Krisha McCoy, MS
On average, a healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 22-35 pounds for normal weight women. This is usually reached by gaining 4-6 pounds during the first trimester, and about two-thirds to one pound a week during the second and third trimesters.
Where does this weight come from? According to the Nemours Foundation, this is how a 30-pound pregnancy weight gain is typically distributed:
Keep in mind that pregnancy weight gain may vary.
If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, you will be at increased risk of complications, including
high blood pressure,
constipation, and back pain. In addition, your labor and delivery may be longer and more difficult. You may also be at increased risk of needing a cesarean section.
If you don’t gain enough weight, your baby will not get the nutrients needed to grow and develop properly.
Eating during pregnancy. Nemours Foundation website. Available at:
http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/dietary_needs/eating_pregnancy.html. Updated November 2009. Accessed December 26, 2012.
Fit for two: tips for pregnancy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Weight—Control Information Network website. Available at:
http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/two.htm. Updated November 2009. Accessed December 26, 2012.
6/24/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/: Fyfe EM, Anderson NH, North RA, et al. Risk of first-stage and second-stage cesarean delivery by maternal body mass index among nulliparous women in labor at term.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Pregnancy Association
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Last reviewed November 2012 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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