The Inevitable Weight Gain During Pregnancy

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

All of us are weight conscious, aren’t we? And all of us tend to worry when it comes to the issue of gaining weight during pregnancy. A healthy diet and a regular exercise regime will make your baby get all the necessary nutrition for growth and development, and contrary to the popular belief of eating for two during pregnancy, all you need is some extra calories.

On one hand, we feel tensed at the idea of bloating up and not fitting into those lovely slim-fit jeans, and on the other, we feel comforted that a good weight gain shows the healthy growth of the little one. It’s actually a catch-22 situation. Why is it so necessary to gain weight gradually during pregnancy? Read on for answers to some similar questions.

In This Article

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

As a matter of fact, your weight gain during pregnancy will depend on how much you weighed at conception, and how appropriate your weight is considering your height and age. Pregnancy is by no means a license to eat twice as much if you refer to the old wives’ tale of ‘eating for two’. The trick here is to eat well, eat healthily and eat appropriately to provide your baby in the womb with all the essential nutrients that he or she needs to develop. There is no fixed limit on the weight you should gain as it differs from person to person and the body mass index (BMI).

However, it can be safely said that the average weight gain during pregnancy is 10-12 kgs. Here is the timeline. In the first trimester, the weight gain is hardly perceptible (0.7 to 1.4 kgs), you may gain around 4 kgs. In the second trimester and in the third trimester, you may gain 6- 8 kgs. Putting it in weeks, you might gain around 4 kgs in the first 20 weeks and almost 8 kgs in the remaining weeks.

Pregnancy Weight Gain by BMI

Here is pregnancy weight gain guidelines as per your BMI, however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain.

BMI Pregnancy Weight Gain Guideline
BMI < 18.5 You are Underweight and should gain about 13-18 kgs
BMI is 18.5-24 You are Normal and should gain about 11-16 kgs
BMI is 25-29 You are Overweight and should gain about 7-11 kgs
BMI > 30 You are Obese and should gain about 5-9 kgs

Pregnancy Weight Gain Distribution

Pregnant woman in weighing machine

The extra weight that you put on during your pregnancy gets distributed between your body, the baby, placenta, uterus, and amniotic fluid. Take the cue from the below distribution of weight gain during pregnancy for a BMI of 25.

  • Your breasts, placenta, and uterus will grow up to 900 gms to 1 kg in weight individually.
  • The amniotic fluid takes about 1.3 kgs of weight gain.
  • Your blood and body fluids take about 1.3 to 1.8 kg of weight individually.
  • The store’s fats and proteins to the tune of 3.6 to 4.5 kgs.
  • The baby takes about 2.72 to 3.6 kgs.

Why is it Important to Gain Weight During Pregnancy?

Weight gain is the single most efficient parameter for monitoring a normal pregnancy. That is why it is recorded every time you visit your doctor. If you are underweight during pregnancy or if your weight gain is very slow, it may be an indication of poor growth of your baby.

In such a case, you will need to have a more healthy and nutritious diet and take better care of yourself. If your weight is increasing rapidly, then it may be an indication of excess intake of unhealthy food and it may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure or large babies. If the weight gain is rapid, along with high blood pressure then it may be an indication of PET or pre-eclampsia.

What if I am Overweight During Pregnancy?

Overweight During Pregnancy

If you are overweight, you have a higher risk of having a complicated pregnancy and can be prone to pregnancy conditions including gestational diabetes and hypertension. For women who have a BMI greater than 35, and a weight loss of fewer than 5 kilograms appear to have more benefits than risks.

This also decreases the risks of having a premature baby. If you are overweight, do not go on a diet and starve yourself on your own, as your weight loss needs to be strictly monitored by your doctor. This, too, can be dangerous for you and the baby. Consult your doctor for a good diet plan to prevent becoming overweight.

[Read: I Am Pregnant And Overweight. How Does It Affect My Baby?]

What if I am Underweight During Pregnancy?

Gaining weight would be ideal for you, or else your baby can be very small and tiny. This weight gain should be composed of healthy fats, so do not stuff yourself with high calories food for a rapid weight gain. It can be dangerous to you and your baby. Even though you may put on weight quickly, it will not be healthy weight gain.

Is it Safe to Lose Weight When Pregnant?

pregnant woman measuring tape

If you are obese, your doctor may recommend losing weight, but this should happen under the supervision of your doctor. If you are advised to drop a few kilos, you should be closely monitored by your doctor, though such kind of cases are not very common. Refrain from dieting or resorting to other methods of losing weight at all costs.

How Can I Ensure I Gain the Right Amount of Weight During Pregnancy?

The below tips would serve helpful:

  • Do not have large meals, break them into 5-6 smaller meals.
  • Have healthy pregnancy snacks by you to fight pregnancy hunger pangs.
  • Do not consume too much sugar, opt for foods that are low in calories and high in nutrition.
  • Limit the use and consumption of fats- cooking oils, butter, sauces, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Plan a moderate exercise regime – yoga, meditation and walking would be easy and do you much good.
  • And, enjoy this time, do not be stressed or think about the weighing scale all the time.

[Read: Top 10 Healthy Indian Snacks For Expecting Mothers]

Should I Worry About What Others Say About My Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

worry on Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

The amount of weight you should gain varies for every individual and a person with low BMI may have a different weight gain than a person with a high BMI. It is a fact that women are anxious and worried about the weight gain largely due to how others look at them. Thoughts like “Am I not gaining enough weight?” or “Am I becoming large too soon?” can worry you due to comments and observations from others. Rest assured if your doctor is satisfied with your progress, you need not worry about what other people think.

As you put on your pregnancy weight, you will also get that beautiful pregnancy glow and the long pregnancy stresses. So, enjoy your pregnancy days– they are so memorable!


1. At What Week Do You Start Gaining Weight For Pregnancy?

A woman’s weight gain during pregnancy typically begins at the end of the first trimester.

2. How Much Weight Should You Gain Each Trimester?

The average pregnant woman gains between 1.5 and 2 kilograms in the third trimester, and 1 to 1.5 kilograms each month afterward until she gives birth. One’s objective for weight gain will change depending on whether they are already above or below their ideal body weight.

3. What Trimester Do You Gain The Most Weight?

The average pregnant woman gains between 1.5 and 2 kg in the third trimester, and 1 to 1.5 kilograms each month thereafter until she gives birth. One’s objective for weight gain will change depending on whether they are already above or below their ideal body weight.

Read Also: Top 10 Tips To Exercise Safely In Pregnancy

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.