Pregnancy Weight Gain: What's Normal, What's Not

Pregnancy is one time in your life when you have to pack on the pounds. But it's important to keep your weight within a healthy range for your body type. Here are are some general guidelines to keep your weight gain on track.
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need

How Much Weight Should You Gain, Total?

Pregnancy is one time in your life when it's perfectly acceptable to put on pounds. But it's important to have slow and steady gain and to keep your weight within healthy range for your body type. Here are some general guidelines -- be sure to ask your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

Total Weight Gain During Pregnancy

pregnant woman on scale

Photolibrary/Matton

If you were...

Underweight before pregnancy: 28-40 pounds

Normal weight before pregnancy: 25-35 pounds

Overweight before pregnancy: 15-25 pounds

Obese before pregnancy: 15

Carrying twins: 35-45

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 1st Trimester?

  • Gain 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per month for a total of 3-5 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 200 calories a day (for example, a glass of skim milk, and two slices of turkey breast).

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 2nd Trimester?

  • Gain about 1 pound per week for a total of 12 to 14 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 300 calories a day (for example, a cup of carrot-orange juice and a cup of low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt).

How Much Weight Should You Gain in the 3rd Trimester?

  • Gain 3/4 to 1 pound per week (weight gain often slows during the last month) for a total of 10 to 14 pounds.
  • Consume an extra 300-500 calories a day (for example, a cup of low-sodium tomato juice and a whole-grain bagel spread with low-fat cream cheese).

Where Does the Pregnancy Weight Go?

In an average pregnancy, weight gain is distributed as follows:

Baby -- 6-8 lbs.

Placenta -- 1-2 lbs.

Increased fluid volume -- 2-3 lbs.

Increased blood volume -- 3-4 lbs.

Amniotic fluid -- 2 lbs.

Enlarged uterus -- 2 lbs.

Enlarged breasts -- 1-2 lbs.

Stored fat and protein (important for lactation) -- 6-8 lbs.

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All content, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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