Pregnancy Weight Gain: What to Expect Week by Week
It’s common to be somewhat anxious about weight gain during pregnancy–where will the extra weight be more noticeable, and how much will you gain? The amount of weight you should gain depends on how many babies you’re carrying and on whether you were underweight, overweight or at a healthy weight before getting pregnant. However, there are some general guidelines you can use to estimate how much weight you’ll gain, week by week.
Weight gain in the first trimester
The first trimester typically doesn’t involve much weight gain. In fact, many women don’t gain any weight in the early weeks, though it’s common to gain up to a pound and a half per month (leading to a total gain of between 1 and 4.5 pounds over each month in the first trimester). When it comes to food intake, you should be eating much the same amount as you were before pregnancy, and certainly not more than an extra 200 calories a day (unless advised differently by your doctor).
Weight gain in the second trimester
The issue of weight gain becomes much more salient in the second trimester, with women typically gaining around a pound a week (leading to an overall gain of between and 12 and 14 pounds by the end of the second trimester). It’s good to consume up to an extra 300 calories per day at this point, though you should aim to facilitate this increase by eating healthy foods that nurture your baby.
Weight gain in the third trimester
By the time you’re in your third trimester, you’ll probably still be gaining up to a pound a week, though many women gain less than this in the final months. Overall, you can expect a gain of between 10 and 14 pounds in the third trimester, and should be consuming up to 450 extra calories per day.
Total weight gain
If you weighed less than an ideal healthy weight before pregnancy and are carrying a single baby, you can expect to gain between 28 and 40 pounds. Meanwhile, if you were classed as average weight before pregnancy, you will likely gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds. Those who are overweight should likely gain between 15 and 25 pounds, and the estimate for obese women is between 11 and 20 pounds.
Distribution of weight
Of the (roughly) 28-40 pounds you will likely gain during your pregnancy, approximately 7-8 pounds of that will be your developing baby! Meanwhile, 6-8 pounds is accounted for by your stored protein and fat, and 6-8 is explained by an increase in both fluid and blood volume. Your enlarged uterus and breasts will be about 2 pounds heavier respectively, and you’ll have around two pounds of amniotic fluid. Finally, your placenta will weigh about a pound and a half.
How much weight did you gain during pregnancy, and did you return to your previous weight after your baby was born? We’d love to hear your thoughts on pregnancy weight gain.