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Weight Gain During Pregnancy

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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On average, a healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 22-35 pounds for normal weight women. This is usually accomplished 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

Pregnant Woman

Pregnant Woman With Fetus

© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

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.
  • And if you are having multiples (eg, 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 backaches. In addition, your labor and delivery may be longer and more difficult. On the other hand, if you don’t gain enough weight, you baby will not get the nutrients he or she needs to grow and develop properly.


Eating during pregnancy. Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_fit/nutrition/eating_pregnancy.html . Accessed August 1, 2005.

Fit for two: tips for pregnancy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Weight—Control Information Network website. Available at: http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/two.htm . Accessed August 1, 2005.


American Pregnancy Association

Last reviewed May 2007 by Jeff Andrews, MD, FRCSC, FACOG

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.