Pregnancy Weight Gain: Where it all Goes

Most women find that they gain very little weight during the first trimester, in fact some women actually find they lose weight as a result of morning sickness and food aversions. By the end of your pregnancy, you may be up to 16kg (35lb) heavier than you were pre-pregnancy. It may sound a lot, but remember, not all of the extra pregnancy weight gain will be baby. In fact, your weight gain will be made up of the following components (and their average weights):

  • baby 3-4kg (7-9lb)
  • extra fat 2.5kg (5.5lb)
  • water 2.5kg (5.5lb)
  • extra blood and fluid 1.5kg (3lb)
  • larger uterus 1kg (2lb)
  • amniotic fluid 1kg (2lb)
  • placenta 0.7kg (1.5lb)
  • larger breasts 0.5kg (1lb)

Body Mass Index

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy, is dependent on your Body Mass Index (BMI). At the start of your pregnancy, your healthcare provider will take your height and weight, and use this information to calculate your BMI.

If you have a normal BMI (between 19 and 24), you should be aiming to gain between 11 and 16kg (or 25 to 35lb) by the end of the pregnancy. If you are carrying twins, you should expect to gain between 16 and 20kg (35 to 44lb). If you are considered to be overweight (with a BMI of 24.5 and over), you should gain between 7 and 11kg (or 15 to 25lb) by the time you give birth. If you are obese at the start of the pregnancy (with a BMI of 30 or more), you should try to limit your weight gain to between 5 to 9kg (11 to 20lb). If you are underweight at the start of the pregnancy (with a BMI of less than 19), you will be advised to gain between 13 and 18kgs (28 to 40lb) during the pregnancy.

If you are a healthy weight at the start of your pregnancy, you should expect to gain no more than (5lb) during the first trimester, between 5.5-9kg (12-19lb) in the second trimester, and up to a further 3.5-5kg (8-11lb) in the third trimester.

Calorie intake

During the first few months of pregnancy, there is no need to increase your calorie intake. You can continue to eat around 2,000 calories a day. During this time, you may like to reassess your diet to ensure you are eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables, and limiting your intake of sugary or processed foods.

By the time you enter your third trimester, you should be eating an extra 200 calories a day to sustain your developing baby. The last few weeks of pregnancy is when the baby starts to pile on the pounds, so you will need to eat more to allow this. Two hundred calories a day equates to a banana and a glass of milk, or two slices of buttered wholemeal toast.

Eat a balanced diet

One of the most important steps you can take to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy, and to give your baby the best start in life, is to eat a healthy balanced diet. Make sure you are eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day, whilst also eating wholegrain carbohydrates and plenty of protein.

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockPregnancy Weight Gain: Where it all Goes

Comments 36

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  4. Jo

    I am 14 weeks and 2 days. First pregnancy. Starting weight of 8st 13lbs and have not gained anything yet. Eating the same as I was before I was pregnant.

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  8. K

    Getting worried now. 18 +2 weeks and still loosing weight. Not been sick since week 12 . Very restricted diet due to allergies and intolerances but started out a heafty 235. Now down to 222. Haven’t been this light in 10 years . Midwife says it’s fine but I know this is not normal for me.

  9. Rachel

    I am 14 + 2 and have lost nearly a stone in weight. Still being sick most days. Before I got pregnant I would love to have been losing weight but now it worries me!

  10. Angelique Aleson

    I’m 14 weeks and two days. Had a normal BMI pre pregnancy and have gained 5 kilos now and still inside the healthy range. I exercise every week and eat well with occasional snacks like pop corn or plain crisp so assuming it’s healthy weight. I quit smoking when i got pregnant so assuming that has added to the increase on the scales. Feel puffy but baby and i are healthy and thats what is important. Really enjoying being pregnant for the first

  11. Marie

    I’m 14 weeks and have gained 2,5 kgs. I started with a healthy BMI pre-pregnancy. I need to eat frequently to keep my nausea under control. I hope not continue to gain a lot of weight!

  12. Alexandria

    I am 14 wks 3days I was overweight when I became pregnant. Thus far I have only put on about 8 lbs. I eat healthy; three meals a day with healthy snacks in between. If I go to long between eating I feel very ill. So I have a breakfast a few hours later apple sauce or fruit, I have lunch a few hours later yogurt, followed by dinner, sometimes a snack after dinner. I let myself have a treat a couple times a week, like a donut or frozen yogurt. On the days I just feel hungry all day I will snack on crackers or a small serving size bag of chips, or pretzels. In between my other snacks, so far I have only had a few of those days. I don’t like raw vegetables so I eat those with dinner, but I make sure to have some every evening.

