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Pregnancy Weight: Gaining Weight while Growing a Human

Your Body is Amazing

Your body is Amazing; you have the capability to help your son/and or daughter grow, develop and thrive. You are nurturing and caring for your child before you even hold your baby. That alone is awesome. With the wonderful job you are doing growing a little human, comes the expected yet unexpected Pregnancy Weight Gain- because are you truly ever ready?


While it is exciting to see your body grow and develop; it can be challenging and confusing to experience. Like a majority of people, during your lifetime you may have spent a large amount of time thinking about your weight, managing your weight if you are overweight or underweight, and just focusing on being healthy trying to live your best life in your best body.

Then along comes baby and all preconceived notions and thoughts are altered.

Why is it important to have a healthy weight gain while pregnant?

The American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics (ACOG), 1, 2013 informs women the amount of weight gained during pregnancy can affect mom’s health and baby’s health.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) states:

Gaining less than the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy could result in a baby that is too small; this can cause problems with breastfeeding, staying healthy and meeting milestones.

Gaining more than the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy can cause babies being born to large, which can cause delivery problems, future obesity during childhood and can cause the mother to have more difficulty losing weight after delivery.

Thoughts that may travel across your mind regarding Weight Gain in Pregnancy are:

  1. It is normal to wonder how much weight you should gain?

  2. Are you gaining enough weight?

  3. How can I be at my best health?

  4. Should I eat for 2?

  5. How much weight gain is too much or not enough?

These are all excellent questions. I would first encourage you to speak with your doctor. Your doctor is an excellent resource and can assist you based on your body mass index (BMI) prior to pregnancy to help you know how much weight you should gain and food choices.

Recommended Weight Gain According to ACOGPre-pregnancy Weight Category Body Mass IndexRecommended Range of Total Weight (pounds) Recommended Rates of Weight Gain in the Second and Third Trimesters (pounds) (Mean Range [lb/wk]) UnderweightLess than 18.528–401 (1-1.3)Normal Weight18.5–24.925–351 (0.8-1)Overweight25–29.915–250.6 (0.5-0.7)Obese30 and greater11–20

0.5 (0.4-0.6)

If you’re carrying twins (and eating for three), the weight gain recommendations for women of an average weight is 37 to 54 pounds. Overweight women should gain 31 to 50 pounds, and obese women should gain 25 to 42 pounds.

Where is the Weight Going?

Trust me, the weight you are gaining has a purpose and a reason.


The Mayo Clinic provides a sample of how your pregnancy weight gain is distributed:

  1. Baby weighs in at 7 or 8 pounds (about 3 to 3.6 kilograms). That accounts for some of your pregnancy weight gain. What about the rest? Here’s a sample breakdown:

  2. Larger breasts: 1 to 3 pounds (about 0.5 to 1.4 kilogram)

  3. Larger uterus: 2 pounds (about 0.9 kilogram)

  4. Placenta: 1 1/2 pounds (about 0.7 kilogram)

  5. Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (about 0.9 kilogram)

  6. Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms)

  7. Increased fluid volume: 2 to 3 pounds (about 0.9 to 1.4 kilograms)

  8. Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds (about 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms)

6 RN Tips to help you have a Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain

1.) Follow all your doctor recommendations. Your doctor will weigh you during each of your prenatal   visits and offer suggestion and recommendations as needed

DO NOT DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT. Weight gain is needed during pregnancy. It is important to have  the calories and nutrients needed to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby

3.) With your Doctors Approval you can remain active during pregnancy: walking,swimming, yoga, etc

4.) Eat a balanced diet. Focus on whole grains /fruits and vegetables


5.)  If you can meal prep for the week- it helps with planning healthy meals

6.) Do not stress; enjoy your pregnancy journey. All the changes will be worth it

Remember; your body is Amazing and every moment of your pregnancy; you and your baby are growing, changing, and developing rapidly. You are doing a great job taking care of your baby. Embrace the change, embrace the journey. It will be worth it.

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby


Mary E., RN,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Nurse/Champion of All Pregnant Women



Weight gain during pregnancy. Committee Opinion No. 548. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2013;121:210

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines from the National Academies Press. 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet,

Healthy Lifestyle. Pregnancy Week by Week. Mayo Clinic. February 15th,2017. Found online:

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