Pregnancy Weight Gain: How Much Is Too Much + Ways To Avoid Excess Weight Gain

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It’s hard enough to try and keep the extra pounds off when you’re not pregnant.

But when you’re pregnant, you have to gain a certain amount of extra weight in order to keep yourself and your baby healthy:

  • If your pre-pregnancy weight was in the healthy range for your height (a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9), you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds, gaining 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of your pregnancy for the optimal growth of your baby.
  • If you were underweight for your height at conception (a BMI below 18.5), you should gain 28 to 40 pounds.
  • If you were overweight for your height (a BMI of 25 to 29.9), you should gain 15 to 25 pounds. If you were obese (a BMI of 30 or higher), you should gain between 11 and 20 pounds.
  • If you’re having twins, you should gain 37 to 54 pounds if you started at a healthy weight, 31 to 50 pounds if you were overweight, and 25 to 42 pounds if you were obese

While it can be difficult to keep the excess pounds off when you’re pregnant, there are some things you can do… 


Tips For Avoiding Excessive Pregnancy Weight Gain

Tips from

  • Don’t skip meals, and that includes breakfast.
  • Have all your meals for the day planned in the morning.
  • Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in sugars and fats.
  • Don’t eat fried foods. Instead, steam, broil or bake your foods. Oh, and be sure to ask when you’re eating out how your food is being prepared so you don’t wind up with something fried by accident.
  • Make sure your tummy is full before you go shopping. There’s nothing worse than shopping on an empty stomach because you will buy far more than if your stomach is full.
  • If you’re going to be attending a party or any kind of social gathering, eat before you go. This way, you won’t be tempted to overeat foods that are on your list of no-no foods.
  • If you go to the movies, smuggle some fruit in your purse or bag along with a bottle of water. Nearly everything that you can purchase to eat at the movies is loaded with sugars and fats.
  • Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the less you will need to eat because you will become full sooner. That way, you will be less likely to accidentally overeat.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking 8 glasses a day is good.
  • Stay away from people who push you to overeat. For some reason many people seem to think that pregnant women can eat whatever they want, and as much of it. These people will think nothing of encouraging you to overeat.


See how much weight you should gain based on your pre-pregnancy weight and height with this Pregnancy Weight Gain Estimator.


Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?

According to WebMD, the weight is distributed in the following ways:

Baby = 8 pounds

Placenta = 2 to 3 pounds

Amniotic fluid = 2 to 3 pounds

Breast tissue = 2 to 3 pounds

Blood supply = 4 pounds

Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding = 5 to 9 pounds

Uterus increase = 2 to 5 pounds

TOTAL = 25 to 35 pounds


If You Were Overweight Before Getting Pregnant

There are a whole host of dangers that pregnant women who are also obese or overweight are likely to experience.

A few of the problems include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and larger babies.

Here are 4 things you can do to help yourself if you want to get pregnant (or if you’re already pregnant) and you are overweight:

  • Get a medical evaluation by a doctor.
  • Talk to a dietitian and learn what to eat.
  • Add some moderate physical activity to your routine.
  • Work on modifying your behavior and the habits that led to you becoming overweight.

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