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

For optimal health, here's how much weight to gain while pregnant.

We all want our bodies to bounce right back after pregnancy. Here is how to stay healthy during pregnancy.

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.

How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?

First, rate your pre-pregnancy weight using this formula.

5 Feet Tall

  • Underweight: Less than 102 pounds
  • Normal: 102-132 pounds
  • Overweight: 133-147 pounds
  • Obese: More than 148 pounds

5'2"

  • Underweight:  Less than 107 pounds
  • Normal: 107-141 pounds
  • Overweight: 142-157 pounds
  • Obese:  More than 158 pounds

5'4"

  • Underweight: Less than 116 pounds
  • Normal:  116-152 pounds
  • Overweight:  153-170 pounds
  • Obese: More than 171 pounds

5'6"

  • Underweight: Less than 123 pounds
  • Normal:  123-161 pounds
  • Overweight: 162-180 pounds
  • Obese: More than 181 pounds

5'10"

  • Underweight: Less than 138 pounds
  • Normal:  138-181 pounds
  • Overweight: 182-202 pounds
  • Obese: More than 203 pounds

Then use your ranking to figure out how much weight to gain during pregnancy:

  • Underweight before pregnancy: 28-40 pounds

  • Normal weight before pregnancy: 25-35 pounds

  • Overweight before pregnancy: 15-25 pounds

  • Obese before pregnancy: 11-20 pounds

If you’re carrying twins, pregnancy weight gain should vary slightly:

  • Underweight before pregnancy: 50-62 pounds

  • Normal weight before pregnancy: 37-54 pounds

  • Overweight before pregnancy: 31-50 pounds

  • Obese before pregnancy: 25-42 pounds

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Pregnancy Weight Gain By Trimester

First Trimester

  • Gain 0 to 1 1/2 pounds per month for a total of 1-4.5 pounds.

  • Consume the same amount or no more than an extra 150-200 calories a day (for example, a glass of skim milk, and two slices of turkey breast).

Second 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).

Third 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 300-450 calories a day (for example, a cup of low-sodium tomato juice and a small 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 = 7-8 lbs.

  • Placenta = 1.5 lbs.

  • Increased fluid volume = 3-4 lbs.

  • Increased blood volume = 3-4 lbs.

  • Amniotic fluid = 2 lbs.

  • Enlarged uterus = 2 lbs.

  • Enlarged breasts = 2 lbs.

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

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