Pregnancy and Weight Gain
Pregnancy and Weight Gain
Weight gain is a normal part of pregnancy and is needed for your baby’s health. A woman who does not gain enough weight is more likely to have a low birth weight baby. A baby who weighs less than 2.5 kg (5.5 lb.) often has to stay in hospital longer and is at more risk of major health problems. Gaining too much weight can make delivery more difficult. The excess weight can also be difficult to lose after pregnancy. The type and amount of food you eat affects the health and weight gain of you and your baby.
If you were a healthy weight (BMI of 20 to 27) before pregnancy
- The recommended weight gain for a healthy baby depends on your weight before pregnancy. Check the body mass index (BMI) chart to see if your pre-pregnancy weight was within the healthy weight range.
- Most women can eat according to their appetite. If you are gaining too much or too little weight you may need to change what you are eating. You may need a referral to a registered dietitian.
- Your weight gain should be gradual and steady.
- Any sudden change in weight should be discussed with your doctor.
- Dieting is not safe in pregnancy.
- Short women should aim for the lower end of the weight gain recommendation for their BMI category.
If you were underweight (BMI of less than 20) before pregnancy
- Recommended total weight gain is 11.5 to 16 kg (25-35 lb.).
- In the first trimester, women typically gain between 1.0 and 3.5 Kg (2-8 lb.).
- A good rate of gain after the 1st trimester is approximately 0.4 Kg (0.75 lb.) each week.
If you were overweight (BMI of more than 27) before pregnancy
- Recommended total weight gain is 12.5 to 18 kg (28-40 lb.).
- A good rate of gain after the first trimester on average is 0.5 kg (1.0 lb.) each week.
- Recommended total weight gain is 7 to 11.5 kg (15-25 lb.).
- A good rate of gain after the first trimester on average is 0.3 kg (0.5 lb.) each week.
- Recommended total weight gain is 16 to 20.5 kg (35-45 lb.).
- A good rate of gain after the first trimester on average is 0.7 kg (1.5 lb.) each week.
- Women carrying triplets should gain 20.5-30 kg (45-65 lb.) by delivery or about 1 kg (2.2 lb.) each week.
- Although the BMI is not recommended as a tool to assess the weight status of adolescents, it may be used with pregnant adolescents who have been having their periods for at least two years to determine appropriate weight-gain recommendations. If you are pregnant and have been having your periods for less than two years, consult your doctor.