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Women's Health

How much weight should you gain during pregnancy?

Thu 6th February, 2020

Reviewed by: Dr. Vamsee Thalluri

When it comes to pregnancy, your doctor will recommend the weight gain target that’s right for you. So, regardless of what answer we give you here, make sure you stick with that guideline.

That said, based on general guidelines, what you can expect is a weight gain of between 11.5kg and 16kg.

But it’s not a black and white answer.

Every pregnant body is different and the amount you gain is influenced by your weight before you were pregnant. Whether you’re carrying more than one baby, craving more food than usual, or struck down by morning sickness, these are all things that can change what your expected weight will be.

Where does all the weight typically go?

The longest running best seller for the New York Times, ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ breaks down the weight gain like this (we’ve done the conversion from pounds to kilos for ya!👌🏼)

- Baby - 3.4kg
- Placenta - 0.7
- Amniotic fluid - 0.9
- Uterine enlargement - 0.9
- Mum’s breast tissue - 0.9
- Mum’s blood volume - 1.8
- Fluid in mum’s tissue - 1.8
- Mum’s fat stores - 3.17
- Total average - 13.6kg

Again, take this with a grain of salt. Every woman is different.

How much weight can I expect to put on?

Well, 13.6kg is a good start. If you’re having twins or triplets, you can expect 11-24kg.

But there are useful guidelines that give pregnant women an idea of how much weight they can expect to gain, which has something to do with your Body Mass Index (BMI).

According to Diabetes Australia, about one in three women start their pregnancy overweight. This can cause problems for both the mother and the baby. It’s recommended to start your pregnancy when you are within the healthy weight range, which means a BMI of 18.5 - 24.9.

How much can I gain based on my current weight?

According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the recommended amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy is based on your BMI before you become pregnant. Again, if you have questions about this, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

● If your your pre-pregnancy BMI is less than 18.5, your recommended weight gain is 12.5 to 18kg;
● If your pre-pregnancy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, your recommended weight gain is 11.5 to 16kg;
● If your pre-pregnancy BMI is 25 to 29.9, your recommended weight gain is 7 to 11.5kg;
● If your pre-pregnancy BMI is above 30, your recommended weight gain is 5 to 9kg.

Use this calculator to check your BMI

How much weight is normal to put on during each trimester?

Trimester 1 (up to 3 months): All women can expect to gain 1-2kg.

Trimester 2 and 3 (3-9months): The rate of weight gain is dependent on your BMI before becoming pregnant:

● BMI <18.5: 500g per week;
● BMI 18.5 to 24.9: 400g per week;
● BMI above 25: less than 300g per week.

The weight red flags

If you notice that you’re suddenly packing on the weight, particularly in the second and third trimester, check in with your doctor – especially if you notice severe swelling in the legs and feet, or puffiness in your face and hands.

This also goes for when you are gaining no weight for more than two weeks in a row between the 4-8 month mark of your pregnancy (unless your doctor has you on a schedule to lose weight).