  13. Jennifer

    I’m 14 was and 2 days pregnant with my first baby. So excited but I was very overweight pre pregnancy and have gained a half stone since I got pregnant. I was feeling very down about it but my midwife recommended slimming world as that’s allowed during pregnancy & bf. I joined tonight and feeling much more optimistic now. I would recommend to any other ladies struggling with their weight at this stage. Good luck with your pregnancies xxxx

  14. Nikko

    Any one 14 weeks n 2 days pregnant follow me on instagram @_Nakisha_
    First time pregnant n I would like to experience it with women going through what I am . . .

  15. Jess

    I’m 14 weeks and ive gained 13lbs. It’s making me feel miserable ! Been craving chocolate. Also gave up smoking when I found out I was pregnant so have been eating so much more because of it. I’m constantly hungry! I’ve had no morning sickness at all so been really lucky in that sense.

  16. mel

    I am now 14.2 weeks pregnant and was a bit over weight before becoming pregnant but I’m picking up weight like crazy since I was pregnant. even if I eat now it will feel like I haven’t eaten the whole day, my stomach will burn and I will be hungry (I’m hungry the whole time) I’ve picked up like 6-8 kg in the 14 weeks. You can see the weight on my face and my arms and legs. I’m really starting to become worried because nothing is fitting me anymore and I don’t feel pretty. This is my first pregnancy and I cannot afford to look like a watermelon!! even if I try to eat healthy I want to eat sweet stuff like chocolates and chips I can’t help it I’m craving them so bad!!! please help I have no one to speak to cause everyone says I’m pregnant I’m suppose to pick up weight!!

  17. lilie

    Hi I’m 14 weeks and I’ve lost 15 pounds…. i just hope i don’t gain to much weight during this pregnancy cuz with my first baby i gained to much weight and it was really hard to loose so with this one i hope i start gaining weight around 5 months not earlier then that.

  18. Brittany

    Pre pregnancy I started out over weight and now it seems the weight will not quit pilling on. I stayed at a constant weight of about 200lbs now 18 weeks in I’m at about 238! I don’t know what to do. I only eat two meals a day and don’t really feel hungry a lot

  19. lucy

    I’m 18 weeks and 3lb down, was 8-9lb down but gaining again after severe sickness, I was really worried about gaining weight after gaining over 3stone with my first, but doing I healthy this time, slimming world! 🙂 xx

  20. stephaniemills

    This is my first and ive gained over 30lbs thus far. Im right about 25 weeks. I started out at a normal BMI and was very active and in shape. After the first trimester my back started to really hurt, as I had back problems before pregnancy, and have had really bad lower abdomen pain. My doctor had me no longer workout and took me out of the field at work to a desk job. I’m watching everything I eat now and haven’t out on more than a pound per week since. Hoping it will be easy to get back into shape after my daughter is born, mostly for the sake of my back.

  21. Sue

    I have been worried about my wait gain. I am 5’3″ and normally a size 12 (UK) so not slim to start with. But as early as 2 weeks after conception my clothes didn’t fit right. A few days later I found out I was pregnant and had to buy new clothes, size 14 on the bottom and 16 on the top! I thought surely it couldn’t be fat that fast, it must be water retention (I have been thirsty all the time), so I thought it will probably go away but I’m 11 weeks now and still no change. I have always been prone to weight gain and am worried now that maybe the hormones could be making me store even more fat and this could be bad for the baby. I don’t know what to do. Everywhere I look says don’t go on a diet but don’t gain too much weight either. I am eating very healthy diet, all fresh fruit and veggies. Not too much fat / sugar. Any advice ladies?

  22. Daniella

    Hi all,
    I was underweight with BMI 16. During my first semester I started gain weight and look healthier. Now I am 27 week pregnant, entering the third semester, and I have gained 13 kg. so far. My BMI is normal now – 20.5 and I feel beautiful with my belly.

  23. Fiatron

    This is my first, I’m 37 weeks and have gained about 20 kilos. I had a ‘normal’ BMI to start with and was worried about gaining a lot of weight. However because my morning sickness was so bad in the beginning I lost a few kilos but then felt too sick to cook/eat healthy so kept eating to feel better. Most of the weight looks like it’s my belly, my arms and face still look the same. So hopefully I will go back to normal after the baby comes. I have no advice but since my dr thinks all is good with the baby and we tried for over a year before becoming pregnant; as long as the baby comes out healthy, I don’t care how I look.

