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How Much Weight Gain is Healthy during Pregnancy?

Women don’t like to gain weight. Loss of a few grams or even less is enough to add smile to their faces. Interestingly, losing weight is intimidating during pregnancy. This is one phase of life when women don’t regret gaining weight.

So how much should one gain during pregnancy? Experts believe that this weight gain must be distributed in a healthy way over a period of nine months. It might not be easy to measure where exactly pregnancy weight is going. Also there is no scale that can measure how much weight is that of the mother-to-be, fluid gains of baby, baby weight etc.

Weight gain during pregnancy depends mainly on where you started out exactly:

– Were you underweight at the time of conceiving?

– Did you maintain a healthy weight, overweight?

– Were you obese?

– Are you carrying single baby, twins, or multiples?

A woman having average body weight before getting pregnant should gain 11 to 15 kilograms during pregnancy. Underweight woman must gain anywhere between 12 to 18 kilograms. And overweight women may need to gain only 6 to 11 kilograms during pregnancy.

On the whole, a woman should gain around 1 to 2 kilograms during the first three months (1st Trimester) during pregnancy. Thereafter, 500 grams a week during the rest of pregnancy is healthy weight to gain.

Women expecting twins must gain anywhere between 15-20 kilograms during your pregnancy. This means an average of 1 kilogram pregnancy week by week per week post the usual weight gain during the first three months is considered healthy.

Doctors suggest that a woman expecting twins must gain the right amount of weight when expecting twins. The weight of mother directly affects weight of baby. Also in most cases, twins are born before the due date. Hence, a higher birth weight is crucial for baby’s overall health. If you are carrying twins, you might require consuming anywhere between 3,000 and 3,500 calories in a day.

The Distribution of Extra Weight during Pregnancy

Baby – 3.5 kilograms

Placenta – 900 grams – 1.5 kilograms

Amniotic Fluid – 900 grams – 1.5 kilograms

Breast Tissue – 900 grams – 1.5 kilograms

Blood Supply – 1.9 Kilograms

Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding – 2.3-4.5 Kilograms

Larger uterus: 900 grams-2.3 Kilograms

Total: 11-15 Kilograms (approximately)

When a woman is pregnant, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help baby avail of all nutrients requisite to grow at a healthy rate. Now the question is how many calories (additional) one requires.

Although it is important for a woman to add extra calories to her diet, ”eat for two” theory shouldn’t be followed. Doctors advice an average pregnant woman to have only around 300 healthy calories extra per day. This is important for her to gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.

When it comes to total number of calories required during pregnancy depends on a woman’s height and her weight before becoming pregnant. Underweight women would require more calories during pregnancy. On the other hand, overweight and obese women need fewer of them.

Rate of Weight Gain

Experts usually advice that mothers-to-be must look at the big picture. The main focus should be on regular prenatal checkups. A woman must focus on baby’s growth. It should be normal.


As per the IOM guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, here’s what a woman should expect when having twins:

– Underweight – 22.6 kg to 28.1 kg)

– Normal weight – 16.7 to 24.5 kg

– Overweight – 14 to 22.6 kg

– Obese – 11.3 to 19 kg

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