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Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight.

  • The best way to start a pregnancy is to be at a healthy weight.
  • Gaining a healthy amount of weight, based on your weight before pregnancy, will help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and delivery.
  • Gaining too little weight will make it hard for the baby to grow properly. Gaining too much makes it more likely that you will have a longer labor and more difficult delivery. It also makes it harder to return to normal weight after the baby is born.
  • Remember, this is not the time to lose weight.

How much weight do I need to gain?

Step 1: Start with finding your BMI (Body Mass Index).
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

Use the BMI calculator below to help you determine the recommended amount of weight you should gain during your pregnancy.

  1. Height:

Your BMI is:

View BMI Table

Step 2: Download and print the Weight Gain Table or Grid that matches your BMI.
Post the table or grid on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror so you can easily track your progress. You can link to the correct grid or chart for your BMI below. Choose the one that is easiest for your to understand.

Your BMI Recommended Weight Gain
Chart Table
Below 18.5 28 to 40 pounds 28 to 40 pounds
18.5 - 24.9 25 to 35 pounds 25 to 35 pounds
25 - 29.9 15 to 25 pounds 15 to 25 pounds
30 and Above 11 to 20 pounds 11 to 20 pounds

How to use the grids to plot your weight

Generally, most women gain 2-5 pounds in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Try not to gain any more than one pound a week after that. Eating a healthy diet and being physically active during your pregnancy is not only good for you, but good for your baby as well. If you are unclear about what and how much to eat, seek accurate nutrition information with a Registered Dietitian at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Where does all the weight go?

You may be horrified at the thought of gaining weight and worried about whether you can lose it after your baby is born. Remember this: It took nine months to put it on; it will take that long, or more, to take it off sensibly. Healthy eating habits, plenty of physical activity and breastfeeding will all help.

Not all the weight you gain during pregnancy is the baby's weight; most of it is used by your body to nourish and support a healthy baby. The diagram below explains how and where your baby weight is distributed.

Example for the 18.5 - 24.9 range BMI

How can I keep track of my weight during pregnancy?

Write down your weight information in your Baby Your Baby Health Keepsake every time you visit your health care provider. Then, use our Prenatal Weight Gain Charts (above) to help you monitor where you should be during the different stages of your pregnancy.

Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you are uncertain about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy.

Practice healthy eating habits and get plenty of exercise to help you lose the weight after your baby is born and before you get pregnant again.

Visit Choosemyplate.gov to learn more about what yous should eat before, during and after pregnancy.