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Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines [Slideshow]

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It’s common to have questions throughout your pregnancy, and ultimately no two women or pregnancies are the same. Pregnancy weight gain guidelines are one of the most common concerns for moms-to-be. Am I gaining too much? Not enough? Will my weight gain affect my baby?

While there are general weight gain guidelines per trimester, the amount that you should gain is based on your body type and BMI. We’re here to answer all the pregnancy questions you may have and provide a pregnancy weight gain guideline.

Check out the slideshow below, and be sure to let us know what else you’d like to learn about pregnancy.

Father smiles with his hand on pregnant wife's stomach
Image by Herney Gómez / Pixabay
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Total Pregnancy Weight Gain

The total amount of weight that a woman should gain throughout her pregnancy varies on her pre-pregnancy BMI. The following guidelines are recommended by the CDC and the American Pregnancy Association.

  • Women with a BMI of less than 18.5: 28lbs-40lbs throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Women with a BMI of 18.5-24.9: 25lbs-35lbs throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Women with a BMI of 25-29.9: 15lbs-25lbs throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Women with a BMI equal to or greater than 30: 11lbs-25lbs throughout the entire pregnancy.
Young fit girl smiling after getting rid of pregnancy weight
Image by Designecologist / Pexels
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The First Trimester

Women experience the least amount of weight gain during the first trimester. While you may feel more bloated than usual, it's not typical to gain a significant amount of weight as the baby is still small.

It's recommended a woman with a healthy BMI before pregnancy gain 1lbs-4.5lbs in the first three months of pregnancy. Women with lower BMIs will gain more, and higher BMIs will gain less.

Expecting parents pose for photo showing off baby bump
Image by Mirlidera / Pixabay
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The Second Trimester

The second trimester is when most women see their weight gain start to pick up. This is entirely normal and is no cause for alarm. Women with an average BMI can expect to gain anywhere from 1lb-2lbs a week during this time.

Gaining weight is a good sign. It means your baby is continuing to grow and develop, and that your body is adapting to support the growth. Some women may not experience such significant weight gain, but if your doctor sees that the baby is at a healthy size and weight, there is typically no reason to be concerned.

Image by Gajendra Bhati / Pixabay
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The Third Trimester

Consistent weight gain continues through the third trimester as the baby continues to grow. Women with a healthy BMI should expect the same rate of weight gain: 1lb-2lbs per week until the baby is born.

Remember that throughout your third trimester, your baby is preparing to enter the world. They are absorbing essential nutrients, fully developing the function of their vital bodily systems (such as their lungs), and reaching their full birth weight.

Woman carrying newborn child in body-harness to help burn of pregnancy weight
Image by Ginny Filer / Shutterstock
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Where is Weight Going?

The average birth weight of a newborn is 7.5lbs, so where are all those extra pounds going? Don't worry, mommas, the weight is essential to supporting the health of your baby; it's not just fat. Pregnancy weight gain is attributed to vital elements. Including the weight of your uterus and placenta, the weight of breast tissue, amniotic fluid, the storage of key nutrients, and the increased blood volume needed to support the baby.

It can take new moms up to one year post-partum to lose the excess weight.

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Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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