What is Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy?

Finding out that you are pregnant is a big deal. Pregnancy signifies the start of many changes that your body will go through. One of these is weight gain. Let’s take a closer look at what would be considered a healthy gain.

Where Does the Extra Weight Come From?

Even without eating extra, you may notice increased weight when pregnant. This weight comes from:-

  • Growing baby
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Placenta
  • Breast tissue
  • Larger uterus

It is important, however, to gain the right amount of weight when pregnant for your benefit and that of your baby. Packing on two much weight may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension and other complications during delivery.

Gaining Weight the Right Way

The first step to consider for healthy weight gain is to know your body mass index or BMI. There is a general assumption that pregnant women should add 12-15 kg during pregnancy. However this can vary based on the height and mass of different women.

Once this is done, general recommendations of weight gain are available as your pregnancy proceeds. These are:

  • Adding 2kg during your first trimester would be ideal. Not adding any weight is common during this trimester because of morning sickness.
  • Adding up to 7kgs during your second trimester is ideal as your baby starts to grow in earnest
  • As your baby’s weight increases in the 3rd trimester you may start tapering off and a net gain of 5kg is recommended.

Keeping track of your weight during pregnancy is essential. This can be easily done through weighing during your antenatal checkup or using our pregnancy weight gain tracker.

Getting a bathroom scale to weigh yourself frequently is also a good investment during pregnancy.

To log in the correct weight in you calculator always ensure that

  • You weigh yourself at the same time each day
  • Try to wear the exact same amount of clothes

How to Add Weight Safely During Pregnancy

The following steps can be implemented to add weight safely. These include:

  • Eating 5-6 meals daily instead of one large meal
  • Keeping healthy snacks on hand.
  • Eating the right food while pregnant
  • Drink your calories-Adding healthy smoothies to your diet.

Keep in mind that adding more than 2kg in any week should be investigated by your doctor as this could be a sign of preeclampsia

After your pregnancy there may come a time when you may consider shedding of the extra weight. With the go ahead from you doctor you can then do so.  Read more about losing weight after pregnancy here.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: webmd, whattoexpect, marchofdimes

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