  24. Nairoby

    This is my second child and I’m over 20 pounds I’m worry because with my first pregnancy I gain a lot of weigh, I don’t know what to do

  25. Zorrie

    Mary, I also started my pregnancy underweight and as getting fat is one of my biggest fears, I was weighting myself every single day.
    However as the nausea took over me and I had to eat every two hours to avoid getting sick, my weight concerns had to stop. I have gained 3kg in the first trimester. I am now 29 weeks and things have balanced a bit as so far I have gained 10kg in total. Once your nausea is over you will be able to move more and eat more fruits and vegetables. You will also be able to drink plenty of water (I am very thursty now and consume almost 4 litres of water a day). If you can’t cook, try eating more salads and soups and avoid fried food and too much bread in sandwiches. Just stay positive and listen to your body and things will soon get back to normal. Stressing out is only going to make you miserable, so chin up, girl! Good luck! 🙂

  26. Mary

    I am paranoid! I was under weight when I got pregnant, I am 10 weeks and have gained 4 kilos in a month.. That is a lot!! I cannot tell if my pregnancy is showing or if is all the food I have been consuming, my nauseas have been really bad, but when I eat they calm down, and because I can’t tolerate smells, I don’t cook, therefore my meals are not balanced as they are purchased.. Do not know what to do.. 🙁 this baby is my second.. Do not want to gain as much as I did with my first.. And do not know what to do..

  27. Jody

    I am overweight and 16 weeks along. So far I have gained about 10 pounds. So not too bad. I usually gain a lot of weight with my kids. This is number 3.

  28. Q

    I lost 4 kgs during the first 14 weeks due to severe sickness. I wasn’t allowed to lose more than 4,5 kgs (5 percent of my initial weight) so that was allright. As soon as I would pass the 4,5 I had to inform my midwife.
    Then in just one weekend, I lost another 2. Over 6 kgs lost then. When I called my midwife on Monday she wasn’t all too happy, since losing weight means ‘using up your reserves’ which also frees toxins (waste saved with those reserves) into your body and eventually through your baby’s as well.
    I had to do a urine test. Toxins visible but not in harmful amounts yet. Process had apparently started and has to be stopped asap.
    I wasn’t allowed to work for two weeks, but they didn’t want me to stay in bed either. I had to walk, swim, eat properly (and try to keep it all in…), exercise very lightly: the goal was to keep my body going.
    During the first week (week 15), I immediately gained almost 1 kg. After that, the weight gain leveled, gaining not more than 400 grams in the next three weeks. I was eating well though, took plenty of (natural) vitamins and didn’t have to vomit as much as I’d used to.
    Not until week 19, I started gaining weight again: this time almost 2 kgs in two weeks. (Oh oh…! Plenty more weeks to come ;))
    Altogether I have still lost 3kgs, but my bump has already obviously been showing for 5 weeks.
    It doesn’t seem to alarm any of the specialists, though, and all u/s have been fine. Baby is growing well, organs have all developed according to plan, it even looks like his/her weight is ahead of schedule and my food stays in most of the time.

    So I suppose we will be allright!

  29. Gina

    I have a bmi over 30 as I never lost my last pregnancy weight as I had a hormonal imbalance after my daughter was born plus contraception made me put on a bit more. I am now 24+4 and iv not gained anything I just stayed exactly the same yet gaining a massive bump. My gyne doc is not worried n says I’m perfectly healthy with low BP and says that if I don’t put on any weight still when i give birth I will have actually lost weight when I give birth to my boy.

  30. Imogen

    I have lost 4kg so far with is 8lbs. I am in my 13th week so just started the second trimester. I know it says to lose weight is normal at the start but 8lb just seems a lot to me. I had a normal bmi to start with wasn’t over or underweight so just wondered if anyone had any feedback x

  31. Mrs.Heinz

    I’m 38 weeks! And my doctor told me to only gain 15-20lb cus I was considered overweight at 167 when I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant. So far I’ve been spot on and have met my doctors standards toward my weight. So now with two more weeks to go I’ve only gained 12 and a half pounds! Phew!

  32. Fallon Louise

    That’s really good Bri that you have only gained 1 pound as it says if ur over weight u only need to gain a small amount so well done you keep up the good work, I started out healthy BMI and up to now I’ve gained 25 pounds and I have 3 weeks to go, good luck with the rest of your pregnancy

  33. Bri

    I have only gained one lb at 18.2! I started out overweight with a bmi of 28 however and my midwives haven’t mentioned any concern either way. Last pregnancy I started at a healthy weight and gained 35lbs but never lost weight.