Weight Gain During Pregnancy

It always seems like the first thing everyone asks when you return from your doctor's office is “How much weight did you gain?” None of their business! Understand that all women are different—and the rate and speed will vary from person to person. Some gain a lot in the second trimester, and then it drastically slows down in the third—whereas others have a nice, even gain throughout. Here's what's recommended for most healthy women:

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Suggested Gain Weekly Gain in Second
and Third Trimesters
(below 90% of desirable weight)
28– 40 pounds >1 pound
Normal weight
25–35 pounds .8–1 pound
Moderately overweight
(more than 120–135% of desirable weight)
15–25 pounds .7 pound
Very overweight
(more than 135% of desirable weight)
15–20 pounds .5 pound
Where does the
extra weight go?

Baby: 7–8 pounds
Placenta: 1–2 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 1½–2 pounds
Uterine tissue: 2 pounds
Breast tissue: 1–2 pounds
Fluid volume: 6–10 pounds
Fat: 6+ pounds
Total: 25-30 pounds

Keep in mind that “desirable” weights fall within a range. Also, understand that there are special circumstances where some women will need to gain more, some less. For instance, women carrying twins will need to gain about 35– 45 pounds, and although women with triplets almost never carry full term (they typically deliver around 33 weeks), if they did, they would need to gain in the vicinity of 50–70 pounds—and hire three full-time nannies and a massage therapist. Rap with your doctor and listen to his or her advice on this weighty issue.


excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition © 2005 by Joy Bauer. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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