Weight Gain

Photo of a doctor weighing a patient

If you have ever thought about going on a diet to lose weight, pregnancy is not the time to do this.  Even if you weigh more than your health care provider says you should, you will still need to gain some weight during your pregnancy.

The question is:

Just how much weight should I gain?

How much weight you should gain depends on your weight at the start of your pregnancy. 

If you are under the weight your health care provider says you should be, then you will need to gain about 28-40 pounds during your pregnancy.

If you are the weight your health care provider says you should be, then you will need to gain about 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy.

If you are over the weight your health care provider says you should be, then you will not need to gain much weight at all. The weight you do gain will be the weight of the baby.

Most of the weight you gain will not happen until the third trimester (near the end) of your pregnancy. 

The United States Department of Agriculture has a tool that will help you find out how much weight you should gain while you are pregnant.

Directions: Click on the link below. Enter your height and weight that you were before you became pregnant. Click “submit” and you will see about how much weight you should gain. It is not an exact amount or perfect answer, but it will give you an idea of how much weight you should gain.

Find out How Much Weight You Should Gain

Remember:

  • Visit your health care provider often so they can see how much weight you are gaining.
  • If you are pregnant with twins, triplets, or more, your weight gain needs will be different.
  • Talk with your health care provider about how much weight gain is right for you!

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2011). Nutrition during pregnancy. Available at http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp001.cfm

Institute of Medicine (2009). Weight gain during pregnancy: reexamining the guidelines. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Kaiser, L. L., & Allen, L. (2008). Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition and lifestyle for healthy pregnancy outcomes. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108, 553-561. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.01.030

U.S. Department of Agriculture (2011). MyPlate. Available from http://www.choosemyplate.gov

This page was last updated: July 19, 2013

         
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