35 pounds.Click To Tweet
Women who are underweight pre-pregnancy with a BMI of less than 18.5 should gain between 28-40 lbsClick To Tweet
Overweight women, with a BMI of 25-29 before pregnancy, should gain between 15-25 lbsClick To Tweet
Obese women with a pre-pregnancy BMI of 30+ more should strive for 11-20 lbs weight gainClick To Tweet
Talking to your health care provider about your weight gain is important. Try not to worry if you’re slightly above or below these weights.

The Right Nutrition is Key

Making sure you have a well-rounded diet is really important during your pregnancy. Eating healthy meals will allow you to gain the weight you need to provide crucial nourishment for your child.
Putting on the weight that is unnecessary is easy to do if you are eating junk food that is traditionally much higher in sugar and fat.
Watching what you eat and the sources of your foods and known side effect to every single thing you put in your body are mandatory. Everything you consume gets passed on to your child.

If you're eating unhealthy food when you are pregnant, your baby is eating unhealthy food.Click To Tweet
A pregnant woman of normal weight, who gets less than 30 minutes of exercise a week should strive for a caloric intake of:

These calories should be attained by eating a diet of grains, dairy, protein, fruits/vegetables, and healthy fats and oils.
Limiting processed foods, sugars and extra fats can help you attain your goals.

Average Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart

  • 7 1/2 pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
  • 1 1/2 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.
  • 4 pounds is because of increased blood volume.
  • 7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein, and other nutrients.
  • 2 pounds for the amniotic fluid.
  • Total: 30 pounds

On a trimester basis in a woman with normal pre-pregnancy weight:

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

Remember this is just an average; you and your health care provider need to decide what is best for you.

Want to Know More?

Compiled using information from the following sources:
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Institute Of Medicine, Report Brief May 2009Weight Gain during Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guideline