How Much Weight Gain During Pregnancy is Normal?

How Much Weight Gain During Pregnancy is Normal?

weight gain during pregnancyHow many times have you heard the phrase ‘You are eating for two’ during your pregnancy? While it is true that you are eating both for yourself and your baby, your pregnancy shouldn’t lead to unhealthy or abnormal weight gain.

Expect to gain weight during your pregnancy, of course. However, by sticking to the right daily calorie intake level, you can ensure that you and your baby stay healthy during your pregnancy without you having to worry about pesky unnecessary extra pounds. These extra pounds can be quite hard to lose after you give birth.

Keep the following discussion in mind when trying to determine how many extra daily calories you need for optimum health during your pregnancy.

Average Extra Calorie Intake for Pregnant Women

Normally, the average pregnant woman needs to take in approximately 300 more calories daily during pregnancy, compared to her diet before she became pregnant. By sticking to this calorie schedule, you achieve two things: you gain just enough weight during your pregnancy to ensure the health of your baby, and you make post-birth weight loss easier.

Why Do You Need To Eat Extra Calories During Pregnancy?

Obviously, you need to increase your food intake during pregnancy since you’re feeding your child. However, not all those extra calories go to your child. Just so you have a clear idea as to where those extra calories are going during your pregnancy, here is a breakdown.

Your baby should take up about 8 pounds of your weight gain while the placenta will normally weigh in at 2 to 3 pounds. The rest of the weight gain is divided among the following changes to your body: increased breast tissue, higher blood supply, amniotic fluid, increased fat for energy during breastfeeding and delivery, and the weight of a larger uterus.

So How Much Extra Weight Should You Expect To Gain During A Normal Pregnancy?

The only person who can give you a precise answer as to what is ‘normal’ weight gain for you during pregnancy is your primary health care provider, since your doctor knows the particulars of your case and knows your health history. However, as a rule of thumb, gauging the amount of normal-weight gain during pregnancy depends on your weight before you got pregnant.

If you are of average weight before you got pregnant, gaining 25 to 35 pounds is considered normal. However, if you were a bit on the light side before you got pregnant, weight gain of 28 to 40 pounds is fine. If you were on the heavy side before pregnancy, the normal range of weight gain is only 15 to 25 pounds.

Normal Rate of Weight Gain

Of course, all this pregnancy-related weight gain doesn’t happen all at once. It doesn’t hit you like a ton of bricks. You gain weight gradually. Initially, during the first trimester, expect to gain 2 to 4 pounds. After this, weight gain becomes more rapid, at about 1 pound a week until you deliver.

As long as you stay within the normal range of weight gain during pregnancy, you should be fine. Since your system needs a lot more calories to provide for and maintain your baby, you need to make sure you eat enough. Your body is finely-tuned though. As long as you stay within a health daily calorie intake range, you can make getting rid of all that pregnancy-related weight much easier once your baby is born.

We’ve had excellent success here at dietMD Hawaii with helping our patients with post-pregnancy weight loss. If you do have trouble shedding extra pounds after birth and you’re in Hawaii, be sure to contact us at (808) 551-4348. It doesn’t have to be difficult to get slim again after pregnancy.

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2 Responses to How Much Weight Gain During Pregnancy is Normal?

  1. JGPangi May 1, 2014 at 4:24 am #

    This is the perfect article for me since my diet is the main topic (after baby, of course) between me and my ob-gyn. I was overweight for my height when I got pregnant, so I’m very wary of gaining too much weight since I know it’ll make it more difficult during delivery.

    However, almost 8 months into the pregnancy, my doctor starts getting worried since baby doesn’t seem to be getting bigger. So far, our measurement is still at 27 inches. This far along, how much weight should I be gaining per week until I give birth?

    • DrBruce May 1, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      I could only reply in generalities. This far along, it’s very important to get specific advice from your own doctor. Best of luck with your pregnancy.

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