How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

To learn more about our pregnancy and delivery care, call us today at Alan Patterson, MD, send us a message here on our websi

It’s a big concern for many new moms-to-be: How will being pregnant change my body? Pregnancy is a time when weight gain is important for the health of your baby, but what’s normal when it comes to pregnancy weight gain can be confusing.

You should be prepared to gain weight, but how much you should gain depends on your unique body and pregnancy. Gaining too much weight can put you at increased risk for gestational diabetes, along with labor and delivery complications. Gaining too little weight increases your baby’s risk for premature birth. 

How and when you gain weight matters, too. Most moms gain little to no weight in the first trimester and more weight in the second and third. Eating a well-rounded diet throughout pregnancy is crucial to ensure your baby gets the proper nutrition needed to grow and develop.

For answers to all of your questions and the best in comprehensive pregnancy care, turn to Alan Patterson, MD, and our team. Learn more about how much weight you should gain when you’re pregnant, and make your first appointment at our office by calling or booking online today.

Your pre-pregnancy weight guides your weight gain

To get an idea of how much weight you should gain while you’re pregnant, you need to understand your pre-pregnancy weight. Your BMI, or body mass index, is a medical measurement that is based on the relationship between your height and weight. 

BMI measurements are used to determine whether you’re underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. Calculate your BMI, then use this guide as a reference:

In general, women who are within the normal BMI range should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. Women who are underweight before pregnancy should gain more weight, about 28-35 pounds

Women who are overweight or obese pre-pregnancy should expect to gain less. It’s recommended that overweight women gain between 15-25 pounds, and obese women gain 11-20 pounds. 

Every pregnancy is different, and Dr. Patterson helps each patient understand if her weight gain is on track throughout pregnancy. If you’re carrying multiples, expect your recommended weight gain to increase.

When and how to gain pregnancy weight

Some moms-to-be are surprised to learn that very little weight gain occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. In fact, your baby is only about the size of a peach at the end of your first trimester. If you were at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy, expect to gain 1-5 pounds in the first three months of pregnancy. 

Your baby grows to the size of a zucchini during the second trimester. Most women gain about 1-1.5 pounds per week during this trimester, for a total of about 12-14 pounds. During the second trimester, Dr. Patterson often recommends eating an extra 300 calories a day.

During your third trimester, your baby grows a lot and prepares to be born, but your weight gain shouldn’t increase much. You can expect to gain no more than a pound per week, and you should consume an extra 300-450 calories a day. At the end of your third trimester, your baby is the size of a watermelon.

As your baby grows during pregnancy, it’s important to eat a balanced diet. Your baby needs a steady amount of calories to develop, so pacing your food intake throughout the day and your weight gain throughout pregnancy is better for you both. 

Let us help you navigate pregnancy. To learn more about our pregnancy and delivery care, call us today at Alan Patterson, MD, send us a message here on our website, or use the online booking feature to schedule your appointment.

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